Basil Pimento Cheese Pasta Salad

It kinda feels like the summer of pasta salad because I have been seeing pasta salads everywhere this year. But guess what? Every summer is the summer of pasta salads for me. I don't need your trends to validate me! This pasta salad is another one we are making at the grilling workshop this weekend (Tickets available here) I wanted to make an easy pasta salad and thought it would be fun to use pimento cheese as a shortcut. You could make the cheese from the recipe below, or buy it from the store to make this even easier. I served the cheese on it's own as a dip in addition to making it in the pasta salad and people loved it so much I had to email the recipe to a few people at the party.
Pop all the ingredients into the food processor. Basil, cheddar, pimentos, sour cream, mayo, onion, jalapeno, garlic, onion, and paprika. This is so good as a dip. If you are making this for a 1/2 pound batch of pasta salad it means you will have lots of extra to dip. Mix it at the rate of 1 cup to 1/2 pound of pasta. Chill until ready to serve and top with scallions and ritz crackers. I love this. Creamy and delicious! I really think the basil is crucial to this recipe cause it adds a needed freshness.

Basil Pimento Cheese Pasta Salad

  • Basil Pimento
  • 8 ounces Cheddar
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 4 ounces Jarred Pimento Peppers drained
  • 1 Jalapeno seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic grated
  • 1/4 cup Diced Red Onion
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 30 Basil Leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup Mayo
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • Pasta Salad
  • 1/2 pound Elbow Pasta
  • 1 cup pimento cheese (from above recipe)
  • 10 Basil Leaves (not needed if using the homemade pimento)
  • Chopped Scallions for garnish
  • ritz crackers for garnish

Instructions

    Pimento cheese
    1. Put all the ingredients into a food processor. Process until smooth and combined. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
    Pasta Salad
    1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
    2. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water.
    3. Add the pasta to a large bowl and stir in the pimento cheese. (and basil if applicable)
    4. Chill until ready to serve. Top with scallions and crushed up ritz crackers before serving.