Hot summer days call for a sandwich lunch and a tall glass of lemonade. Cucumber sandwiches, tomato, turkey clubs, tuna or egg salad…any sandwich your heart desires. I could eat a sandwich every day from June through August.
Another classic summertime sandwich: pimiento cheese. You can find the orangey cheese spread in multiple places at the grocery store. The grocery store I go to sells tubs of it near the deli meat and Claussen dill pickles, in the specialty cheese section, and near the end of the dairy aisle with the cream cheese.
I grew up eating pimiento cheese sandwiches at my grandma’s house and developed a taste for them. I’ll eat just about any pimiento (or palmetto!) cheese: the thick sweet stuff, the tangy version, the chunky-almost-unspreadable types, and the more liquidy counterparts. My grocery store also sells specialty pimiento cheese with smoked gouda and red onion. I’ve even made my own pimiento cheese once or twice (it’s easy!) with much success.
For those of you who did not grow up in the South, and have no clue what I’m talking about, here’s a brief rundown of the Southern staple:
“In the cuisine of the Southern United States, pimiento cheese is a spread or relish made with cheese, mayonnaise, and pimientos. Pimiento cheese has been referred to as the “pate of the south”, “Carolina caviar” and “the caviar of the South”. -Wikipedia
Pimiento cheese is also a traditional food served at the Masters every year. I’d say pimiento cheese is to the south like pizza is to New York. It’s a staple, a tradition, a food millions of people eat every year.
I made my own version of pimiento cheese to snack on inside these “poppers”. If you haven’t tried the mini bell peppers yet, you need to soon. They are a great snacking veggie that gets even better if you stuff or dip them. I’ve stuffed them before with the traditional popper stuffing: cream cheese, bacon and jalapeno.
But this stuffing might be better than that.
I found the sharpest cheddar cheese I could and used that for the pimiento cheese spread. I like my pimiento cheese really sharp, and Velveeta just doesn’t do the trick. Once you find what cheese you want to use, the rest is simple: grab some mayo, cream cheese, and a whole bunch of pimientos. You can find the little diced red pimientos in tiny 4 ounce jars either near the salad dressings, pickles, or canned vegetables in the grocery store.
These snacks are easy to transport, easy to pop in your mouth, and a great treat on a hot summer afternoon.
I hope you enjoy these refreshing little snacks!
Pimiento Cheese Poppers
Sweet mini bell peppers stuffed with homemade pimiento cheese that makes a craveable snack.
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 (4 oz.) jars pimientos, drained
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- 24 mini bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds scooped out (or cut in half with seeds scooped out)
- In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, pimientos and onion.
- Stuff each pepper with 2 tsp. of the cheese mixture. If there’s any cheese mixture leftover, store in an airtight container in the fridge and serve with crackers for dipping.