Homemade pimento cheese is so easy to whip together, it makes enjoying an ooey, gooey grilled pimento cheese sandwich a breeze. Lunch or dinner time, when the craving hits- a good grilled cheese always hits the spot. Skip the traditional sliced cheese and spring for a savory pimento cheese filling instead to really take your grilled cheese to the next level.
While most Southern dishes have long since jumped the Mason-Dixon line and can easily be found on menus and store shelves from New York to L.A., pimento cheese is one that’s still firmly stuck in the South.
I blame the nasty cheap-store bought versions containing slimy orange goo occasionally peppered with flakes of things that vaguely resemble pimentos.
To anyone else who grew up with Pimento cheese… move away from the soulless, processed stuff sold in supermarkets.
Come home to the wonderful, chunky and flavorful hand-made version.
If you read this blog on the regular, you have probably gathered by now that I like cheese.
And if you’re especially perceptive, you know that I like melted cheese.
It’s like a hidden message I have buried deep within the posts.
Subtlety is my forte.
This pimento cheese sandwich is a cheese-lovers dream.
In fact, it’s so mind-blowingly simple — so forehead-slappingly perfect — that I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it before: grilled pimento cheese sandwich.
Look at all that melty, cheesy goodness oozing out.
My sandwich runneth over.
- cream cheese – use your favorite kind- regular, fat free, or Neufchatel- just make sure it’s softened to room temperature
- mayonnaise – another case of real mayonnaise and NOT miracle whip
- seasonings – dried grated (minced) onion, garlic powder, salt & pepper, and cayenne pepper (optional)
- cheeses – this recipe uses a three cheese blend, a mix of shredded cheddar, shredded pepper jack, and shredded Montery jack
- pimentos – you’ll need a 4oz jar of pimentos, drained of juice and then muddled to smash the peppers
- bread – due to the cheesy nature of this grilled cheese you need a thick, hearty bread that can hold up to the filling. We use sourdough, Texas toast, or sliced Italian bread would also work well
- butter – softened to room temperature, so that it doesn’t tear the bread when spreading
How To Make
Making this grilled pimento cheese sandwich isn’t hard at all, especially when you consider we’re whipping together pimento cheese from scratch.
It does have two distinct parts though, making the cheese filling mixture and assembling the sandwich for cooking.
We’ll break it down accordingly.
The Pimento Cheese Mixture
To make the pimento cheese, you’re going to need to get out your food processor and fit the bowl with the knife blade attachment.
Then add to it the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and seasonings.
Process the ingredients just until the mixture’s smooth.
Add the cheeses and the drained and smashed pimento peppers.
This time you want to process the mixture carefully. You don’t want it to be completely smooth and a uniform texture, chunky is good this time.
To do this, I recommend using the pulse button instead of just the ‘on’ switch.
Pulse the mixture, as needed, until everything’s combined but not broken down.
Transfer the pimento cheese to a mixing bowl, and stir (if needed) to combine any remaining bits.
Cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap, and then refrigerate it for at least three hours.
It can be refrigerated overnight if you’re looking to prep this ahead of time for lunch the next day.
Making The Sandwich
Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat.
Be careful not to let it get too hot, or your sandwich will burn on the outsides before the cheesy filling has enough time to melt properly.
Butter the designated ‘outer’ sides of two slices of bread.
Add a heaping helping of the chilled pimento cheese mixture to the inside of one of the butter slices. Spread it out evenly over the bread.
Carefully transfer this piece of bread to the hot skillet, or griddle, making sure to place it buttered side down.
Cover the dish with a lid, and cook for 1-2 minutes- until the cheese has begun to melt and the bread is a gorgeous golden brown.
Remove the lid, and cover the half of cooked sandwich with the other slice of prepared bread, buttered side up.
Using a sturdy spatula, or two, hold the sandwich together and gently flip it over.
Let the sandwich continue cooking until this side is also a beautifully toasted golden brown.
Transfer the sandwich to a plate, or waiting cutting board. Let it rest for 2 minutes, just long enough for the cheese to set up so it doesn’t all spill out when slicing in half.
Repeat until all the sandwiches are done cooking.
You can cook more than one sandwich at a time, just be careful not to overcrowd the pan.
Serving & Storing Any Extras
Be sure to serve these grilled pimento cheese sandwiches warm, and freshly cooked.
As they sit they will lose their lightly toasted, crunchy exterior and turn soggy instead.
Fresh is best for these sandwiches.
That said, if you have leftover pimento cheese (or only want to make one sandwich at a time, as needed) store the prepared pimento cheese mixture in a sealed tupper ware dish for up to a week.
When ready to use, just follow the directions again as written.
Other Grilled Cheese Recipes You May Also Enjoy
- White Pizza Grilled Cheese
- Caprese Grilled Cheese
- Roast Beef & Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese
- Tex Mex Grilled Cheese
- Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese
If you’ve tried this GRILLED PIMENTO CHEESE SANDWICH, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich
- 1/4 cup cream cheese at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon grated onion
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch salt
- Pinch fresh ground pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper optional
- 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 4 oz jar chopped pimentos drained & smashed
- Thick slices of hearty white bread we recommend sour dough
- Butter softened for easy spreading
- In a food processor, using the knife-blade attachment, process cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion, garlic powder, salt, and peppers until fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
- Add in the other cheeses and pimentos and combine without over-processing. This time chunky is good. Transfer pimento cheese to a bowl and stir if needed to combine ingredients thoroughly. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
- Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat. Be careful not to let it get too hot or it will burn the butter and bread before it even melts the cheeses.
- Butter one side of two bread slices. Spread a thick layer of pimento cheese on the un-buttered side of a bread slice.
- Place the pimento cheese covered bread slice butter side down in the skillet/griddle. Cover the sandwich with a lid and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until pleasantly browned and cheese has begun to melt.
- Remove lid and top sandwich with the other slice butter side up. Cook until bottom is lightly browned and toasted.
- Flip sandwich over and cook until the other side is also lightly browned and toasted.
- Transfer sandwich to a plate and allow it to cool slightly before slicing it in half.Repeat with the remaining bread and pimento cheese or grill 2-4 sandwiches at a time, depending on size of skillet. Be careful not over-crowd the skillet.
- Refrigerate any extra pimento cheese for up to one week
recipe originally posted June 20, 2014