Aug 29, 2016

Pimento Cheese Ball

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
This pimento cheese ball recipe is made with pimentos, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, bacon and more rolled in pecans for an added crunch.

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This pimento cheese ball is a southern favorite. Often referred to as “the caviar of the South”, makes the perfect alternative to offering a selection of cheeses as it can be paired with crackers, vegetables and charcuterie. The pimento cheese ball is for dinner parties because it can be made so far in advance.

A pimento cheese ball is much like pub cheese’s cousin in that it is spreadable and loaded with additional fillings such as dill pickles and bacon. While classic pimento cheese contains little more than pimento peppers, cheese and mayonnaise, this is meant to resemble more of a dip. In my cheese ball recipe, the cheese and peppers are combined with cream cheese so that it holds together well and is then rolled in chopped pecans.

Pimento Cheese Ball

pimento cheese ball cut

What is Pimento Cheese

There’s a reason it’s referred to as “the caviar of the South”! Pimento cheese isn’t actually a type of cheese – it’s a cheese spread. It’s made with a combination of pimento peppers, I also stir in some green onion for a bit more flavor. Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and cream cheese. I gently fold the cheese into the mixture. As a result, it is still chunky and the cheese is visible rather than puréed. The pimento cheese can be made up to two days in advance. Store, covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Pimento peppers – The key ingredient in making pimento cheese spread is pimento peppers. The small, red, heart shape peppers are mild and sweet in flavor. They can typically be found jarred or canned in most grocery stores.
  • Cheese – I use a combination of Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese in this recipe. The slightly sweet, mild flavor complements the sharp flavors of the Cheddar.
  • Pecans – The cheese ball is rolled in chopped pecans for a nutty, crunchy addition. Pecan is a species of hickory quite popular in the South.
pimento cheese ball

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Pimento Cheese Ball

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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco® or hot sauce of choice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar pimento peppers, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1 medium dill pickle minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

Instructions:

  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment process the cream cheese, butter, Monterey jack cheese and cheddar cheese until smooth. Add the hot sauce, mustard, pimentos, bacon, pickle and cayenne, continuing to pulse until combined.
  • Line a small bowl with plastic wrap and scrape the cream cheese mixture into the bowl. Gather the plastic wrap around the cream cheese then use your hands to form the mixture into a ball. Chill until firm, at least 3 hours.
  • When ready to serve, add the pecans to a shallow bowl. Roll the cheese ball in the pecans to coat. Serve with an assortment of crackers and vegetables.

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