Hi there! I’m Jessica from JessicaNWood.com and I’m delighted to be stopping in here at Savory Style to share a recipe with you every so often!
I can’t think of a better way to kick off our new friendship than with cheese and crackers and bacon, a few cold drinks, and a story about how this deliciously savory Bacon Pimento Cheese came to be.
Two months ago my husband and I traveled to the Philippines to meet and bring home our new son! The months leading up to traveling were filled with anticipation as we got closer and closer to our trip and not-so-patient waiting for each important final step to be checked off, every little delay causing my anxiety levels to skyrocket.
To help distract me and provide a little relief from obsessively checking my email, my brother began meeting me in town for regular happy hour dates. Each week, we would chat and laugh over cold NC beers and a platter of bacon pimento cheese from a local vendor and it was my saving grace!
So, now that our little one is home (and sitting on my lap as I type this), I wanted to recreate that same fun happy hour experience with my brother here at home. No more happy hour dates out at wine bars for me for a while!
Instead, I invited him over last week for some playtime with his new nephew fueled by a heaping platter of bacon pimento cheese and crackers.
Pimento cheese is a staple here in the South and just about every grandmother I know always has a tub in her refrigerator ready for sandwiches or a quick snack. We love it here in North Carolina and it’s just begging to be paired with another of our favorites: pork.
Salty, smoky, savory bacon elevates classic pimento cheese and makes it just fancy enough for Happy Hour with a cold beer or glass of white wine and a spread of crackers and maybe a little fresh fruit if you have it on hand.
For this recipe I used two types of cheddar (extra sharp and white) and an asiago. In the past I’ve used asiago with rosemary, but I’ve had trouble finding it lately. You can really use whatever you’ve got on hand that has a similar texture and flavor profile. Experimenting makes being in the kitchen so much more fun!
I love recipes like this that use up some of those last little bits of things I have lying around – random cheeses in my cheese drawer, various packets of bacon in my freezer, and multiple opened boxes of crackers in my pantry.
To make the bacon pimento cheese, we start by cooking bacon and shredding the cheeses. Both go into a food processor, reserving half of the bacon, and are pulsed a few times.
Then we add in mayonnaise (Duke’s is the only option here in the South) and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and process until we have a smooth consistency that we can spread on a cracker. Processing the cheese and crumbled bacon with the mayo ensures we have that delicious bacon flavor in every single bite.
Once it’s processed, remove the pimento cheese from the food processor to a mixing bowl and fold in the the diced pimentos and reserved bacon. At this point, you’ll want to give it a taste for seasoning. Depending on the saltiness of your bacon and cheese, you may or may not want to add more salt. Make it how you like it!
The food processor makes quick work of grating cheese and chopping the bacon into the fine bits we want for this recipe, but it’s not necessary! Your block grater, a sharp knife, a wooden spoon, and a little elbow grease will work just fine.
This recipe is perfect for your next backyard gathering or happy hour, but would also be ideal to make and pack for your next weekend getaway. We took it with us to the beach this weekend and it was the perfect snack after a long day on the beach.
I hope you enjoy and I can’t wait to meet back here soon!
- 8 slices of bacon
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 oz white cheddar cheese
- 4 oz asiago cheese
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 4 oz diced pimentos, drained
- Crackers for serving
- Start by cooking and crumbling your bacon and shredding the cheese. The grater attachment on your food processor makes quick work of shredding cheese, but you can also use your block grater.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the shredded cheese and half of the crumbled bacon. Pulse a few times to combine then add the mayonnaise, salt, and pepper (see notes). Process until the mixture is beginning to form a smooth spread and the bacon and cheese are finely processed.
- Remove spread to bowl and fold in drained pimentos and the remaining crumbled bacon. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with your favorite crackers and enjoy!
The amount of salt you will need is going to depend on the saltiness of your cheese and bacon, so add salt and pepper to taste. I usually add a healthy pinch of both and go from there.
This recipe makes a lot of pimento cheese and any leftovers will keep in your fridge for 3-4 days after you make it.
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