Are you struggling with your weight?
It has been a struggle both my husband and I have faced since we got married. When you get married, you tend to get a little busy and forget about taking care of yourself.
We tried a low-carb diet a few years ago under the recommendation of his cardiologist. It brought great success, but again, life happened and threw us off the bandwagon.
This time we’re determined to stay the course, but I find myself searching for delicious, high protein snacks.
One snack I’ve made for years which is high in fat and low in carbs is homemade pimento cheese. It goes great with celery for a low-carb and delicious snack.
Here’s how I make mine:
- 16oz bag of sharp shredded cheese
- 2 boxes of Neufchâtel cheese
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 1 small diced onion
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 small jar of diced pimentos
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Smoosh the Cheese
Pull out a large bowl and dump the boxes of Neufchâtel cheese into it. I like to use a potato masher to smooth out the cheese adequately.
This will be the base of the pimento cheese, so it’s important to get the cheese really creamy. When it has reached a creamy consistency, you can put the potato masher down and smile.
If you prefer a more familiar cheese or even a lower-fat option, you can use cream cheese in place of Neufchâtel.
I’ve made it both ways, and they both have plenty of flavors to make delicious pimento cheese. It’s up to you and what you have on hand. You could also use a mixture of each even.
2. Sprinkle, Sprinkle
Cheese is a big part of this recipe, which is why it requires more than one kind. You can use any variety of shredded cheese, but I prefer sharp cheddar.
It adds a very distinct and cheesy flavor. In my opinion, sharp cheddar helps to set this recipe apart from any other.
Sprinkle the bag of cheddar over the mixture of creamy cheese. Use a wooden spoon to incorporate the shredded cheese into the smooth base gently.
Make sure there aren’t any clumps of shredded cheese remaining before you move on.
3. Add Extra Flavor
My husband can’t eat anything without mayo. He loves it! He also likes garlic and onion too. If a savory recipe doesn’t contain these items, he’s disappointed.
Therefore, these items have to be added to our homemade pimento cheese. I use garlic powder because it’s rare I don’t have it on hand.
If you have fresh garlic, be sure to mince it before adding it to the cheese mixture. Otherwise, use garlic powder, and pour it over the cheese.
Next, chop a small onion. I put mine in the food processor because I like to make sure I don’t have any larger chunks of onion in my pimento cheese.
If chunks don’t bother you, the onion can be roughly chopped and dumped on top of the cheese mixture.
Add the cup of mayonnaise to the top of the cheese mixture along with salt and pepper to taste. Stir all of the ingredients into the cheese using a wooden spoon.
4. Don’t Forget the Pimentos
Pimento cheese wouldn’t be pimento cheese without pimentos! After all the other ingredients have been worked into the cheese base, it’s time to add the pimentos to the mix.
Be sure you open the jar and drain them because you don’t want the added liquid in your cheese mixture.
Now you can dump them into the cheese mixture. Again, use a wooden spoon to incorporate the pimentos into the cheese mixture.
When your cheese looks as though it has developed red freckles, you know you’ve done a thorough job mixing.
5. Cover and Chill
After all of the ingredients have been mixed, cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for approximately 30 minutes.
The cheese will have a chance to cool down and thicken in the process. If you don’t care if your pimento cheese has a thicker consistency, it’s okay to eat immediately.
Either way, when you’re finished indulging in the pimento cheese (whether you wait or not) be sure to store it in the refrigerator with a piece of plastic wrap covering the top.
The homemade pimento cheese should be good for approximately five days.
6. How to Use
Now you know how to make delicious homemade pimento cheese but are you sure how to use it? Well, let me share a few ideas.
When I was a little girl, I didn’t like pimento cheese. I realized later, it was because of two missteps. One was I’m not a fan of store-bought pimento cheese. The second is I didn't like the way my family ate it.
I’ve since learned how to make my own and use it in a multitude of ways I enjoy it.
- First, I like to use pimento cheese as a topping for crackers. When I’m not following a low-carb diet, crackers make an easy and cheap snack. However, I prefer to use pimento cheese on vegetable flavored crackers. It’s loaded with flavor!
- Second, I like to use pimento cheese as the cheese of a grilled cheese sandwich. It makes for a delicious alternative to the traditional grilled cheese.
- Third, pimento cheese makes a delicious center to a deviled egg. Instead of using the centers of the egg to make a mixture, put a spoonful of pimento cheese in the center of the hard-boiled egg for a high-protein snack.
- Fourth, pimento cheese makes a delicious topping to celery. I eat a great deal of celery because it’s high in vitamins and low in calories. Instead of topping celery with peanut butter, when I need a change, I cover the top of celery in pimento cheese. It tastes wonderful!
- Next, I like to use pimento cheese as a veggie dip. If you’re tired of dipping your veggies in ranch dip or hummus, start dipping them in pimento cheese.
- Finally, I enjoy using pimento cheese in my lasagna. I substitute cottage cheese in the place of ricotta and add homemade pimento cheese to the mixture as well before topping with shredded cheese. It gives the lasagna a delicious but different flavor most people around me enjoy.
You now know how to make a basic homemade pimento cheese recipe and have multiple ideas on how to use it.
Who knows? Homemade pimento cheese could even be used to make delicious and basic picnic sandwiches. This would be an easy dish to prepare quickly for a last-minute picnic lunch idea.
I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I have over the years. Whether you need high-protein snack ideas or are just looking for a homemade version to a familiar favorite, this recipe should meet the need.