This smoked gouda pimento cheese is perfectly wonderful! It's creamy, smoky, spicy (as spicy as you wish), and spreadable. Serve with crackers, pretzels, veggies, or sandwiches. This spread is so easy to make and so versatile... it should be a staple in your fridge.
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Pimento cheese is an indulgent and incredibly delicious cheese spread. There are as many ways to eat and enjoy it as there are flavor variations. Keeping a jar of this cheese dip in your fridge opens up endless tasty opportunities.
This pimento cheese recipe is three amazing snacks in one:
- Gouda pimento cheese - a delicious blend of Gouda and sharp cheddar.
- Smoked pimento cheese - smoky flavor from paprika and smoked Gouda.
- Spicy pimento cheese - cayenne pepper adds mild heat.
The flavors are tangy with a hint of smoke and as much spice as you care to add.
What is pimento cheese?
Pimento cheese is a Southern staple made from cheese, mayonnaise, and pimientos. It's typically served with crackers or veggies or spread on sandwiches. It can be found in most supermarkets, but skip the preservatives, and make your own. It's so easy and even more delicious.
- Cream cheese - Adds a smooth creamy base to this cheese spread.
- Cheddar cheese - I prefer using extra sharp cheddar cheese - white or yellow is your preference.
- Smoked gouda - I love the complexity of flavor that comes from adding another variety of cheese. This smoked gouda also adds a delicious smoky note.
- Pimientos - These bright red peppers are traditional in pimento cheese and give the cheese spread a beautiful bright red color. I buy jarred diced pimientos for ease and convenience, but you can also roast your own red peppers. Just remove the seeds and membranes and dice before adding them to the mixture.
- Mayonnaise - This is another traditional ingredient in pimento cheese. It adds richness, tang, and creaminess.
- Smoked paprika - This brings another layer of smoky flavor to this cheese spread and it plays nicely with all of the cheese.
- Cayenne pepper - The cayenne brings a touch of heat to the mixture. It's not overpowering, but if you aren't a fan of spice, start by adding ⅛ teaspoon and go from there... or you can omit it altogether.
- Smoked salt - Add salt to season to taste. Smoked salt is completely OPTIONAL. I had some on hand so I used it to enhance the other smoky flavors. Kosher salt or sea salt is perfectly fine.
Tips for making
- Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature. Softened cream cheese blends easier and more smoothly.
- Be sure to freshly grate your own cheese. It blends together so much better than pre-grated cheese that is coated with anti-caking additives.
- Choose your texture. For a chunkier pimento cheese, stir the ingredients together by hand. Alternatively, for a smoother, more whipped consistency, blend everything together in a food processor until well combined.
- I prefer a combination of these textures. Add all of the ingredients - reserving about ⅓ of the cheddar and gouda cheeses and ⅓ of the pimientos - to the food processor and blend until smooth and slightly whipped. Then, add the reserved cheese and pimientos and pulse a few times until incorporated. This yields a slightly whipped mixture that still has texture. It's just delicious!
- Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
This gouda pimento cheese is wonderful spread on crackers, bagel chips, or pretzels. Serve with fresh veggies or use as a filling for mini peppers or celery boats.
This smoked pimento cheese is very versatile and adds deliciousness to many other recipes. Make pimento grilled cheese sandwiches or spread on tortillas for roll-ups. Use as a topping on burgers or grilled chicken. Add to pasta or use as a filling for deviled eggs.
For a twist on spicy pimento cheese, swap out the cayenne pepper and add diced jalapeno or Sriracha. Add chopped bacon or pickles or stir in crab meat for an elegant twist. Swap out the smoked gouda for Monterey Jack. Use your imagination!
Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese
- 8 ounces sharp white cheddar shredded
- 8 ounces smoked gouda cheese shredded
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened at room temperature
- 6 tbsp mayonnaise
- 4 ounces pimientos drained and diced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- smoked salt or kosher or sea salt, to taste
- To the bowl of a food processor, add the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, ⅔ of the cheddar and Gouda cheeses, ⅔ of the pimientos, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.
- Process until smooth and well combined. Add the reserved cheeses and pimientos and pulse a few times until combined but slightly chunky. Taste and season with salt as needed.
- Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- This recipe yields approx. 3 cups.