This pimento cheeseball is the perfect Southern appetizer. It combines two well-loved classics: cheese balls and pimento cheese. Try serving it at your next gathering. It’s sure to be a hit!
In my neck of the woods, no gathering is complete without a cheeseball. One year, I couldn’t decide between pimento cheese or a cheese ball for a Christmas appetizer. I thought, why not both? The pimento cheese ball was born. We make this often, and everyone loves it!
This has everything you love about pimento cheese rolled up in a pretty little ball. Roll it in bacon, and we’ve got something special going on.
This is easy to make but does need a few hours to prepare. First, you need to soften the cream cheese to room temperature. Then, the cheese ball needs to firm back up in the fridge before coating it in bacon.
Ingredients for pimento cheeseball
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. It makes a big difference to shred the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheddar will work in a pinch, but it comes in a uniform size that is too perfect. And it contains additives that keep it from sticking together. Neither of those is a positive thing when making cheese balls. We want things to stick together and become one here. Use the large shredding holes on a box grater. Or use a food processor to shred the cheese.
Roasted Red Peppers. I know. This is a pimento cheese ball recipe. And I’m asking you to use roasted red peppers instead of jarred pimentos. Trust me. Roasted red peppers add a more robust flavor and come in big jars.
Cream cheese softened to room temperature. The glue that holds this baby together.
Paprika & cayenne pepper add depth and complexity that complements the sweet roasted peppers. A tiny bit of cayenne does the trick. Even those with sensitive pallets will be able to handle it. If you are looking for something spicy, feel free to add more!
Any sliced bacon will do here. Make sure that it gets crispy before chopping it to bits. I love using my oven bacon recipe.
If you don’t want to use bacon, substitute 1 cup toasted and chopped pecans.
How to make a pimento cheeseball
Add everything except the bacon to a large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.
Cut a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it flat. Scrape the cheese mixture onto the center of the plastic wrap. Pull up the sides of the plastic wrap and use the plastic wrap to shape the cheese mixture into a ball. Twist the plastic wrap to completely close up the cheese ball.
Refrigerate the ball to firm up for at least 1 hour. Or up to overnight.
Meanwhile, crumble the bacon into bits and dump it onto a cutting board or large plate.
Remove the cheeseball from the fridge and reshape it if necessary to get a nice round ball. Carefully remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and place it on the bacon bits. Coat the cheese ball in bacon bits.
How to serve a pimento cheese ball
Serve it on a platter, surrounded by your favorite crackers. Or in a cheese dome if you have one. Add a cheese spreader like this one. And lay out some appetizer plates so Uncle Roy doesn’t stand over the cheese ball for an hour.
It’s the perfect spread for crackers. I like to use it as a dip for veggies like celery, carrots, and cucumbers.
In the mood for more pimento cheese?
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