Pimento Cheese Needs To Be The Star Of Your Next Cookout

If you save pimento cheese for sliced white bread sandwiches and club crackers, you're missing out on the versatility of this southern staple spread. The beloved, savory-sweet mixture of sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and tangy pimento peppers has taken picnics and tailgates by storm as a convenient and portable way to jazz up the menu. We've already recommended it for your grilled cheese sandwiches – pimento cheese will also make your other grilled creations shine with added flavor and melty texture.

Rather than a mundane slice of cheddar on a burger, subbing pimento cheese adds the creaminess of mayo and a bite of peppers to enhance beef and plant-based patties alike. How about a split grilled hot dog stuffed with melty pimento cheese or a tender chicken breast slathered with the spread right off the grill? Don't forget the veggies, either. Grilled zucchini, asparagus, and thick slices of onion straight off the grill could all benefit from a dollop of pimento cheese. The rich cheesy mixture enhances almost every food it meets.

A spread that's like a sauce, too

Pimento cheese works so well with grilled foods because of its easy spreadability, and its ability to melt into a sauce-like texture. Full of the umami-pickled goodness of pimentos, the cheesy mixture is much more than a side condiment like ketchup and mustard.

Making pimento cheese is not difficult, and you can add ingredients to match your grill menu, too. Adding bacon to the mix for a burger creates a pre-made spread for tasty bacon-cheeseburgers with less stress at the grill. Use a bit of smoked paprika in pimento cheese to fill grilled bacon-wrapped jalapeños, or add preserved lemon to the spread and stuff it in grilled artichokes. Pimento cheese can also be the highlight of your grill side dishes — it makes a fantastic mac and cheese addition, or stir it into classic potato salad for extra flavor and color. Don't leave pimento cheese in the fridge when you head to the grill next, you never know when inspiration will strike!