Grilled pimento cheese sandwiches are a popular Southern dish that is made with a creamy mixture of cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos that is grilled between two slices of bread. But when that bread is REAL ™ sourdough bread, this sandwich is something else. Serve it with chips and a side salad or coleslaw, and real soul food in a sandwich!
Pimento cheese is a Southern staple that has been around for centuries. It is believed to have originated in the Carolinas in the early 1800s. The dish quickly spread throughout the South and became a popular snack, appetizer, and even main course.
"A pimento cheese sandwich can be a quick and inexpensive lunch, or it can be served as a cocktail finger food (with crusts trimmed, garnished with watercress, and cut into triangles) or rolled up and cut into pinwheels.
"…Pimento cheese has been referred to as the 'pâté of the South', 'Carolina caviar' and 'the caviar of the South.'"
Here are a few reasons why grilled pimento cheese sandwiches are so popular in the South (and around here too).
- First, the combination of cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos is a classic Southern flavor combination that is often used in other dishes, such as deviled eggs and cheese straws.
- Second, the sandwiches are very easy to make, which makes them a popular choice for potlucks and other gatherings.
- Third, the sandwiches are portable and can be eaten on the go, which makes them a popular choice for picnics and other outdoor activities.
- Fourth, add-ons like sliced tomatoes, onions, or bacon are perfect companion foods, and while the grilled sandwich is scrumptious on its own, the more toppings the better in my book.
Here is our Abigail's Oven recipe for making grilled pimento cheese sandwiches:
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened.
(Wikipedia reports that "regional ingredients include horseradish, cream cheese, salt and pepper, Louisiana-style hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, jalapeños, onions, garlic, and dill pickles.") 
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 slices bread
- Butter, for grilling
- In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, salt, and pepper (and other add-ins as you desire).
- Stir until well combined.
- Spread the pimento cheese mixture on two slices of sourdough bread.
- Top with the remaining two slices of bread.
- Butter the outside of the sandwiches.
- Heat a grill pan, panini press, or skillet over medium heat.
- Grill the sandwiches for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
- Serve hot.
Here are some tips for making grilled pimento cheese sandwiches:
- Use good quality bread for the best flavor.
- Use a sharp cheddar cheese for the best flavor.
- Drain the pimentos well to prevent the sandwiches from becoming too soggy.
- Grill the sandwiches until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Here are some variations on the grilled pimento cheese sandwich:
- You can add other ingredients to the pimento cheese mixture, such as chopped bacon, chopped walnuts, or chopped scallions.
- You can use different types of bread, such as our Garlic Rosemary, Jalapeño Cheddar, or Country Loaf.
- You can grill the sandwiches instead of pan-frying them.
- You can serve the sandwiches with a side of chips and a side salad or coleslaw.
No matter how you make them, grilled pimento cheese sandwiches are a delicious and satisfying Southern classic.
And remember, if you are looking for a place to get delicious sourdough bread for Sunday brunch, we are in more than 30 stores throughout Utah, at Farmers Markets in Ogden, SLC Downtown, Murray, So Jordan, Draper, Daybreak, Provo, and Spanish Fork. Or course, on weekdays you can always drop by The Store at the Bakery: Mon 12:00 PM-5:00 PM, Tue 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, and Wed-Fri 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, at 421 South 200 East in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Author: Darryl Alder lives with his wife in Riverside Lodge, which is their home, along the Provo River in Utah. He is a retired career Scouter and outdoorsman who spent many hours over a campfire using a Dutch oven and loves sharing recipes for the kitchen and the campfire alike. You'll find many of his recipes on this blog and can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.