Zingerman’s Dishes with Pimento Cheese

Plus Our Roadhouse Recipe to Make a Batch at Home

Pimento cheese is a beloved Southern staple that’s been bringin’ folks together for generations. But although well known down South, it was relatively unknown in our neck of the woods. Zingerman’s co-founder Ari Weinzweig was first introduced to it at Southern Foodways Alliance symposium in Oxford, Mississippi, and he introduced it to the Roadhouse shortly thereafter. Soon enough, Zingerman’s Creamery started making the same recipe, too, so it could be distributed to shops and restaurants and you can find pimento cheese featured in recipes across the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB). In fact, pimento cheese has gained such a devoted following in the community that we’ve dubbed ourselves as being the Pimento Cheese Capital of the Midwest (and made a T-shirt to memorialize it, as Zingerman’s does). Join this classic spread’s legions of fans and mix up a batch at home or enjoy it in dishes ZCoB-wide, including a bushel of satisfying American favorites here at the Roadhouse!

What is Pimento Cheese?

For those uninitiated to this culinary sensation, picture this: sharp cheddar cheese mingling with creamy mayo, diced roasted red peppers, and just the right touch of spice in a cool, creamy spread. It’s like a flavorful hug for your tastebuds that’s perfect for picnicking, tailgating, satisfying snacking, and so much more. Often served with celery, it’s also great for schmearing on crackers, pairing with a Zingerman’s Bakehouse soft pretzel, snuggling between slices of bread for an out-of-this-world grilled cheese, and adding some pizzazz to a burger. 

Zingerman’s Pimento Cheese Recipe

If you’re hankerin’ to treat yourself to a taste whenever the mood strikes, you’re in luck, we’re sharing our recipe! As for the serving size, our official response is that this recipe serves up to eight as an appetizer …although we’ve heard that it’s entirely possible to consume this entire recipe in a single setting. And as for how to enjoy it, many guests and Roadhouse staffers (“Roadies” as we refer to each other) alike have been overheard saying: “It’s good on pretty much everything.” 

  • 1/2 pound sharp cheddar, coarsely grated (we use Cabot Creamery’s Aged White cheddar from Vermont)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (we use Hellman’s)
  • 1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground Tellicherry black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch coarse sea salt
  1. Fold all the ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. 
  2. Eat and repeat as regularly as you like. We’ve yet to have leftovers, but should the situation arise, extra pimento cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Zingerman’s Bakehouse shared a recipe for Bacon Pimento Cheese in their cookbook Celebrate Every Day (flip to page 133). Or, if DIY isn’t your style, we’ll happily package up a quarter pint of our pimento cheese to go at the Roadhouse, just ask! You can also procure a tub of the Creamery’s pimento cheese (their most popular product!) from the Cream Top Shop, Deli, Bakeshop, or Mail Order.

Recipes with Pimento Cheese Around the ZCoB

If you need further proof that pimento cheese is good on pretty much everything, take a gander at the wide variety of ways pimento cheese is spotlighted at the Roadhouse and our fellow Zingerman’s businesses.

Roadhouse

Ari’s Pimento Cheese 

This appetizer pairs our classic creamy spread with crisp celery “claws” for scooping, but you can also ask for housemade bagel chips. Take a gander at our Catering Game Day Menu and you’ll find it there too: a Pimento Cheese Football serves 8 to 10 (if you feel like sharing, that is) and pimento cheese appears on the Breakfast spread along with Zingerman’s Bakehouse bagels, Zingerman’s Creamery cream cheese, and a smoked salmon platter with all the fixins. 

Pimento Cheese & Bacon Macaroni 

All-out Southern comfort food! This mac and cheese is made with Mancini penne pasta, Nueske’s applewood-smoked bacon, our béchamel sauce, and pimento cheese. (Want it vegetarian? Remove the bacon!)

Roadshow Pimento Cucumber sandwich

Swing by the Roadshow to enjoy Ari’s pimento cheese and sliced cucumbers on Bakehouse sourdough bread. ​​(Psst: Don’t forget to add a bag of Zingerman’s potato chips and a can of pop!) 

Staff recommendations as an add-on

Pimento cheese is an optional add-on to our Breadventure appetizer, a customizable platter laden with Bakehouse bread and Vermont Creamery cultured butter. You’ll occasionally see our pimento cheese pop up on specials too, like the Pimento Cheese & Bacon Burger. You don’t need to wait for that to return as a special though, we’re always happy to add our pimento cheese and slices of bacon to our burgers. Actually, you can ask us to add pimento cheese to any dish you please! Ari likes to add a spoonful to grits or mashed potatoes. Server Nancy Leat likes to enjoy it at breakfast—on our Zingerman’s Famous Corned Beef Hash or in an omelette. 

Coffee Company

Caviar of the South

This toast features Zingerman’s Creamery pimento cheese, Épices de Cru Tellicherry pepper from the mountains of Kerala, and extra virgin olive oil from California Olive Ranch, lavishly spread on Roadhouse bread from Zingerman’s Bakehouse.

You’ll also find pimento cheese on Toast Bar specials, like Glazed and Confused, which features toasted Farm bread from the Bakehouse, pimento cheese, chicken salad from Zingerman’s Deli, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. 

Deli

Pimento Cheese Parti

You’ll find this appetizer on Zingerman’s Catering & Events menu, where pimento cheese is paired with sliced cocktail-sized pumpernickel bread and celery sticks and sized for groups from 10 to 30!

Mail Order

Zingerman’s Roadhouse Pimento Macaroni & Cheese Meal Kit

That’s right, thanks to Mail Order, you can make our Pimento Mac at home with this meal kit or ship it to a fellow mac and cheese lover across the country. The kit comes with Rustichella’s slow-dried Italian penne, Zingerman’s Nor’Easter Cabot Cheddar cheese, Zingerman’s Creamery Pimento Cheese, and professional-grade instructions on how to prepare the meal. You’ll add in a bit of a few common ingredients most folks have at home—like butter, an onion, milk, and mustard—to complete the recipe. There’s enough included to serve four for dinner easily.

So there you have it, folks! Pimento cheese is as versatile as it is delicious. So whether you’re savoring it in a dish here at the Roadhouse, cookin’ it up in your kitchen with our recipe, or even sendin’ it across a state or two, one thing’s for sure: this creamy concoction is bound to bring a smile to your face and a whole lot of flavor to your table. So gather ’round, grab a spoonful or two, and let the magic of pimento cheese brighten up your day—it’s a Midwest-made taste of the South you won’t soon forget!