'Most Valuable Pimento' cheese recipe: Pitmaster Rodney Scott’s Super Bowl staple

Pitmaster Rodney Scott's MVP
Pitmaster Rodney Scott's MVP

Super Bowl Sunday calls for plenty of delicious snacks. Football fans and food lovers-alike annually look forward to a spread of chips, guac, salsa, wings, mac and cheese — the list goes on.

But James Beard award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott's game-day MVP is a pimento cheese — and the recipe for the dish is aptly dubbed "Most Valuable Pimento."

"Pimento cheese is a staple in the South," the founder and pitmaster of Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ tells USA TODAY in an emailed statement.

And it's a great option for hosting because it can be prepared a few days in advance, Scott explains. "All you need to do is remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior (to serving)."

Did your favorite make the cut? James Beard list of chef and restaurant semifinalists is out

Delicious: How to make paella Valenciana at home according to chef José Andrés

The chef recommends finishing with green onions or Rodney Scott's Rib Rub (see recipe below) and serving with celery, crackers or Scott's favorite: crunchy pork skins (also known as pork rinds).

The recipe can be found in "Rodney Scott's World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day: A Cookbook," published in 2021.

Rodney Scott’s MVP (Most Valuable Pimento)

Makes: 8-10 servings


  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese (yellow is traditional, but white is fine)

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 cup Duke's mayonnaise (or the mayonnaise of your choosing)

  • 1 cup jarred diced pimentos, drained

  • 3 tablespoons Rodney’s Rib Rub (recipe below)

  • 1 teaspoon Colman's mustard powder (or the mustard powder of your choosing)

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 3 ounces pork skins

  • 1 medium bag of celery stalks, for serving


Using a box grater, shred the cheddar on the medium shredding holes into a bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Add the pimentos, Rib Rub seasoning, mustard powder, and onion powder, mixing until blended. Fold in the grated cheddar, making sure it is evenly incorporated. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a dip with pork skins or celery stalks. Pimento cheese can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Ingredients for the rib rub:

  • ½ cup kosher salt

  • ¼ cup MSG

  • ¼ cup fresh ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup paprika

  • ¼ cup chili powder

  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions for the rib rub:

Mix all of the ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

RODNEY'S PRO TIP: Don't use pre-shredded cheese. It's coated with cornstarch to prevent it from clumping. Only freshly grated cheese will give you the creamy result you're looking for.

Recipe courtesy of Rodney Scott.

Check out these recipes to up your kitchen game: 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pimento cheese recipe: Rodney Scott's version is the Super Bowl 'MVP'