Vegan Pimento Cheese

Vegan Pimento Cheese

Learn how to make the most amazing Vegan Pimento Cheese completely dairy-free and oil-free! This is creamy, rich, tangy, salty, slightly spicy with just a hint of sweetness. Everything a pimento cheese should be!

JUMP TO RECIPE

Meet my favorite vegan cheese I've possibly made ever. This Vegan Pimento Cheese has made me happier than you know! It requires just 8 ingredients, is oil-free and dairy-free and nostalgic in every way. My mom always served us pimento cheese spread on celery sticks. It was a regular snack I had growing up and it was always served at the holidays. So posting this just in time for the holidays was a must.

Maybe it's just the fact that I've missed pimento cheese so much, but this I'm loving more right now than any other cheese I've created!

I have missed that stuff. It has been years since I have had it and now I'm. In. Heaven.

This recipe is based off of my Vegan Baked Smoky Cashew Cheese. That recipe has exploded! I've legit had dozens of readers tell me it's the best vegan cheese they've ever had and one reader told me I should package and sell it, haha! It's really delicious, so go try it if you haven't. I changed that recipe up quite a bit to turn  out this amazing pimento spread.

If you've never had pimento cheese, you are missing out. It is different than any other cheese. A pimento cheese should be rich, creamy, soft (it's not a hard cheese), dip-like, spreadable, tangy, slightly spicy and just a hint of sweetness.

My Vegan Pimento Cheese has that all! You'll need just 8 easy ingredients:

  • raw cashews
  • rice vinegar (plain, not seasoned)
  • lemon juice
  • sriracha sauce
  • paprika
  • tomato paste
  • garlic
  • pimentos

HOW DO YOU MAKE VEGAN PIMENTO CHEESE?

First, you will need to soak your raw cashews. Do not SKIP THIS. I don't care if you are in a rush, if you skip this, it will be gritty.

Add the drained cashews to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the pimentos.

Process to break everything up, scrape down the sides and process again for a good 5 minutes or so. Process until 100% smooth and creamy.

Taste and it should be tangy, salty, slightly spicy and a mild touch of sweetness! True pimento cheese is not overly spicy so it should be just a nice warmth in your mouth.

Stir in the pimentos and serve over toast, celery sticks or crackers!

Creating amazing vegan cheeses is a regular thing here. Try these other Vegan Cheeses:


Yields 4 servings

Vegan Pimento Cheese

Vegan Pimento Cheese completely dairy-free and oil-free! This is creamy, rich, tangy, salty, slightly spicy with just a hint of sweetness. Everything a pimento cheese should be!

8 hr, 15 Prep Time

8 hr, 15 Total Time

Recipe Image
Save RecipeSave Recipe

5 based on 9 review(s)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (37g) plain (not seasoned) rice vinegar, please do not sub with another vinegar!
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (adds LOTS of depth of flavor, a slight kick and a hint of sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) water
  • 3 large garlic cloves (11g), roughly chopped (don't be shy, this adds lots of flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon regular paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 cup (60g) diced pimentos (make sure you drain them FIRST from the jar before measuring)
  • Note: For this recipe and all of my recipes where I use a food processor, I use this Cuisinart I've had this one for years and love it! It's very powerful and makes homemade nut butters and purees a breeze.

Instructions

  1. You will need a day in advance to make this cheese, you MUST soak the cashews overnight. Quick soak methods are not advised. Rushing it will result in a gritty cheese. Trust me on this and do not skip soaking the cashews overnight. This makes the nuts very soft and is necessary since so little liquid is used and is needed to get a creamy consistency.
  2. Add your cashews to a bowl and pour boiling water over them by at least an inch at the top. Cover and leave to sit overnight on your counter or 8 hours minimum. Drain them and rinse them well.
  3. Add the drained cashews to a food processor, as there is such little liquid, I don't recommend a blender or even a Vitamix, it does not get creamy for me, personally. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the pimentos.
  4. Process to break everything up, scrape down the sides and process again for a good 5 minutes or so. You will need to scrape down the sides a couple of times to ensure it all gets mixed and smooth. It will seem too gritty at first and like it won't work, but if you soaked your cashews overnight as instructed, it WILL work. Just be patient. Process until 100% smooth and creamy. Like in my photo.
  5. Taste and it should be tangy, salty, slightly spicy and a mild touch of sweetness! True pimento cheese is not overly spicy so it should be just a nice warmth in your mouth. However, if you want yours spicier, feel free to add a good pinch of cayenne. Do not, however, add more Sriracha, as that will add too much more vinegar and saltiness to the cheese. The heat level is perfect for kids though in my opinion as written and totally reminded me of my mom serving pimento cheese as a kid!
  6. Now, add the drained pimentos to the food processor and just STIR them in, do NOT blend them up. Alternatively, you could add all of the cheese to a bowl and stir them in that way too.
  7. Serve immediately or store in the fridge if you like first. I inhaled it immediately! Pimento cheese is supposed to be a soft, creamy spread, not a hard cheese so no need to firm up in the fridge before eating. I love this with crackers, especially celery and really, really delicious on toast!
7.8.1.2
2004

 

