Easy Pimento Mac and Cheese is a delicious mac and cheese made with a blend of pasta shells, melted cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, pimento peppers, and green onions. Then it’s topped with panko bread crumbs and baked until the tops are golden brown. Served as a casserole or in individual cast iron petite pans, this Pimento Mac and Cheese takes this creamy, cheesy delicious dish to a whole new level!
It’s no surprise that here in Charleston, South Carolina practically every restaurant has a mac and cheese dish on their menu, and still today, it still remains the best comfort food in the South!
So when we decided to grab a bite somewhere locally, this Pimento Mac and Cheese on the menu caught my eye.
I knew I had to try it. And SO glad I did!
After my first bite, I just knew I had to replicate this recipe for pimento mac and cheese.
Luckily, the chef was nice enough to tell me the ingredients he used and I only had to figure out the rest.
No fancy equipment needed to make this mac and cheese dish. Just one pot, a few simple ingredients, and it’s ready to in 15 minutes before you bake it.
Best part? You can make this ahead and pop it into the oven when you get home from work.
Ingredients needed for Easy Pimento Mac and Cheese recipe:
medium-size pasta shells
grated Parmesan cheese
shredded cheddar cheese, mild or sharp
Half & Half
1 green onion (also called scallion)
small jar of pimiento red peppers
panko bread crumbs
Easy Pimento Mac and Cheese is made in 3 easy steps!
1. First, cook the pasta shells in boiling water until al-dente and set them aside.
2. Second, melt the cheeses into a smooth creamy mixture, using the same pot (no need to dirty another pot) and combining both kinds of cheese with the cream, stirring on low heat until the cheeses have melted.
3. Next, stir in the cooked pasta along with the pimentos and green onion. Pour into the buttered cast iron pans and sprinkle with panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese on top of each.
4. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes until the tops are golden and the cheese is bubbling.
Super easy! No-fuss at all to make and bake!
You can make pimento mac and cheese up to 2 days ahead. Keep it chilled in the fridge until ready to bake.
What are Pimientos? (aka pimento)
Pimientos are jarred sweet red peppers, already sliced for you, but I minced them even more for this recipe. It adds an interesting but subtle flavor to this mac and cheese.
And, I even added one green onion (also knows as scallions) for additional flavor and a little color.
A great dish, pimento mac and cheese can be easily made into a casserole especially when feeding a crowd, or simply serve it individually as I have done here.
Pimento Mac and Cheese turned out fantastic! Creamy, cheesy, and loaded with flavor! This recipe is for 2 servings, but you can double the recipe for more.
SO flavorful, we think you’ll enjoy this mac and cheese as much as we do.
In case you were wondering, I found these cast iron petite pans at Bed Bath & Beyond, but you can also use round shape cast iron ones from Amazon.
Also, try our Mac and Cheese with Pancetta and Caramelized Onions, and our Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
- 2 cups medium-size pasta shells
- 1 + 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
- 1 heaping Tbsp. pimento peppers - minced (do not drain liquid)
- 1 green onion (aka scallion)- minced
- 1 + 1/2 cups of Half and Half
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs - divided
- 2 (8-inch) cast iron petite pans
- butter or cooking spray olive oil
- Preheat oven to Bake at 375 F. degrees. Butter the bottoms and sides of each cast iron pan. Set them aside.
- Bring a medium-size pot filled with water to a full boil on stove-top. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water and toss in the pasta shells. Cook the pasta until al-dente, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Drain the pasta shells and set it aside.
- Using the same pot, pour in the cream and turn the heat on low. Stir in the cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese and slowly stir until the cheeses melt into a creamy, thick mixture. Turn off heat.
- Stir in the pasta shells then the pimento peppers, green onion and a pinch of cayenne pepper, and mix until it's well combined with the cheese sauce. Taste the cheese sauce, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Pour into buttered 2 ( 8-inch) cast-iron gratin pans, equally.
- Sprinkle on top of each pan with 1 tablespoon of panko bread crumbs, and then with 1 teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese on top.
- Transfer both gratin pans into the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden and crispy.
- If you make this mac and cheese ahead, cover with foil or clear wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them. When ready to bake, Uncover, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling around the edges.
- Allow cooling for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
- Serves 2
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