a glass bowl filled, with Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese
Recipes » Appetizers » Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

Think ‘zesty grilled cheese sandwich, mighty burger topping, and bestie atop saltines’ when you think Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese.

a glass bowl filled, with Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

What Does Pimento Cheese Taste Like?

Pimento Cheese tastes like the many ingredients that go into it like tangy mayo, zippy pimentos, and cheddar cheese of course. But it’s not all of those things alone, rather together. And those flavors become vivid given time to meld. What results is intense and creamy and party-ready.

If you have never had Pimento Cheese, then you have no way of knowing what you’re missing. For those of you who have had Pimento Cheese, YOU know how addictive and insanely good this stuff really is! And today’s method for Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese is all the more flavorful, enhanced by the addition of cayenne.

For this BEST southern pimento cheese recipe, I’m swapping yellow cheddar for a sharp aged white, and I’m grating it myself which is key. In addition to the scant amount of mayonnaise, I’m also introducing cream cheese which is going to make this super spreadable.

I’m already salivating for the burger I intend to use this on tomorrow night, or the epic grilled cheese I’ll plan for lunch, but until then, I’m reaching for some tried and true Saltines and Ritz crackers for snacking RIGHT NOW! Serve a little of this crowd favorite as an easy appetizer at your Friday night back porch bash.

a glass bowl filled, with Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

Piquant [ˈpēkənt, ˈpēkänt] ADJECTIVE Having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavor.

Pimento cheese has been referred to as the “pâté of the south,” the “dip of Dixie,” and also “Carolina caviar.” However you refer to it, it’s some good eatin’ right here folks. Nothing fancy but 100% southern.

I was introduced to this stuff of dreams even before I made my move southward. A tiny bar in Frenchtown, New Jersey had a chef who’d gone through Charleston’s then Johnson & Wales University for culinary arts and was making a name for himself above the Mason Dixon Line. His skills did not disappoint…

Do You Have What’s Needed To Make Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese? Check The List!

block of aged extra sharp white cheddar
cream cheese
mayonnaise
diced pimentos
cayenne pepper
Dijon mustard
Worcestershire sauce
fresh cracked black pepper
Kosher salt

optional ad-ins

diced jalapeño pepper
replace about a half cup of the white cheddar with yellow aged sharp cheddar cheese
replace about a half cup of the white cheddar with Monterey Jack or Monterey Pepper Jack
fresh chives
small amount of liquid from the pimentos

How This Recipe Came About…

Simply put, my obsession with My Three Sons Spicy White Cheddar Pimento Cheese. NOT COMPLAINING, but the tubs are small and expensive. Worth every damn penny, though. I set out to recreate their flavor profile ‘in bulk’ to be able to serve it for a crowd.

a wooden board with crackers, with Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…

So, it’s not really ‘southern’ the minute you start adding in ANYTHING aside from cheddar, mayonnaise, and pimentos. PERIOD. However, that does not mean it isn’t just as good with ad-ins that make sense for your eaters.

If you want things a bit more colorful, replace about a half cup of the white cheddar with aged yellow cheddar. And if you want zestier, consider a tablespoon-ish of the liquid from the jarred diced pimentos. Fresh chives are absolutely delicious. And Pepper Jack or diced jalapeño will drive you to the brink with no stoplights!

What Is Pimento Cheese?

Pimento Cheese or cheddar and pimento spread as it’s sometimes referred to, is a southern spread or sandwich relish made with cheese, pimentos, and mayonnaise. Everything imaginable is done with pimento cheese. I adore recipes with white cheddar cheese, so this is a saver.

How To Serve Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese?

Cutting the crust off white bread and lathering two pieces up with this homemade deliciousness makes for a fancy tea sandwich. Using an ice cream scoop to plop a dollop atop a grilled beef burger is also a popular way to enjoy. Don’t even get me started on grilled cheese sandwiches made with a layer of pimento cheese…

For me, less is best. I am satisfied with my homemade gourmet pimento cheese spread on Ritz Crackers, a glass of wine in my other hand. I also SERIOUSLY enjoy a batch of my Southern Deviled Eggs With Pimento Cheese mixed right into the filling.

