Smoked Gouda Pimento Chicken Salad Toast Bites Recipe

Classic pimento cheese, in all its many variations, has long been a favorite in the South where creative cooks take the basics of cream cheese, mayonnaise, shredded cheddar, and pimentos and elevate them with additions such as mustard, pickles, and bacon bits. Developer Kara Barrett tells us, "Pimento spread is a favorite of mine and comes together quickly. If you're looking for a fun, festive summer appetizer this one fits the bill nicely." Here she gives it her own spin by stirring in some smoked paprika and gouda cheese and adding chopped chicken, which "adds an extra dimension of smoky flavor and elevates this above a standard pimento spread." 

In fact, one could even consider this dish to be a pimento cheese-chicken salad mashup, making it more satisfying and versatile than the original. These elegant toasts come together in half an hour and make a perfect appetizer, picnic offering, or even a light meal along with soup or salad, but this savory, protein-packed spread can be put to many other uses as well.

Gather the ingredients for these smoked gouda pimento chicken salad toast bites

To make the pimento cheese chicken salad, you'll be using smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, pimentos, cooked chicken, mayonnaise, whipped cream cheese, salt, lemon juice, and smoked paprika. For the sourdough bites, you won't need anything more than a few slices of the eponymous bread.

Step 1: Add the ingredients to a bowl

Add the smoked gouda, cheddar, pimentos, chicken, mayonnaise, cream cheese, and salt, to a medium bowl.

Step 2: Mix the ingredients

Mix to combine all the ingredients.

Step 3: Squeeze in the lemon juice

Add the juice of half a lemon.

Step 4: Stir in the paprika

Add paprika and taste for seasoning. Add more lemon or pimento if desired.

Step 5: Cut the bread

Using a 1 ¾-inch biscuit or cookie cutter, cut each slice of bread into 1 ½ inch bites.

Step 6: Heat up the oven

Set the oven to broil.

Step 7: Toast the bread

Place the sourdough toast bites on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast the bites on both sides.

Step 8: Add the spread to a piping bag

Add pimento mix into a prepared piping bag with a large tip.

Step 9: Pipe the spread onto the bread

Once the sourdough toast bites have cooled completely, pipe or spoon a dollop onto each toast bite.

Step 10: Garnish the appetizers as desired

Garnish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and cut chives and serve.

Smoked Gouda Pimento Chicken Salad Toast Bites Recipe
No Ratings
Classic pimento spread is given added dimension and heartiness by the addition of smoked gouda and chopped chicken, for a fun and easy summer appetizer.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
12
Pieces
pimento cheese on bread circles
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • ½ cup smoked Gouda, shredded
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pimento, or to taste
  • ½ cup cooked chicken, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 cup whipped cream cheese
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, more for garnish
  • 4 large slices of sourdough
Optional Ingredients
  • Fresh chives for garnish
Directions
  1. Add the smoked gouda, cheddar, pimentos, chicken, mayonnaise, cream cheese, and salt, to a medium bowl.
  2. Mix to combine all the ingredients.
  3. Add the juice of half a lemon.
  4. Add paprika and taste for seasoning. Add more lemon or pimento if desired.
  5. Using a 1 ¾-inch biscuit or cookie cutter, cut each slice of bread into 1 ½ inch bites.
  6. Set the oven to broil.
  7. Place the sourdough toast bites on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast the bites on both sides.
  8. Add pimento mix into a prepared piping bag with a large tip.
  9. Once the sourdough toast bites have cooled completely, pipe or spoon a dollop onto each toast bite.
  10. Garnish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and cut chives and serve.
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How can I customize this pimento spread?

One way that you can customize this pimento cheese spread is by swapping out the chicken for a different kind of protein. Barrett suggests, "Consider substituting smoked salmon to bring out more smokey flavor, but be sure to add more lemon to balance the flavor." Canned crab, tiny salad shrimp, or cooked crumbled bacon could also be used as chicken substitutes, but Barrett also offers, "You can omit the chicken altogether and just use this as a cheese spread."

Speaking of the cheese, you could change things up here, too. Cheddar cheese is typical of pimento cheese and adds some much-needed sharpness, but for less of a smoky flavor, the smoked gouda in this recipe could be replaced with regular gouda or edam. Barrett also suggests swapping it for gruyere, while pepper jack would add a little southwestern spice. You can even give the spread a bit more heat by adding chipotle powder or chopped chipotle in adobo or by stirring in some hot sauce. Barrett's preference is for something only mildly incendiary like sriracha, but even then, she cautions, "Add it in increments so you don't overdo it."

What are some other ways to use/serve the pimento spread?

For this recipe, Barrett uses the pimento cheese-chicken spread on bite-sized pieces of sourdough toast, although if you're not a sourdough fan, another sturdy type of bread such as French or Italian would work. If you don't feel like fiddling with a biscuit cutter, you could cut the toast into squares or rectangles. You could also do as they do at the Masters Tournament and make a pimento cheese sandwich on sliced white bread (the supermarket kind is fine for this purpose). If you want to be extra-fancy, cut the crusts off and slice up the bread to make finger or tea sandwiches or cook it to make pimento grilled cheese.

If you want to go beyond bread, Barrett says, "This spread is versatile and makes a great option as a spread for crackers or crusty bread. Even consider stuffing mushrooms with it." You could also fill a hollowed-out tomato with the spread to make a cold lunch plate or heat it with some rice to make stuffed peppers. It can even be used to top burgers, loaded fries, or baked potatoes. As Barrett notes, "It's really a matter of how creative you want to be."