5 Ingredients or Fewer

Parker & Otis' Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)

October  4, 2022
7 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 35 minutes
  • Serves 12 as dip or 6 as sandwiches
Author Notes

Pimento cheese is, at its core, nothing but tufts of unmelted cheese, a cushion of mayonnaise, and chopped pimentos. Stir together a batch to keep it in the fridge all week -- to stuff in brown-bag sandwiches, on your favorite crackers, in the crook of a celery stick. Parker & Otis in Durham, NC also uses it to make a jaw-dropping upgrade to a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato. Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.

Sandwich fan? Tune into our podcast, The Sandwich Universe, where co-hosts and longtime BFFs Molly Baz and Declan Bond debate and cook up iconic sandwiches every ‘wich way.Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • Pimiento Cheese Dip
  • 2 cups sharp yellow cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup drained pimentos or roasted red peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • To serve: crackers, baguette slices, assorted raw vegetables
  • Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato
  • Pimento Cheese Dip (above)
  • 12 slices sourdough bread
  • 12 slices bacon, cooked till crisp
  • 1 large, ripe tomato, sliced
  1. Pimiento Cheese Dip
  2. Mix ingredients in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill. Transfer dip to serving bowl. Surround with crackers, baguette slices, and vegetables. Alternately, make sandwiches (below).
  1. Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pimento cheese on 6 of the slices of sourdough. Top the cheese for each sandwich with 2 slices of bacon, 1 slice of tomato, then a second slice of bread. Toast each sandwich in a large skillet over low heat till golden brown on both sides, flipping as needed.
  3. Transfer sandwiches to a baking sheet in the oven to finish warming through and melt the cheese. Serve hot.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Brooks
    Karen Brooks
  • Dr.Steve
  • I_Fortuna
  • Julia R Altizer
    Julia R Altizer
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

22 Reviews

Karen B. August 23, 2022
Great alone as a dip. Superb in the sandwich! I sometimes use piquillo peppers as a zesty variation.
[email protected] December 23, 2018
The pimento cheese recipe is a crowd pleaser - young, old, picky eaters, foodies and regular joes. Serve it with crackers, carrots, toasts or whatever you have on hand.
Dr.Steve February 10, 2017
I make my pimento cheese the same way but I add some grated vidalia onion and sweet pickle relish, in addition to not draining the pimentos. Perfection every time.
JIM M. February 2, 2017
It's the same as the pimento cheese my mother made in Hickory, NC, and, maybe even better with the addition of celery salt. Re the texture, room temperature makes it creamy.
anon May 4, 2016
How do you get the creamy texture? I tried mixing it with my hand mixer and it sort of worked but isn't quite right. I put it to sit in the fridge for now but am curious how this was achieved.
Janet M. May 28, 2019
You can chop the cheese fine in your food processor, but this recipe is totally traditional, and, to my taste, perfect. Another person posted using part ricotta cheese, and that would give a more creamy texture, too. I like that this recipe has a generous amount of pimento--I like to use roasted red peppers, myself, and, quite often, some roasted green chilis. In addition to using it just for snacking, or this incredible sandwich, it makes a truly awesome cheese burger, particularly with bacon and a generous slice of fried green tomato!
Winifred R. June 26, 2019
Oh, and I have anaheims growing in the garden that would do nicely later in the season. That sounds terrific. Thanks for the idea.
Deborah J. April 14, 2021
I chop my cheese in my food processor, not to finely because you don't want cheese dough, and chop the peppers by hand. I mix the cheese with the mayonnaise and other seasonings. Then I add the pimentos in and fold them into the cheese mixture to prevent them from breaking down too much.
Ruthan January 12, 2016
Brittney O. August 1, 2015
Anything referencing Parker & Otis is sure to be delicious !
I_Fortuna July 22, 2015
Great recipe and one could also use cream cheese instead of mayo.
Julia R. July 22, 2015
To cut down on the mayonnaise I don't drain my pimentos. Also good with chopped jalapeno added to the mix or a dash of cayenne pepper. I have used leftover cheeses sometimes to make this. Good if you substitute ricotta cheese for part of the grated cheeses you are using too.
Brenda N. May 24, 2015
Wow, this was yummy. I roasted a couple of red peppers, then added all the rest of the ingredients. Excellent, easy and to top it off, delicious!
Randi May 3, 2015
I brought this to a Kentucky Derby party yesterday and received many compliments, including "sublime."
kjaydarling January 28, 2015
Simply delicious & so easy to prepare. I seriously enjoyed the balanced creamy flavor vs. all the sodium from packaged pimento spread. I paired with store bought organic chunky tomato soup for me & portobello mushroom & madeira bisque for my mom.
robin L. January 12, 2015
What's the cute little jar? (It doesn't look like one of Provision 52's Weck jars.)
Kristen M. January 12, 2015
Actually it is! The tulip jar -- super versatile: https://food52.com/provisions/products/107-weck-tulip-jar-set-of-6
Maddie M. January 9, 2015
I went a little crazy with this recipe and added a fair splash of Sriracha. Thought it could use a little extra depth. It was great!
KDH9966 June 16, 2015
Oh yum I love Sriracha..totally going to add that when I make this next week.
arcane54 April 27, 2014
Would it be heresy to whiz this to smoothness in the food processor? The smooth pimento cheese takes me back to my childhood...
Kristen M. April 28, 2014
I haven't tried it but I definitely don't think it would be heresy -- if you give it a try, let us know how it compares!
LeeLeeBee November 21, 2013
The celery salt makes the recipe! I added a couple of dashes of hot sauce, as well. I made the grilled pimento cheese (with bacon and tomato on sourdough) and served with Barbara Lynch's Spicy Tomato Soup. Delicious!