There are certain foods I’m just hardwired to love. Good old southern pimento cheese is the food monkey that won’t get off my back. I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. I love it in a sandwich, toasted with tomato, on a cracker, and as a condiment. But my love affair with pimento cheese ends when I look at the calories, fat, and dairy.
Eating a plant based diet hasn’t been that hard, so my question follows.
Is there a really good vegan pimento cheese recipe? How hard could it be to adapt this fat laden, cheesy goodness into a healthier plant based dish?
As a pimento cheese connoisseur, I had to look closely at the individual parts to even come close to making this a viable alternative.
It also needs to be easy to make and serve at a party with non-vegans.
To pull this off, each dairy/mayo replacement needs to taste as much like the real thing as possible. Some vegan cream cheeses taste sweet, some vegan cheese shreds have a funny texture, and some vegan mayonnaise brands are like gelatin.
Pimento cheese should also be made with a block of cheese shredded, not the pre-shredded kind.
I took the convenience of buying a pre-shredded style vegan cheese. The same brand is available in a small block, and I’ll probably use that next time. After years of taste testing vegan substitutes on the market, there are only a few I will bother buying if I really crave or need something for a recipe. I’ve noted the specific brands in the recipe below.
Also if you haven’t already noticed, I’m not a professional food photographer. Good food making is messy!
Vegan Sriracha Pimento Cheese Recipe
- 1 8 oz. container of Tofutti cream cheese
- 1 4 oz. container of chopped pimentos divided in half
- 2 medium cloves of garlic
- 2 cups Daiya Cheddar style vegan shreds
- 1/4 cup of Just Mayo brand vegan mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoons of sriracha or hot sauce of your choice
- Allow the cream cheese to soften to room temperature so it’s easy to mix
- Blend half the pimentos and all the garlic until a smooth puree, then mix the puree into the softened cream cheese.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the cream cheese mixture and stir until smooth.
- Chill until ready to serve.
The Tofutti cream cheese, Just Mayo, and Daiya Cheddar shreds have a taste and texture very similar to real pimento cheese. The recipe also melts well which is important if you’re making a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. I don’t include the calories or fat because there’s no disguising this as a low fat treat.
At least when the pimento cheese monkey on my back calls out late at night, I have a plant based answer!
Don’t forget to post this yummy vegan pimento cheese recipe to your favorite Pinterest board!
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