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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