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Pimento Cheese Recipe

Pimento Cheese, a flavorful Southern staple, blends creamy, tangy, and a touch of spice in every mouthful. This Pimento Cheese recipe takes all the best elements of the classic dish but adds a bit of seasoning to make it a spicy and flavorful twist.

pimento cheese in white bowl with crackers on side and vegetables in background

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Pimento cheese is a Southern favorite that has been around for over 100 years. But in reality, it wasn’t even invented in the South. Pimento Cheese was created in the North, and Southerners have come to love it and make it their own.

The old-fashioned pimento cheese recipe contains diced pimientos, cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise. That’s it!

But this classic recipe has been adapted to include many variations. I’ve had pimento cheese made with white cheddar, gouda, and some even with jalapeño added for some spice. After eating many variations of this cheesy spread and many attempts to get a pimento cheese recipe that I loved, I’ve landed on this recipe.

If you love Southern appetizer dips, check out our deviled ham recipe too.

Ingredients for Pimento Cheese

  • Hard Cheese – I use a combo of extra sharp cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. I suggest buying the block cheese and using a hand grater to shred it for the best taste and consistency.
  • Cream Cheese – Adds a bit of tang and gives the pimento cheese a stronger hold.
  • Mayonnaise – this is a classic ingredient of pimento cheese. It adds flavor but also allows the cheese to be spreadable.
  • Diced pimientos – Also known as pimentos or cherry peppers, you can find pimientos in the canned foods aisle in many grocery stores. They are small red peppers that are mildly sweet in flavor. You can find them diced or sliced and packed in jars. I use diced pimientos in this recipe.
  • Seasoning – Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder.
pimento cheese ingredients on wood table

How to make pimento cheese

Combine the grated cheddar and pepper jack cheese in a large mixing bowl.

Add the cream cheese to the bowl with the grated cheese. Use a spatula or a hand mixer on low speed to mix until the cheeses are well combined.

Add the mayonnaise, diced pimientos, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder into the bowl. Stir the ingredients until mixed well.

Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator before serving.

What is pimento cheese?

 Pimento cheese is a popular cheese spread. It’s made with grated cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, diced pimentos, and often Worcestershire sauce. It can be used as a dip for crackers or vegetables or as a sandwich spread.

Pimento cheese is also great on hamburgers or grilled cheese sandwiches.

What to serve with pimento cheese?

This homemade Pimento cheese is traditionally served with crackers, mostly Ritz crackers. However, it can be served on crackers, hamburgers, grilled Cheese, and more.

pimento cheese on plate with cheese spreader in cheese and crackers on side

How to Store

Refrigerator: Store your pimento cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Freezer: Place your pimento cheese in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. 

Remember that freezing may slightly alter the texture of the Cheese upon thawing. It might become more crumbly or grainy, but it will still be safe to eat and retain most of its flavor.

Expert Tips

  • Choose Your Cheese Wisely: The type and quality of the Cheese you use impacts your pimento cheese’s overall flavor and texture. You can experiment with different kinds of Cheese, but avoid pre-shredded Cheese as it often contains anti-caking agents, which can affect the smoothness of your spread.
  • Add more mayonnaise for a creamier spread: I found that 3/4 cup of mayo was perfect in this recipe; however, if you want an even creamier dish, add a bit more mayo.
  • Refrigerate before serving for best results: If time permits, place the pimento cheese in an airtight container and allow it to chill for an hour before serving. 
  • Make it spicier: If you like a bit of spice, add a dash of hot sauce or a chopped jalapeño.
close up photo fo pimento cheese spread in white bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pimento cheese called in the South?

Pimento cheese is often referred to as “Southern Caviar” in the South.

Is pimento cheese healthy?

Pimento cheese can be high in fat and calories, so it’s best enjoyed in moderation. However, it also provides protein and calcium. You can make it healthier by using reduced-fat cheese and mayonnaise, or by serving it with fresh vegetables instead of crackers. 

I hope you like this pimento cheese recipe as much as we do. Looking for more appetizers, try these out:

pimento cheese in white bowl with crackers on side and vegetables in background
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4.67 from 3 votes

Pimento Cheese Recipe

Pimento Cheese, a flavorful Southern staple, blends creamy, tangy, and a touch of spice in every mouthful.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 280kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese grated
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 4 ounce jar diced pimientos drained
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese.
  • Add the cream cheese to the bowl with the grated cheese. Use a spatula or a hand mixer on low speed to mix until the cheeses are well combined.
  • Add the mayonnaise, diced pimientos, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder into the bowl. Stir the ingredients until well incorporated.
  • Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Serve the Pimento Cheese with Ritz crackers.

Notes

I recommend grating block cheese with the large side of a hand grater for the best taste and consistency.

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcal
Recipe Rating




Christie Cobarr

Thursday 16th of November 2023

My Nana hailed from Louisiana, and made Pimento Cheese for us. This recipe brought back so many memories. Thank you.

Brandi Crawford

Monday 4th of December 2023

You're welcome.