Step up your appetizer game with Jessica’s homemade pimento cheese recipe! Simple and spicy, this is hands-down one of my favorite dips to make for parties. Her recipe is so mouth-watering and easy to assemble, you’ll never purchase store-bought again.
Jess and I met a few years ago at a media dinner at Evoke here in Charlotte. We’ve been great friends ever since. Have you ever talked with someone and right off the bat you just knew they’re one of your people? For me, that’s Jess. She’s sassy, finicky (hence the name of her own blog), and will always tell you her honest opinion. I absolutely love her transparency, it’s seriously refreshing. Now, we always gravitate towards each other at local events and parties. #TwoJessicasAreBetterThanOne
I sadly had an upbringing that did not involve homemade pimento cheese (gasp!).
So when my family and I moved to North Carolina, I had no clue what this concoction actually was. At first bite I became obsessed with the stuff… and I’ve been highly addicted ever since. Who knew that just a few pantry staples can come together into this deliciousness that can upgrade any dish to the next level of awesome. One day not too long ago, Jess told me that she makes the best pimento cheese in all the land. Intrigued, I invited her over to prove it (and she did not disappoint).
To start, Jess uses a blend of white and extra sharp cheddar cheeses.
Make sure to shred your own, as pre-shredded varieties are a no-go in this recipe. Jess also likes to use whipped cream cheese instead of regular, as it’s easier to blend with the other ingredients. Her famous recipe gets it’s extra spicy kick from cayenne pepper. If you’re a fan of heat, I’d say 100% go with her exact recipe. However, if you’re making this for small children or a crowd, feel free to knock that tablespoon down to a teaspoon or omit it all together. You can also substitute this ingredient with diced jalapeños. Mmmmm.
Jess’ Homemade Pimento Cheese Serving Suggestions:
- Wheat Thins (her personal favorite)
- Hearty Tortilla Chips or other Crackers
- Dip-worthy Veggies (Carrots, Celery, Bell Peppers)
- Slathered on bread as a Sandwich
- Introduced to your Burger Game
- 1 cup Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- 1 cup White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- 8 oz. Whipped Cream Cheese
- 1 (4 oz) Jar of Sliced Pimentos
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp. Cayenne Pepper (or diced Jalapeños)
- ½ tsp. Coarse Kosher Salt
- ½ tsp. Freshly Ground Black Peppercorns
- Shred both cheeses.
- Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- With a spatula, fold together until well mixed.
- Best enjoyed after an hour in the fridge.
- Serve with wheat thins and/or vegetable spears.
TIPS FROM JESS FOR BEST RESULTS:
- No pre-shredded cheeses!
- If you have access to Duke’s Mayonnaise, use it!
- Sliced (not diced) pimentos, always drain, adding the liquid changes the consistency and flavor.
- Use black peppercorns for freshly ground pepper.
- Coarse kosher salt tastes better than table salt.
- If you prefer super smooth and creamy over chunky, use a food processor to mix.
Want to blow your tastebuds into the next dimension? Try adding chopped green onions or bacon into the mix.
MEET YOUR LOCAL: CHARLOTTE BLOGGERS
This installment of Meet Your Local is highlighting simple, scratch-made meals created by some of my favorite culinary professionals in Charlotte. Here you’ll find a behind-the-scenes spotlight of their favorite recipes to cook at home.
Cooking is a part of everyone’s life, including bloggers! We hope that these recipes encourage you to get in your kitchen and whip up a little somethin’ special from scratch. After all, cooking shouldn’t be complicated (it should be fun)!
Jessica Gaddy is a Charlotte-based blogger and recipe developer. She lives in Waxhaw, North Carolina with her husband Eric and three cats. Follow her everyday shenanigans on instagram at @finickylady or visit her website here.
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