I stir it until it’s VERY SMOOTH which makes the eggs entirely silky and ridiculously delicious. I go out of my way to make this southern staple as tangy and sharp as I absolutely can.

deviled eggs with pimento cheese

Add southern charm to deviled eggs for these outrageously good Southern Deviled Eggs With Pimento Cheese

deviled eggs on a white plate, with chives

If there is one food that is guaranteed to show up at almost every southern get-together, I’d place my bet on it being the deviled egg.

deviled eggs on a white plate, with chives

EVERY classic southern deviled egg recipe begins with properly hard boiled eggs. Let me show you how.

What Is The Best Sharp White Cheddar Cheese?

In this method, it means swapping my yellow cheddar with white cheddar. And, white cheddar that is SHARP and AGED. Sharp white cheddar cheese is aged for longer than the milder cheddars, and it tends to be slightly firmer and more crumbly than those with less sharpness.

Any aged cheddar will be piquant or sharp-tasting. I am not brand-loyal, so my recommendation is to grab whatever is easy at the grocery or hit up your cheesemonger for something epic. I’m going for a block of super aged from my monger so I can grate it myself which is key. Hey, nothing good ever comes easy guys.

close up cracker with Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

Can Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese Be Made Ahead?

Absolutely. I like to assemble and then refrigerate to allow the flavors time to mingle, as they just keep getting better. PRO TIP: if you’re serving say poolside and have a few of the quilted 4 ounce canning jars, I love stuffing them full of Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese and handing one to each person along with a spreader and a bag of crackers for ‘self service!’

How Long Will Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese Keep?

Made ahead, Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese may be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Use an airtight container. I recommend giving it a good stir before serving.

If You Like This Recipe…

…you might also like:

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a glass bowl filled, with Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
Think 'zesty grilled cheese sandwich, mighty burger topping, and bestie atop saltines' when you think Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese.
5 from 2 votes
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 40 kcal

Equipment

  • box grater or food processor with shred/grate attachment

Ingredients
 

Ingredients for Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese

  • 1 8-ounce block aged extra sharp white cheddar cheese cold
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup jarred pimentos drained, liquid reserved IF using as an add-in
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper begin with 1/4 teaspoon and adjust to taste
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

The Method

  • In a large mixing bowl, place the white cheddar cheese in an even layer. Scatter the cream cheese, diced pimentos, mayonnaise and cayenne over the cheddar cheese. If using any add-ins, add them now. Using the tines of a fork, mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth and spreadable, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the pimento cheese to a jar, plastic container or bowl, cover tightly, and store in the fridge. The flavors deepen the longer the cheese has to sit. Alternatively, the cheese may be served immediately.
  • Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese works well with aromatic white wines, such as a Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc. If you prefer beer, reach for a golden ale or a high quality lager.

Notes

Cheese grates easiest when cold.
Make a day ahead, and the flavor improves.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 40kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 64mgPotassium: 32mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 445IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg
Keyword appetizer, authentic southern pimento cheese recipe, cheddar pimento spread, dairy, easy appetizer recipe, easy pimento cheese, pimento cheese, pimento cheese spread, southern pimento cheese, spicy white cheddar pimento cheese, the best southern pimento cheese, white cheddar cheese spread
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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. Everything about this dip was amazing! The smoky yet mild and creamy goodness- we ate it with some chopped veggies as a dip. Thanks for sharing this recipe!5 stars

    1. Tamara, my goodness aren’t you too kind – THANK YOU! It IS a good dip/spread/appetizer/sandwich topper and I am forever making up another batch to refill the jar in my fridge. Next time, try it as a gooey grilled cheese on some really good fresh bread – xo Jenny

  2. Yum, yum, YUM! I love pimiento cheese. Having been born and reared in the South, I just learned a few years ago that some folks had never heard of this deliciousness. I usually buy “Palmetto Cheese,” but now you’ve inspired me to make some of my own. Thanks for the recipe!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    1. Miss Richella, YOU have made my Thursday! Thank you so much for the kind words as well as the feature. Please, if you do make the Piquant Pimento Cheese, do let me know how you enjoy it 🙂 x-Jenny

  3. I began making my own pimento cheese about a year ago and love using white cheddar. I’ve also experimented with adding finely diced pickled jalapeño and a little cumin to give it a slightly Southwestern flavor. No reason the South can’t share! Great ideas here. I’m downloading your low-country cookbook, too,5 stars

    1. Kat, a woman after my own heart! I made a small batch of white cheddar pimento cheese this morning as a matter of fact and promptly added them to grits! Now you have me thinking jalapeño and what I could do with that, so thanks for sharing your personal spin! Let me know how you find the recipes in my eCookbook. The Syllabub is my fave! x – Jenny