Pimento Mac and Cheese is a delectable combination of two of the South’s greatest food creations- macaroni and cheese and pimento cheese. My pimento cheese recipe is extraordinary and makes the perfect base for mac and cheese.
I feel pretty confident most of you have had macaroni and cheese so no explanation necessary on how delicious it is, but you may have never tried pimento cheese. If you’ve never had it, traditionally pimento cheese is a mixture of shredded cheddar, pimento peppers, and mayonnaise.
My Best Ever Pimento Cheese recipe takes this basic idea and makes it extra flavorful and tangy. The recipe includes cream cheese which you might expect in macaroni and cheese, but the Boursin cheese is what really makes my Pimento Mac and Cheese extra special.
With only a few simple ingredients, you can make homemade Pimento Mac and Cheese. All you need is:
- Pimento cheese- my recipe is the best there is, but if you have a brand you like, feel free to use it
- Elbow macaroni
- Whole milk- do not substitute with 2% or skim milk
- Shredded colby jack cheese
Homemade pimento cheese is incredibly easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you want to make this recipe quickly, be sure to make the pimento cheese ahead of time.
The steps to make Pimento Mac and Cheese are pretty similar to how you make most homemade macaroni and cheese. There are only a few easy steps to follow.
- Make homemade pimento cheese at least an hour before assembling the mac and cheese
- Boil macaroni noodles
- Make a white sauce with a mixture of butter, flour, and whole milk
- Combine cooked noodles, white sauce, pimento cheese, and shredded cheese and pour into a 9” x 13” baking dish
- Top with additional shredded cheese and bake
Because the ingredient list is so simple for this recipe, there are not a ton of substitution options. You could play around with your choice of shredded cheese. I include colby jack in the recipe, but mild or sharp cheddar would both be delicious. You could really use any kind of cheese you like.
I suspect that one of the more common questions I’ll get is if you can use store-bought pimento cheese instead of making it from scratch. In all of my recipe testing, I never tried using store-bought pimento cheese. Once you’ve had homemade, it’s hard to go back to the store-bought spread.
No shade though; if you have a brand of store-bought pimento cheese you’d rather use, by all means go for it. What I will say is that most store-bought varieties contain only mayonnaise as the binder, so the mac and cheese will not have the same tang that my pimento cheese recipe provides.
- Serve: Best when served hot from the oven.
- Store: Can be kept for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Freeze: Mac and cheese tends to dry out in the freezer, so I don't often freeze it. This article has some good tips if you're interested in freezing the dish.
My top tip for Pimento Mac and Cheese will come as no surprise if you’ve already read most of the post. The hot tip is to make my Best Ever Pimento Cheese instead of trying to substitute it with store-bought.
Added bonus - making my recipe will also give you leftovers that you can eat as a snack or use to try some of my other favorite recipes like Pimento Cheese Wontons and Hand Pies.
Pimento Cheese will always be one of my favorite recipes on the blog. I love it so much that it continues to inspire me to come up with new and creative ways to cook with it. Pimento Mac and Cheese may not be how my Mammaw served up pimento cheese, but she for damn sure would have loved it. I hope you like it too. Let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments section below.
Pimento Mac and Cheese
- ½ pound elbow macaroni
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 2 Tb salted butter
- 2 Tb all purpose flour
- 1 cup pimento cheese* link to recipe in the Notes section
- 2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cook the macaroni noodles according to the package instructions.
- While the pasta cooks, make the white sauce. Start by adding the butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, before whisking in the whole milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, and boil for about 5 minutes.
- Combine the cooked noodles, white sauce, pimento cheese, and 1 cup of shredded cheese in a large mixing bowl. Pour into a 9" x 13" baking dish and top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Bake for 25-20 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, but it will lack the tang that my pimento cheese recipe provides. That's because most store-bought pimento cheese only has mayo as a binder, while my recipe has cream cheese and Boursin cheese.
Sure. Any cheese that melts well is fine to substitute.
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