Need something super-easy and delicious for your fall-time and holiday celebrations? Then try out this Keto Pimento Cheese! You might have to make a double batch, though, since this keto-friendly spread – or dip – tends to be gobbled up in a record time.
How to make the Keto Pimiento Cheese
So what makes this Pimiento Cheese version especially keto-friendly? Instead of pimiento, this recipe uses roasted bell peppers. Commercial bell peppers are an easy solution, as long as there is no added sugar or food preservatives. Naturally, you can roast bell peppers yourself. In that case, I recommend you to add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar to the Pimiento Cheese to lend a delicious tang to balance the richness of the cheese and mayonnaise.
As a busy person, I buy ready roasted bell peppers that don’t contain any added sugar, or then just a tiny amount so that the carb count doesn’t rise too high. If you compare pimiento and roasted bell peppers, the latter has about three to five times less carbs!
I’ve seen commercial roasted bell peppers that are already chopped so that you don’t have to chop them anymore – just think how easy the preparation of this savory treat is! Just mix all ingredients, let the flavors mingle for a while, and enjoy!
So, let’s take a look at how to prepare this savory keto condiment:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, so 1 ½ cups (350 ml) shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese…
…3/4 cup (180 ml) preferably olive oil-based homemade mayonnaise…
…1/3 cup (80 ml) drained, chopped roasted red bell peppers…
…1 teaspoon onion powder…
…and to taste Louisiana Hot Sauce. I prefer to add about 10 drops.
In case you would like to add some sweetness to balance out the saltiness of the cheese and mayonnaise, feel free to add a few drops of stevia. I don’t add stevia to my Pimiento Cheese, though, but I think it would be a great addition to those who prefer a hint of sweetness in their Pimiento Cheese.
Then just mix until well combined.
However, it’s good to let the flavors mingle for a couple of hours. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Here we go – ready to enjoy!
How to use the Pimiento Cheese
Personally, I prefer to use this condiment as a dip, especially with celery. However, jicama slices or sticks make perfect low-carb dippers – considering you can find some. Here in Finland, I’ve found jicama only once in my lifetime! Jicama is crisp, fresh, and high in fiber. It’s sometimes called a Mexican turnip. One note still: if you have a sensitive stomach and you haven’t eaten jicama, you might want to take it easy at first as jicama contains a hefty amount of inulin, soluble fiber that can cause bloating and other intestinal issues for those with a sensitive stomach.
Other low-carb veggies make perfect dippers, too. Cucumber sticks have one of the lowest carb counts. Green bell peppers are great, too, so are zucchini sticks. Raw cauliflower and broccoli florets make a tasty and crunchy companion to this very low-carb dip. Remember also other cruciferous veggies like cabbage and kohlrabi! Small amounts of red or yellow bell pepper, as well as carrot, should be fine, too, but this totally depends on your individual carb tolerance.
As I ended up with quite some Pimiento Cheese after all the blog photos and the videos, I chose to use some with my lunch salad, like a sort of thick salad dressing. I often add cheese to my salad, but as this condiment contains cheese, I didn’t need to add any to the salad because I got enough cheese from the Pimiento Cheese.
Oh, and for all you Finns out there: this condiment is perfect for tweaking our Ketokamu soups, Kukkis and Parsis – just add a good dollop of Pimiento Cheese on top of the hot soup!
How I came up with this super-easy keto-friendly recipe
This recipe is actually pretty old – I just have updated it a bit and nowadays use roasted bell peppers instead of pimiento as pimiento is quite high in carbs as it contains plenty of added sugar.
Anyway, years ago, I was thinking of easy recipes for the holiday season and also for my New Year’s celebrations. After some pondering, I came up with the concept of keto-friendly Pimiento Cheese.
I just love spreads and dips as they are such a wonderful way to get more flavor – and good fats – to your everyday food, and they make awesome dishes for celebrations and entertainment purposes. Most of them (at least those that I tend to make!) are quick and easy to prepare, too.
When planning my Pimiento Cheese experiments, I thought I need homemade mayonnaise as a base, plus an ample amount of shredded Cheddar cheese – and naturally, some chopped pimientos as well.
But how to get more flavor to the condiment? I decided to add onion powder for a general flavor enhancer. I also wanted to have some kick to balance out the richness. A hot sauce like Louisiana Hot Sauce or Texas Pete would be just perfect, I thought.
For my first experiment, I added 3/4 cup (180 ml) mayonnaise, 4 oz (115 g) shredded Cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped pimiento, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and a few drops of Louisiana Hot Sauce.
The result was okay, but the amount of cheese was too little – the consistency was too runny. I wanted to have a deliciously thick condiment that you can also use as a spread. I definitely needed to double the amount of cheese!
Moreover, the general flavor enhancer, onion powder, wasn’t enough either, so I chose to double it as well.
