Homemade pimento cheese is a Southern classic! It’s easy to mix up for making sandwiches, stuffing into jalapeños, or simply eating with crackers.
I didn’t really know what pimento cheese was before I lived in Texas.
While I grew up in Wisconsin and adored cheese spreads, pimento cheese was not something that was available.
You might be able to buy a version of pimento cheese at the grocery store, but trust me when I say homemade pimento cheese is so much better!
What is pimento cheese?
If you haven’t spent time in the Southern parts of the United States, you might not be familiar with pimento cheese.
This simple cheese spread is made with lots of shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, and spices.
Some recipes call for cream cheese — I don’t use that in my version! I prefer to keep my homemade pimento cheese recipe with just cheddar cheese.
What is a pimento?
Pimentos are simply roasted red peppers that are diced and jarred. You might associate them with olives, but pimentos are great for lots of other dishes.
You can find jarred pimentos at the grocery store near the pickles and olives. You can also roast a red bell pepper, remove the skin, and dice it small.
How to make pimento cheese
Gather your ingredients:
- Cheddar cheese
- Diced pimentos
- Grated shallot or garlic
- Worcestershire sauce
- Cayenne pepper
Grate the cheddar cheese into a large mixing bowl. I prefer to use freshly grated cheese rather than pre shredded cheese, as it has a better texture for making pimento cheese dip. Sharp cheddar is my favorite!
You can also grate the cheese in a food processor. The size of the holes is up to you. I like to do a medium grate, or do some cheese on medium and some cheese on small.
Add the mayonnaise, pimentos (make sure to drain them first), shallot or garlic, a dash of Worcestershire, a pinch of cayenne, and salt.
Mix everything well using a spoon or rubber spatula, until the ingredients are evenly mixed. Grab a cracker or celery sticks and taste the pimento cheese. Adjust spices as desired.
If you like, you can also add garlic powder, onion powder, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, or your favorite spice. Customize to your heart’s content!
This recipe makes about two cups of pimento cheese dip, so chances are you’ll have some leftovers from this recipe!
Store pimento cheese spread in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Deli containers or lidded mason jars are perfect for this.
Because this dip is dairy based, I do not recommend freezing it.
How to serve pimento cheese
Not sure what to do with your pimento cheese? Crackers are the simple and classic way to enjoy it, especially if you use saltine crackers!
For another traditional way, go with a pimento cheese sandwich. This cheese sandwich is simply two slices of white bread with plenty of pimento cheese in between.
In fact, the pimento cheese sandwich is the most popular food sold at the Master’s golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia. While the event tickets are hard to come by, you can make your own sandwiches to enjoy while watching on TV.
Or, cut the sandwiches into tea-time triangles and enjoy a Southern-inspired afternoon with a cool classic mint julep!
If you love cheese dips, be sure to try my beer cheese dip!
No matter how you serve it, this pimento cheese recipe is sure to be a fast favorite. Happy snacking!
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- 4 ounces diced pimentos drained
- 1 teaspoon grated shallot or garlic
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper plus more to taste
- Grate cheese into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well until ingredients are uniformly blended.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately, or chill to let flavors meld.
- Makes about 2 cups.
- Be sure to use mayonnaise, not Miracle Whip or other substitute
- To make this recipe vegetarian, swap the Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce or tamari.
Nutrition information is an estimate based on online calculators and provided as a courtesy. Any nutritional information should be used as a general guideline only.