No actual pimento cheese was harmed in the making of this recipe. You might be relieved by this–because the idea of baking pimento cheese just seems kind of strange. There is cheese. And there are pimentos. It’s safe, I promise.
The summer of the peppers
When I was thirteen or so, my mom was hell-bent that my brother and I would not spend the summer in front of the TV. So she went AWOL. Mentally AWOL–because she contracted us to raise an acre or two of bell peppers for a pimento factory. Say what?
That summer, my mom, (yes she was right there) my brother and I picked so many peppers I just can’t tell you. What I can tell you is how freaking miserable the entire event was. Did you know that if you get hit in the face with a rotten one, the stench will make you nearly toss your cookies and you’ll have to wash your hair three times to get the smell out? Unfortunately I do.
Any friends that came over for the night had to pick peppers. If we wanted to go to town to the mall, we had to pick peppers first. The pool? Pick. You get it. Truckloads of peppers left that farm that summer, and the truth is that it was terrible, but it did exactly what she intended because it built a work ethic in my brother and I that we still carry today.
So that’s what a pimento is. A bell pepper. I know you thought they were a random squishy red mystery item made only for filling green olives, but no. And you know what else? Those suckers are tasty when you use them right. And they are so, so good in this pimento cheese breakfast casserole–they made me happy. Even if I have flashbacks every time I buy them.
You’ll find pimentos in the canned vegetable aisle of your grocery store. Somewhere between the green beans and the kraut. They come in a small glass jar and you can get them sliced or diced. Get the diced ones, and you’ll need two 4-ounce jars for this recipe.
Pimento Cheese Breakfast Skillet
- 4 English muffins diced into 1/2 pieces (tops and bottoms together makes 1)
- 3 whole eggs beaten
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2, 4- ounce jars diced pimentos drained
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions green part only
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves optional
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 5 slices bacon cooked and broken into 1-inch pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread the english muffins on a baking sheet and toast until just crispy--about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and milk.
- Add the pimentos, mustard, hot sauce, salt, pepper, green onions, thyme and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and mix well.
- Add the muffin pieces to a lightly greased 9-inch cast iron skillet or baking dish.
- Pour over the egg mixture and press down to make sure all the muffins are coated.
- Let the mix sit at least 15 minutes or overnight in the fridge. Cover if you are refrigerating.
- When you are ready to bake, add the cooked bacon to the top and cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes then remove the foil. Bake an additional 15 minutes until the mixture is set.Let stand 10 minutes before serving.