Pimento cheese is a spread that is part of life in the South. It has salty sharp cheddar cheese, creamy ingredients, spices, and sweet red cherry peppers diced, known as pimento (pimientos). This easy recipe is all those things and more.
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. This simple recipe can be made last minute when you need something to entertain. It is also a great make-ahead recipe that everyone will love.
Ingredients for Pimento Cheese
This recipe calls for just 7 ingredients. It has all the traditional items for old-fashioned flavor. I made one small change from a recipe that has been in our family for generations.
Most are common pantry or refrigerator staples. It is low-carb, gluten-free, grain-free, and can be enjoyed by those on a keto or diabetic diet.
Here is everything you need to make a Southern recipe for pimento cheese spread:
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese - finely grated, do not buy it already grated - fresh is best and will not have any fillers or anti-caking ingredients.
- Cream Cheese - full fat and softened to room temperature.
- Mayo - just a little goes a long way here.
- Pimento Peppers - the star of the recipe is these finelly chopped peppers; use canned, jarred or if you have fresh.
- Garlic Powder - for great flavor.
- Cayenne Pepper - for a classic spicy kick that all good Southern versions have.
- Worcestershire Sauce - for tangy, salty, & a touch of sweet flavor.
See the Recipe Card below for amounts and full instructions.
How to Make Southern Pimento Cheese
Many are heavy on mayonnaise and if you know anything about me, mayo is one of the foods I am not a fan of. This is the best pimento cheese recipe with little or no mayo. It is spreadable even if you omit the mayo.
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!
Here are the easy steps for making pimento cheese with little or no mayo:
- Finely Grate the Cheese
- Mix the Ingredients
1 - Finely Grate the 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.
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.
2 - Mix the Ingredients
Place the finely shredded cheddar to a medium-sized bowl. Add remaining ingredients and then stir lightly to combine evenly.
If you don't have worcestershire sauce, try a substitute.
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.
3 - Serve
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.
Storing and Freezing
This recipe stores well in either the refrigerator or freezer. Place in an air-tight container and store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 60 days in the freezer.
Product Recommendations for this Recipe:
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Old-Fashioned 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
|Saturated Fat 7.4g
|Total Carbohydrate 4.9g
|Dietary Fiber 0.6g
|Total Sugars 2.5g