Pimento Cheese Meatballs with Brown Butter Grits are a Southern flavor explosion and a trendy dinner option for when you crave something different.
Allow me to rock your world with these Pimento Cheese Meatballs and Brown Butter Grits…
What exactly is Pimento Cheese? If you’re not from the south then this might be your first question, however, if you’re married (or know) someone Southern like my lucky husband then you’re likely in the know. Well, according to the Google:
“Pimento Cheese is a common food preparation in the Southern, United States, a spread or relish made with cheese. It is affectionately known as ‘The caviar of the South’.”
Grated Cheese + Pimentoes + Mayo = Pimento Cheese (aka Heaven’s spread, which I might be the only one to call it that)
When I was younger I somehow knew my grandmother loved Pimento Cheese sandwiches and it seemed as though it were some sort of family joke. To this day I still don’t know why perhaps I could just ask her.
Back then my thought was “Hmm, my grandmother likes pimento cheese sandwiches, and she’s older than me so it must be something old people like.” Now, let me just preface, I was probably around the age of 8 when I had this child-like thought process, because not only do I not think this woman is old because she’s still rocking it at 95, but pimento cheese is clearly for EVERYONE, no age specifications needed!
Like so many other things in Southern upbringing, mainly food, though, I forgot about this spread when I moved to NYC. After all, in New York spreads or smears are generally cream cheese or cream cheese with something added to the cream cheese so it’s not likely you’ll be able to order a toasted salt bagel with pimento cheese, but oh my wow. That should change!
Shortly after my family and I moved to the lovely city of Charleston I was once again reunited with the southern staple, which is prominently displayed in each and EVERY grocer in town. I brought some home one evening for a little weekend app and my Husband went nuts!
Naturally, being from upstate New York he’d never heard of pimento cheese and asked me why I’d been holding out on him all 2 of the days we’d been back in the south. So not only is this a “common food preparation in the Southern, United States,” but it’s also common in our house.
Recently, as I was scrolling through my Pinterest feed I began to notice meatballs are trending and then naturally I began to crave them so much so that I’ve made 3 different versions in the past 3 weeks.
Initially, I wasn’t sure which variation of meatball meal I wanted to prepare, I just knew I wanted meatballs. Later at the grocery store when I glided in through the automatic doors there standing before me was the large containers of pimento cheese. I took it as a sign…
Then I needed to come up with a perfect pairing for my Pimento Cheese Meatballs so I once again turned to traditional Southern cooking. Here in the South everything, and I do mean everything can be placed on top of grits so I figured the only natural option for Pimento Cheese Meatballs was to place them over grits, brown butter grits to be exact.
And that friend is the true story of Pimento Cheese Meatballs with Brown Butter Grits.
Pimento Cheese Meatballs
- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- 1/2 cup Pimento Cheese
- 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil divided
- Preheat the oven to 475ºF. In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, pimento cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil until well mixed. Shape the mixture into 1-inch sized balls.
- Place an empty large heavy-bottomed saucepan or iron skillet into the prepared oven to heat for 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the heated skillet and swirl around to coat. Put the meatballs into the skillet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the meatballs begin to brown.
- 1 cup Grits (not quick-cooking kind)
- 2 cups Milk
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup Butter
- While the meatballs are cooking place the milk and chicken broth in a large saucepan and heat on medium-high heat. Add the grits and stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the Garlic Powder and Salt & Pepper.
- To brown the butter, bring it to a boil in a small saucepan. The mixture will then bubble up and begin to reduce a bit and turn brown. Once the butter has browned pour it into the grits mixture and stir.