Vegan Pimiento Cheese

Pimiento cheese is an iconic snack in the South, and beloved all over. For this vegan version, sweet pimientos stud a creamy and savory base made with extra-firm tofu. The pickle brine and apple cider vinegar lend an acidic brightness to the mixture, while nutritional yeast and miso provide deep umami notes that keep you coming back for more. Be sure to chill this spread for at least two hours to let the flavors meld and achieve the right consistency. Serve it with fried saltines, pickled green tomatoes and fresh celery.

Vegan pimento cheese, served with fried saltine crackers and pickles green tomatoes
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins


  • 2 (4-ounce) jars sliced pimientos, drained (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 (14-ounce) package firm or extra-firm tofu, drained

  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

  • ¼ cup refined coconut oil, melted

  • 2 tablespoons pickle brine

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons white miso

  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 small garlic clove, grated (about 1/2 teaspoon)

  • 4 ounces vegan Cheddar-style shreds (such as Violife or Miyoko's) (about 1 cup)


  1. Blot pimientos dry using paper towels, removing as much moisture as possible. Set 1 tablespoon pimientos aside. Chop remaining pimientos; set aside.

  2. Lightly press tofu using paper towels to remove excess moisture. Crumble tofu into bowl of a food processor. Add unchopped pimientos, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, pickle brine, vinegar, miso, hot sauce, salt, paprika, and garlic. Process until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

  3. Add reserved chopped pimientos and vegan cheese shreds to mixture in food processor. Pulse until combined, about 3 (1-second) pulses. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Cover and chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

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