Pimento Cheese Spread: Beyond the Sandwich (dairy-free, vegan)

pimento cheese (dairy-free) In Johnna's Kitchen

Pimento cheese sandwiches bring back childhood memories of sandwiches on white bread, laden with either homemade pimento cheese or the variety we called pimento cheese “spread,” that actually came from a glass jelly jar.  Do you remember it, too?

While chatting with my friend Tina and her fella about tasty dishes that contain dairy, pimento cheese came up.  Tina’s fella mentioned having pimento cheese atop crostinis or crackers that had been heated to the perfectly ooey-gooey stage under the broiler.  I knew I had to modify traditional pimento cheese to make it dairy-free and then I had to put it under the broiler on top of gluten-free crackers.

But before I did that, I had to make a sandwich.  For nostalgic purposes of course.

pimento cheese (dairy-free) In Johnna's Kitchen

I consider stopping right there.  Surely there is no better way to eat pimento cheese than on sliced bread.  So good!

But I’m glad I didn’t stop there.  This pimento cheese spread, perfect even without the dairy, is perfection atop a gluten-free cracker.  I would never guess this is dairy-free after it has been heated!  What a perfect quick nibble or party appetizer.

pimento cheese (dairy-free) In Johnna's Kitchen

Here’s a couple of quick tips on the recipe:  You’ll need a four ounce jar of pimentos.  It is not necessary to obtain these pimentos by removing them, one at a time, with tweezers from jars of green olives tediously stuffed with pimentos.  You can buy jars of nothing but pimentos!  Who knew?!?  You may find them with olives and pickles in the supermarket OR you may find them with canned vegetables.  One market near me displays them with pickles, another does not.  And speaking of pickles, you’ll need a spoonful of pickle juice to really make this recipe taste best.  I prefer juice from dill pickles but have used sweet pickle juice in a pinch.  If you are out of pickles, apple cider vinegar works just fine.  Enjoy!

Pimento Cheese Spread (dairy-free, vegan)

Pimento Cheese Spread (dairy-free, vegan)


  • 1 8-ounce bag Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
  • 1 4-ounce jar pimentos, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
  • 1 teaspoon pickle juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • dash hot sauce
  • Optional--crostinis or crackers to make broiled pimento cheese bites


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well to combine.
  • Eat immediately or refrigerate for up to one week
  • To make broiled pimento cheese bites, turn broiler on to high.
  • Top each cracker or crostini with a scant Tablespoon of pimento cheese spread.
  • Broil just until cheese is melted, keeping a close eye on crostinis or crackers as the edges will brown very quickly. Serve warm.

pimento cheese on crackers In Johnna's Kitchen

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  1. Renee says

    I made this recipe today and I just had to report back. Both my daughter and I loved this on top of GF crackers (without baking), but this wasn’t hugely surprising as we both tend to love all of your recipes. What I had to report was the verdict from my very particular 12-yr-old son. He tried it and said “man, that’s pretty darn good!” That’s quite an endorsement from Mr. Particular;) I can’t wait to try this under the broiler and on a grilled cheese!

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