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PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD {5 minutes!}

Homemade Pimento Cheese is a SOUTHERN spread used as a dip for crackers and veggies or spread on finger sandwiches at parties. Whip it up in LESS THAN 5 minutes!

Easily made with cheese, mayo, and a secret ingredient, it is creamy and tasty. Perfect for any occasion or just eating by the spoonful in front of the fridge.

hand dipping a cracker into a bowl of pimento cheese spread

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

If you are not familiar with this recipe, or have never even heard of a pimento, hang on to your cheese spread loving pants! Mine are yoga pants, LOL!

Of all the variations of this Southern staple, the best pimento cheese recipe I have ever tasted, is my mother in law’s.

Passed down from the sweetest ladies in the South, it will soon be your favorite way to dress a cracker.

WHAT IS PIMENTO CHEESE?

Not to be confused with Palmetto cheese which is just a specific brand, but is the same thing as pimiento cheese.

The spelling is the only difference. Don’t you love it when people throw in a few extra letters?!?!

WHAT EXACTLY IS A PIMENTO?

A pimento, or sometimes spelled pimiento, is a small chili pepper with the lowest heat (Scoville scale) of any chili peppers.

So don’t worry about them being too spicy.

You can find them on olive bars or in jars already pickled. The ones I use for this recipe come already chopped in a brine in a small jar or can.

Look in the pickle aisle at the grocery store.

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labeled picture of cheese spread ingredients

Not to be confused with all those other recipes out there that claim they are the original, this is a pimento cheese recipe without cream cheese.

Cream cheese dulls the flavor of the cheese and is added for volume and is cheaper than real cheese. I don’t like it in my spread, but you do you!

I recommend trying it without the cream cheese and if you realize you need it, add it later:)

WHAT IS PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD MADE OF?

  • cheese (cheddar & pepper jack)
  • pimentos
  • mayo
  • spices

CHEESE: Cheddar is the most common but I like to mix things up if you haven’t noticed. And because I like some spice, I am going with pepper jack cheese mixed in with the cheddar.

MAYO: The recipe for southern pimento cheese is just mayo but you can substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream.

ONION: A lot of recipes don’t call for them but I like the flavor they add. Be sure to mince very small or grate them. If you are anti-onion, use a little onion powder.

PIMENTOS: These are the star of the show but if you can’t find them or don’t like them, use roasted red peppers as a pimento substitute.

SPICES: Instead of garlic powder, I prefer fresh garlic ground up or minced. I add Worcestershire sauce for a little smoke and savory, crushed red pepper flakes for a kick. For more spice, I throw in a few dashes of hot sauce.

SECRET: Because pimentos are typically added to olives to round out the bitterness, I like to add some olive juice. If you don’t have olive juice in your fridge you can use pickle juice instead.

I know you have a jar of olives tucked in the back of the fridge along with all the other half used condiments that are waiting to be thrown out next year. Jalapeno juice works well too!

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

HOW TO MAKE PIMENTO CHEESE FROM SCRATCH?

ONE: Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Garnish with sliced green onions.

TWO: Serve with crackers or place in the fridge for future uses!

Pretty easy, right?!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

close up of bowl of homemade pimento cheese spread

WHAT DO YOU EAT WITH PIMENTO CHEESE?

I like to use it as a cracker spread but it’s also great with these:

  • grits
  • mashed potatoes
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • pimento cheese sandwiches (duh, right?)
  • burger topping
  • french fries
  • crostini
  • pretzels, bagel chips, veggies
  • shape it into a cheese ball and coat with pecans – MY FAVE WAY!

HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE PIMENTO CHEESE LAST?

If you keep it sealed in an air tight container in the fridge it will last for up to 2 weeks.

Although my family usually eats it within the first few days.

CAN YOU FREEZE PIMENTO CHEESE?

You can freeze it, but you don’t want to serve it as a dip or spread as the ingredients will separate. But if you are using it as part of another recipe, feel free to thaw and use.

WHO MAKES THE BET PIMENTO CHEESE?

With this homemade pimento cheese recipe, YOU DO! It’s so much better than store bought!

overhead picture of platter of pimento cheese and crackers

TAPAS TIPS & TRICKS

  • Mix by hand for better texture but you can use a stand mixer, hand mixer, or food processor.
  • Use extra sharp cheddar cheese for intense flavor.
  • Want more kick? Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or black pepper.
  • Leave out the cream cheese for the best flavor.
close up of cracker with pimento spread
collage of cheese spread with text "pimento cheese"

MORE EASY APPETIZERS

square picture of bowl of pimento cheese spread

Homemade Pimento Cheese Recipe

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Creamy, cheesy Pimento Cheese Spread is a great party spread! Serve with crackers or on a burger for a new twist!

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (finely grated)
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese (finely grated)
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (you can substitute plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1 jar pimentos (7oz, drained)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon onion (minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive juice (you can substitute the juice drained from the pimentos)
  • 1 dash Tabasco
  • 1 green onion stalk (thinly sliced for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixer or by hand.
  2. Stir until completely combined.
  3. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
  4. Lasts about a week in the refrigerator.

Notes

*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 499Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 795mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 17g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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{Originally posted 02/09/14 – photos and recipe notes updated 09/24/20}

@TakeTwoTapas.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Jodi

Sunday 16th of May 2021

wow - i’ve been looking for the best pimento cheese recipe and you won!! thanks so much for sharing!

Jennifer

Monday 17th of May 2021

Thank you!

Andrea

Saturday 18th of August 2018

With this recipe, I think I'll become a fan of pimento cheese. Really like the idea of making it as a grilled cheese sandwich.

heather @french press

Wednesday 18th of May 2016

I've never actually had pimento cheese, but it sounds like something I would absolutely LOVE!!

chubcheeks@bellsouth.net

Thursday 19th of May 2016

You must try ASAP! It makes a great grilled cheese sandwich!

Laura @MotherWouldKnow

Saturday 5th of December 2015

What a great "throwback" recipe. It reminds me of the parties my parents used to have, when they served cocktails and appetizers like these. But your updated, homemade version is infinitely better:)

chubcheeks@bellsouth.net

Tuesday 8th of December 2015

I love it! I remember when everyone put pickles on toothpicks and had cocktail too! So fun! Thanks for reading and I hope you like the recipe:)

Angie | Big Bear's Wife

Friday 4th of December 2015

Pimento Cheese is so good! My husband tried it for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it too! gotta make this asap!

chubcheeks@bellsouth.net

Friday 4th of December 2015

I never thought I would like it like the people here do but it is really growing on me...

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