This pimento cheese ball recipe is made with pimentos, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, bacon and more rolled in pecans for an added crunch.
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, toasts, 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 this cheese ball recipe, I combine the cheese and peppers with cream cheese. This way it holds together well so its easily rolled in the coating of chopped pecans.
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. While spread or dip versions are made with mayo in addition to the Cheddar cheese and cream cheese I omit the mayonnaise for a thicker texture in this recipe.
The pimento cheese can be made up to two days in advance, however, I recommend waiting to roll the cheese ball in the pecans until just before serving. Store, covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve the appetizer.
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 in jars or cans 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. The pecans can easily be swapped with another nut like walnuts.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this pimento cheese ball recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:
1(4-ounce) jar pimento peppers, drained and chopped
2tablespoonscrumbled cooked bacon
1medium dill pickleminced
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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