Recipe: Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs with Toasted Pecans
I’ll just go ahead and say the obvious: Pimento cheese is “slap yo mama” good! And it’s always the party favorite. Deviled eggs are usually the hit of the party, too, so I figured, why not combine them into one rockin’ dish that everyone will flock to?
Elements of the Perfect Deviled Egg
The trick here is to hard-cook the eggs exactly 15 minutes — no more, no less — and then plunge them into ice water. I’m not normally so precise in cooking, but 15 minutes creates the perfect yolk to crumble into the pimento cheese mixture.
I am partial to pimento cheese on the drier side rather than the looser, mayo-generous varieties. This recipe uses just enough mayonnaise to bring together the other ingredients and let the flavor of the egg yolk stand out. White cheddar works much better in the filling over traditional orange, as its sharpness balances best with the creamy yolks. Next, bits of fresh red pepper are stirred in to refresh and enhance the flavor of the roasted pimentos. The addition of toasted pecans plays up deviled eggs’ Southern heritage and gives a nice nutty bite. Sometimes, just for kicks, I add grated fresh Parmesan to bring in some depth and sophistication to this fairly simple dish.
Elevate How You Serve
I like to serve these deviled eggs on a cake stand. It makes them pop on the party table and gives guests permission to reach in and grab. Twenty-four eggs fit perfectly on a standard 12-inch stand — just make sure the cake plate has a lip around the edge to keep the eggs contained. Once in position, I sprinkle the eggs with the remaining toasted pecans for a final finish.
Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs with Toasted Pecans
Makes 12 servings
For the deviled eggs:
13 large eggs (in case one breaks)
1 1/4 cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained very well and chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce
Finely chopped red bell pepper
Chopped toasted pecans
Place the eggs in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover the eggs by about 1 1/2 inches. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and cover the pot. Let stand 15 minutes.
Immediately drain the eggs and run cold water over the eggs to stop the cooking. Place the eggs in a large bowl and add a handful of ice cubes to keep the water cold; set aside.
Place the cheddar, mayonnaise, pimentos, pecans, Parmesan if using, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, and Tabasco in a medium bowl and mix very well to combine. Let stand while preparing the eggs.
Peel the eggs: Tap the wider bottom of the egg on the counter to find the air pocket under the shell and place under running water to peel — the shell should come off more easily. Place the eggs on a few layers of paper towels to wick away any moisture, making sure to pat the tops so the eggs are fully dried.
Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, from top to bottom. Scoop the yolks out into a small bowl. Place the egg whites cut-side up on a large rimmed plate (I like to use a cake plate) or in a deviled egg carrier if you’re traveling.
Using a fork, crumble the yolks into pea-sized pieces. Add to the pimento cheese and gently fold in until fully incorporated. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the pimento cheese-egg mixture into the cup of each egg white. Garnish with a small piece of red pepper. Dust with some additional pecan crumbles if desired. Chill until ready to serve.
- Leftover deviled eggs: Leftover deviled eggs can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days, but might not look as pretty.
- Make ahead: Deviled eggs are best eaten within 24 hours; they can be made a day ahead and kept refrigerated in an airtight container. You can also just boil the eggs and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days ahead.
- Food styling by Ryan Reineck