Warning: this dip needs to be prepared the night before you want to eat it. It will be just as flavorful if you let it sit for a couple hours instead of overnight, but it will not a be a thick enough consistency.
I don’t think I appreciated pimento cheese enough before going vegan. But, whenever I think about those random events that everyone comes together for, such as Super Bowl Sunday, I think about the deliciousness that is pimento cheese dip. I randomly whipped up a small batch of this last time all of my family was together, celebrating Christmas/ New Years, and everyone ate the whole thing within minutes! No one could believe it was vegan. So, I made a bulk version of this dip to perfect this recipe to serving big groups, such as for Super Bowl Sunday! Prep this dish at least the night before your friend’s big super bowl party that you’ve been dreading because there won’t be any vegan food besides carrot sticks. Now, there will be this delicious pimento cheese spread that no one will be able to tell isn’t vegan (also, most Ritz and Club crackers are vegan, which pair perfectly with this). This makes about 4 cups of dip. I serve it 1 cup at a time so that it can sit in the fridge and not get runny in between servings.
Ingredients: (makes about 4 cups)
1/2 – 1 full container (about 1/2 cup-1 cup) Kite Hill plain vegan cream cheese* (see notes)
1/4 cup juice/ oil drained from jarred pimento peppers* (see notes)
1.5 tbsp lemon juice (juice from about 1/2 large lemon)
2 tbsp room temperature or slightly melted refined coconut oil* (see notes)
1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup vegan cheese sauce (recipe follows)
2 4oz. containers of Follow Your Heart shredded vegan parmesan
4 4oz. jars of jarred pimento peppers, drained* (see notes before draining)
For Vegan Cheese sauce: (makes a little over 1 cup)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp raw cashews, soaked in warm water at least 30 minutes
3/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
5 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp jarred pimento peppers (stolen from one of the 4 jars you use for the dip)
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp white miso paste
1/2 tsp dijon mustard (make sure it is vegan, I use French’s)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
Roasted Vegetables flavored Ritz or Club crackers of choice
- Begin soaking cashews, and separate pimento peppers from juices into separate bowls. Begin the cheese sauce before the rest of the dip. You can make the cheese sauce a head of time to make this process a bit easier. The longer it sits in the fridge, the thicker it will get.
- For the vegan cheese sauce: blend all of the ingredients until creamy after cashews have been soaking for about 30 minutes (or boiled for 10 minutes). Let sit in fridge for as long as possible before mixing into the sauce.
- In a large mixing bowl, start with 1/2 cup of the vegan cream cheese and 1/4 cup of the pimento pepper’s juices. Whisk together until it forms a light orange, smooth mix. Note, you can add the second half of the cream cheese. It will also require 2 more tbsp pimento pepper juice, and 1 more tbsp lemon juice to balance the flavor, but it will make for a creamier and thicker dip the next day after it has set. I would suggest mixing everything except for the peppers and parmesan and tasting before adding the second half of the cream cheese.
- Now, whisk in lemon juice, coconut oil, garlic powder, and salt until fully combined. Once combined, mix in the vegan cheese sauce. Taste mixture, it should taste cheesy and slightly pimento pepper-esque.
- Lightly mix all of the parmesan and pimento peppers. The dip will look runny at now, but should taste pretty good. Refrigerate overnight to let it thicken up. Give it one big stir before plating it to serve, and enjoy!
- As stated in the recipe, how much cream cheese you use is based off of your taste buds. I prefer the taste of the dip when I use 1/2 cup cream cheese. But, I prefer the texture of it with either an extra 1/4 or 1/2 cup cream cheese. If you decide to add more cream cheese, you will need to also add 1 more tbsp lemon juice and 2 more tbsp juice from jarred pimentos.
- When using the pimento peppers, make sure to save the juices that you drain from them! I suggest draining the juices into a separate bowl while leaving the peppers in the jars, you should get about 1/8 cup juices from each jar. You will also need 2 tsp pimento peppers for the cheese sauce, which you can steal from one of the jars before or after draining.
- Make sure to use refined coconut oil! Refined doesn’t have the coconut taste that unrefined does, otherwise you may add a slight coconut/ sweet taste to your cheese dip. The coconut oil is only added to help the dip thicken up when put in the fridge, and stay thick as people snack on it.
- The vegan cheese sauce has such weird measurements because I had to make the recipe as small as possible to not have very much left over for the dip. This should yield somewhere between 1-1 1/4 cups cheese sauce. The cheese sauce it super easy, all you really need to do is blend it. But it does make things a little easy if you prepare it ahead of time. I changed this recipe a little bit based off of the vegan cheddary sauce from the “Veganize It!” cook book, which I love.