After these small tweaks, I was super happy with the result: It had lots of flavor with all that rich mayonnaise, sharp cheese, a kick from the hot sauce as well crunchiness and crispness from the pimiento – not forgetting the perfect natural flavor enhancer onion powder that was accompanying other ingredients in the perfect way. Moreover, the consistency was just ideal so that you can use the condiment both as a spread or as a dip. Wonderful!
Even the spread was pretty low in carbs, I still wanted to lower the carb count anyway. I also wished to avoid added sugar because the pimiento contains quite much sugar. So, I made a batch with chopped roasted red bell pepper instead of pimiento. It turned out so well that I thought the recipe is definitely worth publishing!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 8 oz = 230 g shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese
- 3/4 cup = 180 ml (homemade) olive oil-based mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup = 80 ml drained, finely chopped roasted red bell peppers
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- dash of Louisiana Hot Sauce
- Stir all ingredients well together with a spoon.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about two hours to let the flavors mingle.
- Serve as a dip or spread, for example, with keto crackers or low-carb
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Louisiana Hot Sauce
365 by Whole Foods Market, Organic Shelf-Stable Red Peppers, Fire Roasted, 16 Ounce
Simply Organic White Onion Powder, Certified Organic | 3 oz | Allium cepa
Frontier Co-op Organic White Onion Powder, 2 1 Pound Bulk Bags (Pack of 2)
Low Sugar, So Simple: 100 Delicious Low-Sugar, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Recipes for Eating Clean and Living Healthy
|Nutrition information||In total||Per 1/4 cup (60 ml)|
|Protein||62.5 g||7.8 g|
|Fat||221.8 g||27.7 g|
|Net carbs||3.3 g||0.4 g|
|kcal||2244 kcal||281 kcal|
Tips for variation
In case you happen to have Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, Christmas ham leftovers, or any cooked meat, you can add 1/2 cup (120 ml) of chopped meat to this Pimiento Cheese to make it even more satisfying. Not only meat, but also other chopped veggies give more versatility to this spread. Add for example a couple of tablespoons of chopped olives or capers.
Even the recipe calls for Louisiana Hot Sauce, you can add more seasonings with some real kick, like sambal oelek, chipotle, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Chipotle Tabasco, or cayenne for even more piquant flavor, or then replace the Louisiana Hot Sauce with any of those.
How about some Dijon mustard? In my opinion, mustard and cheese is a match made in heaven and an often neglected combo! And if you think that mayonnaise indeed contains some mustard, you might want to add a teaspoon or two more mustard to your Pimiento Cheese to highlight this characteristic, mouth-watering flavor.
Now, when thinking of it, Sriracha would be just the ultimate seasoning for this condiment. With its hotness and sweetness, it would be just the perfect accompaniment for the rich mayo and cheese. Although Sriracha does indeed contain some added sugar, the carb count won’t rise very high. But if you want to avoid all added sugar, then sugar-free hot chili sauce like the Louisiana Hot Sauce used in the recipe is your best bet.
If you are not a fan of heat and kick, gentle-flavored seasonings like smoked paprika or garlic powder amp up the taste even more and make a family-friend version.
Another great way to jazz up this spread or dip is to add chopped fresh herbs, like cilantro (that you won’t see in my kitchen, though!), parsley, oregano marjoram, or thyme.
You can also switch the cheese for more variation. How about smoked gouda, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or other flavorful cheese?
To get the carb count of this condiment even lower, use roasted green bell peppers instead of red ones. Green bell peppers are the lowest in carbs of all bell peppers.
Currently, I’m in Greece. I needed to take the time to translate my Finnish book into English. It’s just that I’m the most productive when away from home, and lately, Greece has been a perfect place to escape for a working holiday – at least now when it’s so cold and dark in Finland.
Naturally, I’m enjoying the local products here. Ripe tomatoes, plump olives, flavorful cheeses, nourishing tahini, and rich yogurts are my everyday food here. I also found this fascinating kefir that is made of goat and donkey milk.
Currently, we don’t have snow in Southern Finland. If we had, it would make everything look so bright! The darkness also affects food photos and videos. As you see, the quality of the photos in this post is not very good. That’s because it was so dark outside. I used some lights, though, but in food photography, lights are always a worse choice than natural light.
Before I left Finland, I made the traditional sugar-free chocolate advent calendar for my 9-year-old son. It’s a yearly tradition, and I’ve made a sugar-free chocolate advent calendar for my son every year. Well, the figures have changed during the years. This year, there is a Super Mario figure for Christmas Eve as my son is an enthusiastic fan of Super Mario and Nintendo in general.
Oh yes, earlier in the week, I did some more chocolate experiments with my melanger. Here is some berry chocolate in preparation. I have to say the taste was very berry! Actually, I think it had too much lingonberry.
Here are my coconut and berry chocolate bar experiments. They do taste good, but I still would like to improve the recipe for our final Ketokamu chocolate bars.