Fried Pimento Cheese Balls- Hot, gooey fried cheese balls with a crispy coating, studded with bacon and dipped in a creamy buttermilk ranch dressing. This is one knock your socks off appetizer. It rivals Fried Crawfish Etouffee Balls as the best fried balls I’ve ever made.
But careful not to eat too many. They are super rich and heavy and can induce a tummy ache if one overindulges. Just ask my son.
Southerners love their pimento cheese. If you didn’t grow up in the south, you probably don’t understand the allure of this bright orange concoction consisting mostly of shredded cheddar cheese and mayonnaise. If you weren’t fortunate enough to have been exposed to pimento cheese at a young age, it can take some getting used to. But once you acquire a taste for it, there’s no going back.
Type Of Cheese For Fried Pimento Cheese Balls
Pimento cheese is best made with sharp cheddar or extra-sharp cheddar. You want it to have some flavor. I use a combination of sharp white cheddar and sharp yellow cheddar for this recipe. You can use all yellow cheddar if you wish.
- Dutch Oven for Frying- an enamel-coated Dutch oven is best.
- Thermometer- You want to keep the oil temperature at about 350 degrees. A thermometer that clips on the side of the Dutch oven is helpful.
- Strainer- I love this strainer for quickly and easily removing the cheese balls from the oil.
More Pimento Cheese Recipes
- Classic Pimento Cheese
- Buffalo Pimento Cheese
- Pimento Cheese Squash Casserole
- Southern Pimento Cheese Burger
- Ham and Pimento Cheese Pinwheels
- Baked Pimento Cheese Dip
- Pimento Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos
- Pimento Cheese Patty Melts
- 4 ounces sharp white cheddar, finely grated
- 4 ounces sharp yellow cheddar, finely grated
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 4 ounces diced pimentos, drained
- 1 tablespoon grated onion
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- Peanut oil for frying or Canola oil
- 1/2 of a .4-ounce package Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch dry mix
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- To make dressing, whisk together ranch mix, buttermilk, and mayonnaise in a bowl and refrigerate.
- In a medium bowl, combine all 3 cheeses, mayonnaise, pimentos, onion, cayenne pepper, and bacon. Mix well and refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.
- Form cheese mixture into 1 and 1/2 inch balls. Place milk, flour, and panko crumbs in 3 different bowls. Season flour and panko crumbs lightly with salt. Dip balls in flour, then in milk, and finally, coat with panko crumbs. Place on a tray and freeze for 1 hour.
- Pour 2 inches of oil into a Dutch oven and heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry balls 4-6 at a time for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook another 2 minutes or until lightly browned and warm and gooey in the center. If needed, keep cooked balls warm in a 200 degree oven.
- Serve Pimento Cheese Balls with Ranch.