Whether you whip up this pimento cheese for a savory snack or as a creamy sandwich bread, it’s a guaranteed winner! With a mouthwatering combination of cream cheese, mayonnaise, and lots of shredded cheese, how could it not be a hit?!
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If you need a quick, last-minute appetizer, why not try whipping up a batch of pimento cheese?
This creamy, cheesy spread is so versatile—it can be served on salty crackers during cocktail hour, or scoop it into a bowl with lots of fresh crunchy vegetables alongside for dipping. You can also add this spread to a burger to make it next-level delicious.
Sometimes I just cut a thick slice of Homemade French Bread and top it with pimento cheese. What I’m getting at is: you really can’t go wrong here.
Old-Fashioned Pimento Cheese Recipe
Pimento cheese is a simple recipe with Southern roots. Mild cheddar cheese is folded into a base of cream cheese and mayonnaise, along with dried spices like onion and garlic powder for lots of flavor. You’ll finish it with pimentos (also known as pimientos), which are red, non-spicy peppers that add color and a bit of sweetness.
Of course you can buy pre-made pimento cheese spread, but once you try my homemade recipe you’ll never go back! In just 15 minutes you’ll have a batch of creamy, salty, totally dippable cheese spread. Try it with chips or Soft Pretzel Bites, spread it on crackers, or just eat it with a spoon!
Ingredients for Pimento Cheese
- Cream cheese – Use a block of cream cheese, not the kind that comes in a tub.
- Salt – Use Kosher salt in this recipe rather than table salt.
- Dried seasonings – Onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika
- Cheddar cheese – Mild cheddar cheese is needed for this recipe.
- Diced pimentos – You’ll need one 4-ounce jar.
This is a classic version of pimento cheese, but you can also make some substitutions:
- Swap the cheddar for Jack cheese. Instead of mild cheddar in this recipe, try substituting an equal amount of shredded Jack cheese.
- Add more spice. If you like things extra spicy, add some hot sauce or a (generous) pinch of cayenne.
- Toss in some pickles. Crunchy pickles are delicious in pimento cheese spread! I like to finely chop pickles before stirring them into the dip along with the diced pimentos for extra flavor.
How to Make Pimento Cheese
- Mix the cream cheese with the spices: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.
- Shred the cheddar and add along with the pimentos: Using a box grater, shred the cheddar cheese and add it into the cream cheese mixture. Add the diced pimentos and stir everything together to combine. Transfer to your desired serving bowl and chill until ready to serve.
Make sure the cream cheese is soft before you start the recipe. You may need to leave it on the counter for a bit to make sure it is easily stirrable, so plan ahead for that.
How to Store Pimento Cheese
Store pimento cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve straight from the fridge.
Pimento cheese is versatile and can be served in a variety of ways! Here are a few suggestions:
- On crackers – This is the classic way to serve pimento cheese spread for good reason! It makes a wonderful appetizer or snack when spread on crunchy crackers.
- As a dip – Dip in anything you like, from raw vegetables like baby carrots and cut-up bell peppers to pretzels or chips!
- In a sandwich – You can use pimento cheese as a spread on a sandwich, or add it with shredded cheese when you’re making a grilled cheese.
- On burgers – Skip the mayo and add pimento cheese to your favorite burger!
Pimento cheese is a creamy, tangy, spreadable cheese mixture. With a blend of savory seasonings, it’s absolutely packed with flavor.
You can eat pimento cheese hot or cold; it tastes delicious no matter how you serve it!
Some other names for pimento cheese are the “pâté of the south”, “Carolina caviar” and “the caviar of the South.”
- 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 16 ounce mild cheddar cheese
- 1 4 ounce jar diced pimentos
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.
- Using a box grater, shred the cheddar cheese and add to the cream cheese mixture. Add the diced pimentos and stir everything together to combine. Transfer to your desired serving bowl and chill until ready to serve.