Creamy vegan pimento cheese is just as easy to make and decadent as its dairy-based cousin. Use it in sandwiches or as a spread for crackers.
Pimento cheese is a Southern staple. It's basically required by law at gatherings across the Southeast United States. This vegan version is going to blow your omnivore friends away!
There are basically infinite ways to make pimento cheese, but this recipe is my absolute favorite. It's rich and creamy, and it only takes about 20 minutes to throw together.
This vegan pimento cheese recipe is super versatile. You can change things right up to suit your tastes. Does two teaspoons seem like too much hot sauce or not enough? Change it! Can't find the exact cream cheese that I used? Substitute it!
My favorite part about this Southern staple is that everyone has their own favorite way to make it. There are basically infinite combinations of mix-ins like pickled relish, chopped olives, and all sorts of fresh or dried herbs and spices.
Feel free to taste and then add in anything that feels right to you to truly create the vegan pimento cheese of your dreams!
Ingredients and substitutions
- vegan cream cheese - Choose a vegan cream cheese that you like, because some of the flavor will likely come through in the finished product.
- pimentos - You can find these canned or in little glass jars, and they are essential to this recipe.
- vegan cheddar shreds - You can also use vegan Jack-style shreds, if you prefer.
- vegan mayo - This gives the dip such an amazing, creamy texture! Use store-bought or homemade.
- onion powder and white pepper - To season the vegan cream cheese.
- hot sauce - I like a vinegar-based hot sauce, like Frank's, but you can truly use any hot sauce you like. Use less or more, depending on your personal tastes.
How to make vegan pimento cheese
Dump the cream cheese into a big bowl, so it can get to room temperature. Meanwhile!
Put half of the pimentos plus your garlic into your food processor. Puree until as smooth as possible.
Transfer the pimento puree to the bowl of cream cheese, add the remaining ingredients, and mix everything together until it's well combined.
Chill until you’re ready to serve.
Definitely only puree half of the pimentos. You want some of them blended down to give the vegan pimento cheese its color, but you also want that texture from some chunky pieces in there.
Serving and storage directions
Pimento cheese is great as a sandwich spread, and you can also use it as a dip for chips or crackers.
If you do have leftovers, keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will keep for three to four days.
Do not freeze this, because the texture will change when it thaws.
Frequently asked questions
A pimento (aka pimiento) is a variety of chili pepper with a very low rating on the Scoville scale, meaning that it isn't spicy. You can usually find it in cans or little jars alongside the pickles or canned vegetables at your grocery store.
When they’re not featured in pimento cheese, they're often stuffed into green olives.
There are green and yellow pimentos, too, but they're not as common at regular grocery stores around here. You definitely want red pimentos, so your finished cheese will have that lovely, vibrant color.
You can make this ahead! It keeps for three to five days in the fridge, and the flavor only improves with time.
More cheesy vegan recipes
Vegan pimento cheese
- Place the cream cheese into a big bowl, so it can get to room temperature. Meanwhile!
- Put half of the pimentos plus your garlic into your food processor. Puree until as smooth as possible.
- Transfer the pimento puree to the bowl of cream cheese, add the remaining ingredients, and mix everything together until it's well combined.
- Chill until you’re ready to serve.