39 Comments

  1. Impossible to find pimentos in the grocery store. Have tried for several other recipes and gave up.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Sorry to hear that! Very easy to find around here where I live, as they are where all the other jarred peppers and olives, etc. are. You can always order online too on amazon, which would probably be easier than driving to a lot of stores if they are hard to find in your area. Also, even Walmart has them.
    • We sometimes make our own by roasting a red bell pepper or blacken it then when it is done peel off the blackened part and side it. just an idea
    • Jars of full-size Roasted Red Peppers are the same thing. Just drain well and cut them up. I measure them into 1/4 and 1/2 Cup portions and freeze in small Rubbermaid containers. Works great! Great recipe!!
  2. My husband is allergic to cashews. I’ve subbed raw sunflower seeds successfully in cashew based sauce recipes. Do you think that would work here?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      It may work ok in sauces (where’s there’s substantial liquid) but I really do not think it would taste good here. There’s very little liquid and there’s a lot of cashews. I think the texture would be gritty and the sunflower flavor be very overpowering and not creamy. You can always try it, but that’s my thoughts.
  3. AMAZING. I am loving all the cheesy content going on right now. Must add it to my list of yumminess to try!!!
  4. I only have seasoned rice vinegar... will it really mess up the recipe if I use that instead of unseasoned rice vinegar?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      I haven’t tested it with seasoned so I can’t say for certain but I do know seasoned is sweeter and less tangy, so it will change the flavor. Since pimento cheese does have a hint of sweetness, it might work, I just can’t say for certain.
  5. Hi Brandi, this looks delicious & I look forward to trying it. I've never been disappointed in any of your recipes! Question about the toast showing in one of your photos- is it by any chance a gluten free bread that you have a recipe for?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Linda! Oh that’s so kind, thank you so much! No, it’s some seeded bread I bought from my local HEB. Very healthy but not gluten-free! I do have one I’m working on and hoping to post early in the new year!
  6. Kim
    Can I use almonds instead of cashews?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Kim, I don't have good experience personally with almonds, as it leaves a mealy texture. They would need to soak for a really long time to give it a chance, but I know cashews work well and make this exceptionally creamy and smooth and are all I've tested, so I can't say for certain.
  7. Ela
    Wow Brandi! You know how much I love vegan cheese and I am 100% sure that I woul adore this vegan pimento cheese. Much love, Ela :)
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Aww, thank you so much Ela!! You're too sweet!
  8. Hi Brandi, can you help me out? Pimento translates as (red) bell pepper or paprika, but I wonder if that is what it is. Is it a just a (roasted) diced red bell pepper, or is it more like a peppadew (you know, those small spicy bell peppers)? Hope you can help me out here! Regards, Andrea
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Andrea! A pimento is actually a very mild chili pepper, or called a cherry pepper. It’s slightly spicier (though very mild) and slightly sweeter than bell peppers. They are sold in jars near the jarred peppers or olives, etc. They are often stuffed inside green olives that are sold in the store too if you know what those are? Just to give an idea.
      • Hi Brandi, thanks! I think I know just what to buy now and otherwise I'll experiment a bit :-D
  9. I made this, so easy to make and it is absolutely delicious!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yay Rhea, so glad to hear it!
  10. I just finished making this, so I could take a tasty treat to my vegan daughter for Christmas!! It is delish! Now, does it taste like cheese per se, to me...not exactly, but it is a delicious dip nonetheless!! Will definitely make it again for all of us!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So glad you loved it Shannon, so funny because it tasted just like pimento cheese to all of us and some non-vegan family members I tested it on, haha! Thanks for making it!
  11. I made this recipe but subbed sunflower seeds for the cashews and it is SO DELICIOUS! It’s not quite as creamy because of the substitution, but it is still quite the hit. Thank you for continuing to share these delicious recipes with others. I’ve yet to make a recipe of yours that I don’t love!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Kate, I'm so happy to hear how much this was a hit, yay!!
  12. YUM 😋 made this pimento spread this morning for an appetizer later tonight but I can’t stop eating it now! Perfect creaminess, Slight heat with a bit of sweet and just super yummy! Looking forward to tasting it after it’s chilled in the fridge a bit! Thanks Brandi!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So glad you loved it Shannon, so funny because it tasted just like pimento cheese to all of us and some non-vegan family members I tested it on, haha! Thanks for making it!
  13. Wooos forgot to do the rating.
  14. This is great! Mine looks more "orange" than yours (probably my paprika). Made it exactly as you wrote it. Thanks!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So glad you enjoyed it Lori, thank you!
  15. Everyone enjoyed the pimento cheese at my party last night. It was made exactly as the recipe directed. Now I look forward to other similar delights.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So wonderful to hear this Christina, thank you for the lovely review!
  16. AMAZING!!! I would prefer to give 10 stars if possible LOL. I had a guest and she also LOVED this and wanted the recipe to make this tomorrow! Thanks again Brandi :-)
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Oh yay Andrea, so so happy to hear this!!
  17. I was so excited when I saw you post this recipe because I hadn't had pimento cheese in years (since before I was vegan), and it's delicious! I cheated and boiled the cashews for 10 minutes because I forgot to soak them and wanted immediate cheese, and it still turned out great.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yay, so happy you loved it Penny!!
  18. Hi! I just made this — it’s so freakin good! I made it in my vitamix since I don’t own a food processor and it still came out smooth and creamy! YEAH!!! I did soak the cashews for about 14 hours tho so many that helped? It also kinda reminds me of ham salad for some reason (it’s a Pittsburgh thing! Hahaha!) haven’t had pimento cheese in like 12 years and I just had to try it, so glad I did! Thank you thank you!!! Xoxo
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Oh yes, the soaking that long makes a HUGE difference if using a blender, so happy you loved it! Woohoo, thank you Lisa!
  19. hi Brandy....I can't wait to try this!! Can you tell me what Sriracha sauce you use? :) Susan
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Susan, I use the brand called Sky Valley!

Leave a comment

Rate this recipe: