Pimento cheese is a spread that is part of life in the South. It has salty sharp cheddar cheese, creamy mayo, and cream cheese, some spices, and sweet red bell peppers diced, known as pimento (pimientos). It is an easy appetizer dip that is great for any get-together and can be spread also on just about anything you like cheese with. My kids love it too as an after-school snack to make any day of the week feel special. Pimento cheese is a great make-ahead recipe that everyone will love. It is low-carb, gluten-free, grain-free, and can be enjoyed by those on a keto or diabetic diet.
Years ago when I wanted to first learn how to make this, I read up about it a lot. It seems every family has their own recipe that they swear by. Many are heavy on mayonnaise and if you know anything about me, mayo is one of the foods I am not a fan of. So I tweaked this recipe a few times to ensure it was creamy, spreadable, and stayed as true to the southern roots this recipe has. The trick is a fine shred on the sharp cheddar cheese!
Many Ways to Enjoy Pimento Cheese
- with crackers
- with crudites (raw vegetables)
- in a sandwich or atop a burger
- atop crostini
- as a quesadilla
How to Make Pimento Cheese
Use a cheese grater with a fine grate option. By using a fine grate, the cheddar perfectly incorporates into the spread and blends smoothly. Therefore; the need for all that mayo to make it creamy is not necessary. You will need 3 cups of finely grated sharp cheese. Do not measure it packed, into the measuring cup. Lightly place it in the measuring cup to get the 3 cups.
Place the finely shredded cheddar to a medium-sized bowl. Add remaining ingredients and then stir lightly to combine evenly. You want the shreds to show slightly and the pimentos to still be intact. If you over-mix with a heavy hand, the pimentos can become mushy.
Once combined, place in a serving bowl. Serve with crackers, raw vegetables, or whatever you would love to serve with creamy, sharp, pimento cheesy goodness. We love carrots, celery, and sturdy crackers so that we can spread and pile a lot of the pimento cheese on it. Seen below with celery and Simple Mills grain-free crackers.
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Southern Pimento Cheese
- 3 C sharp cheddar cheese finely shredded
- 4 oz cream cheese room temperature/softened
- 2 TB mayonnaise
- 2 oz pimentos drained from the jar
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper **
- Use a cheese grater to grate cheddar cheese using the small shredded option. This ensures it is a finer shred and blends into the mixture more smoothly.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the finely shredded cheddar with the remaining ingredients. Stir gently to combine all together until smooth. There should be visible shreds of cheddar and diced pimento pieces.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with crackers, apple slices, olives, pickles, and raw vegetables.
- Refrigerate if you are not using right away. Bring to room temperature before serving so it is softer and easier to spread or dip into.
- **if you like a spicier version, double the cayenne or sprinkle additional on top before serving.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12.8g||16%|
|Saturated Fat 7.4g||37%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4.9g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.6g||2%|
|Total Sugars 2.5g|
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Yum! We Love Pimento Cheese on Fried Bologna Sandwiches!
This looks divine. I'm going to have to try it for our next family dinner. I live pimento cheese but haven't been able to find a good recipe.
Amy Irvin says
Looks delicious! I'd try any kind of cheese, and I've never had this one before. Thanks for the recipe.
Laura Lee says
I have never heard of this before, but it looks and sounds great! It's definitely something I'm going to try!
Melissa Parcel says
Yum! You would have to post this right when I'm trying to be super careful with food choices...I am drooling!
Cheese is something I often serve at gatherings with my homemade rosemary & lavender crackers. This looks like it would be a great addition!
Oh my goodness yummy!! Pimento Cheese is one of my favorites =) I will definitely be trying this recipe out!
I'd never heard of this! Great find!
oh dear god this reminds me of my childhood.....
I hope this is a good food memory!
I'm gonna have to try this for the kids sometime!
I love making cheese dips. This looks like a great one for upcoming football games.
Thank you for posting! sounds as a delicious recipe
Looks good. Never knew how to make it at home, we’ll have to give it a try.
I’m vegan now but I used to love pimento cheese spread. I never thought of making it myself!
I am so excited! I love pimento cheese and was just looking at recipes online the other day! I will be giving this a shot 🙂
Timing is everything. Enjoy !
Leslie Susan Clingan says
Girl, YOU read my mind! I have been craving some pimento cheese. Always remember eating with my mama when I was growing up. Thrilled to have your recipe for it and deviled eggs. Another fav of my mama's. Pinned them both.
I am so happy to hear this - family and food memories are the best. I cannot wait to hear how much you like the recipes and I hope you share them with your family. Enjoy!
I've never been a pimento fan, but this sounds really good. I may just have to bend and give it a try!
Love this dip/spread! My problem is not to eat the whole thing.
Ditto! I have to admit I have to split them up in the fridge when I make them. Then I bring one out for us to eat - otherwise it is gone immediately and I usually want some later that night or the next day - ah, mommy has a secret stash. Don't tell my family!
I love homemade pimento cheese. Perfect for the upcoming hoidays. Thanks for sharing!
You are welcome and happy holidays.