Pimento Cheese Soufflé

October  4, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth Food Stylist: Ericka Martins
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Here I French-ify an American classic, by transforming perky pimento cheese into a fluffy soufflé. A cheese soufflé is just a thick cheesy base, lightened and leavened with whipped egg whites. It starts with a béchamel, a milk sauce thickened with flour and butter. Then we load it up with cheddar, finely chopped pimentos, chives, and paprika. Keep your mix-ins small so they don’t interfere with how this soufflé rises. Serve this with crackers or toasted white bread and a crisp salad. Or try my French Onion Soup-fflé! And find all of my tips and tricks right here, so you can take soufflés off-script. —Sohla El-Waylly

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Pimento Cheese Soufflé
  • Pan:
  • 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
  • ½ ounces coarsely grated sharp cheddar (about ¼ cup)
  • Soufflé:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces mild cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1 packed cup)
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar, coarsely grated (about ½ packed cup)
  • 1/4 cup drained and finely chopped pimentos
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Prep the pan: Using your hands, grease a 1½-quart soufflé dish or 4 large oven-safe mugs with the mayonnaise. Sprinkle the inside with the cheddar and set aside.
  3. For the soufflé: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring continuously until the mixture is foamy, light blonde, and just beginning to smell toasty, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the milk a splash at a time, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, whisking frequently, until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheeses, pimentos, chives, salt, and smoked paprika. Mix well until everything is incorporated, and the cheese has fully melted. Add the yolks and stir vigorously with a rubber spatula until the yolks are fully incorporated and no streaks remain. Set aside to cool slightly.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. The egg whites should look foamy, airy, and opaque. When you lift the whisk, a peak should curl back onto itself.
  7. Stir the cheese batter, then add the egg whites in three parts, gently folding the whites into the batter until well blended (a few streaks of white are okay, avoid overmixing) before adding the next addition. Spoon the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish or divide between the mugs.
  8. Set the soufflé dish or mugs on a sheet pan and place in the oven. After 5 minutes, turn down the oven to 400°F, and keep baking until the souffle is risen, golden, and set with a slight wiggle in the center, another 15 to 18 minutes (or 12 to 15 minutes for the mugs). Serve at once.

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Sohla El-Waylly is a Food52 Resident, sharing new riffable recipes every month that'll help you get creative in the kitchen. Watch her cook on YouTube in her new series, Off-Script With Sohla. Before she started developing fun recipes for home cooks, she worked as a chef in N.Y.C. and L.A., briefly owning a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow chef, Ham El-Waylly. She lives in the East Village with Ham, their two dogs, and cat. Find out what else she's up to on Instagram @sohlae

1 Review

Darian September 17, 2021
This is, exactly as promised, pimiento cheese in souffle form. Being big fans of pimiento cheese and souffles, we definitely enjoyed these. I used pretty small ramekins (8 total), so my cooking time was an additional 10 minutes after the first 5 at 425 degrees. I served with a side salad because I was thinking more "souffle" and less "pimiento cheese" - next time I'm thinking this would be great alongside buttermilk biscuits, and okra or fried green tomatoes for a meatless meal, or maybe some ham. We will try it again!