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Pimento Cheese

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Pimento cheese is a Southern classic that brings a delightful burst of flavor to any occasion. This creamy and tangy spread, made with a combination of sharp cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, diced pimentos, and a blend of savory spices, is a yummy treat that can be enjoyed as a dip, sandwich spread, or even as a topping for burgers.

Pimento cheese served in a bowl next to crackers.


 

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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
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blog post.

Once known as the pâté of the South, pimento cheese has become a staple dish at most gatherings, picnics, and parties. An appetizer that always brings you back to your childhood, enjoying mouthfuls of crackers overflowing with your grandma’s pimento cheese dip. Which was always the most delicious, of course!

My recipe uses the traditional classic ingredients, but I add a bit of smoked paprika, turning even those who usually don’t like pimento cheese into immediate fans.

If you’re not sure what else to serve at your next party, try my Quick and Easy Beer Cheese Dip & Air Fryer Pretzel Bites. Our Pepperoni Pizza Sliders and Fried Chicken Sliders are also always a hit. Top it off with a Jamaican Rum Punch for the adults and a Green Sherbet Punch for the kids.

Pimento cheese served in a bowl next to crackers.

Ingredients for homemade pimento cheese spread

  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese – The star of the show, sharp cheddar cheese adds a bold and rich flavor to your pimento cheese. Opt for high-quality cheese for the best results.
  • Pepper jack cheese – Adding Pepper Jack cheese brings a hint of heat and a melty, spicy kick to the mix.
  • Cream Cheese – Adding cream cheese lends a velvety texture to the pimento cheese, balancing out the sharpness of the cheddar.
  • Mayonnaise – The creamy texture of mayonnaise helps bind the ingredients together, creating a smooth and spreadable consistency.
  • Jar diced pimientos – These sweet and mildly spicy red peppers provide a pop of color and contribute a unique taste that perfectly complements the cheese.
  • Worcestershire sauce – This savory and umami-rich sauce adds depth of flavor to the spread, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Spices – A flavorful combination of onion powder, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder.
  • For Serving – Ritz crackers or cut vegetables
Ingredients for pimento cheese

Tools needed for this recipe

  • Large Bowl
  • Cheese Grater
  • Rubber spatula or hand mixer

How To Make Pimento Cheese Dip

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, and cream cheese. Use a spatula or a hand mixer on low speed to mix until the cheeses are well combined.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, diced pimientos, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder into the bowl. Stir the ingredients until well incorporated.
  3. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator before serving.
  4. Serve with Ritz crackers or vegetables.
Mixing the pimento cheese in a bowl.

How to store pimento cheese

If you’re preparing this cheese to serve at a party or family gathering, it’s best not to leave it out for longer than 2 hours. This is when bacteria can start to grow. When ready to store, transfer the cheese to an airtight container or jar with a tight sealing lid.

How long can pimento cheese last in the fridge? When properly stored and in the fridge, your pimento cheese will be freshest for up to a week.

Can I freeze pimento cheese? I wouldn’t recommend freezing pimento cheese. Freezing can alter the texture and consistency of the spread. Refrigerate for best results.

Tanya’s Top Tips

  • Use the smoked paprika…the flavor is amazing. If you don’t have smoked paprika, use regular paprika…but man, the smoked is my favorite.
  • I recommend grating block cheese with the large side of a hand grater for the best taste and consistency.
  • If you prefer smoother pimento cheese, use a hand mixer to blend the cheese mixture until it reaches your desired consistency.

How to serve

While you can enjoy pimento cheese on just about anything. Enjoy a dollop of pimento cheese on or with any of the following tasty dishes:

Serve pimento cheese as a dip or a spread at your next party. Here are just a few ideas for dipping or spreading:

  • Ritz crackers or Seed crackers
  • Carrot sticks or Celery sticks
  • Crostini, or Crusty bread slices
  • Assorted sliced bell peppers
Pimento cheese served in a bowl next to crackers.

Popular Substitutions & Additions

We’ve already kicked this dip up a notch by adding pepper jack cheese, but you can make it your own with a few additions. Try any of these to level up your pimento cheese dip:

  • Diced jalapenos for heat and crunch.
  • Diced pickles for a tangy crunch.
  • Crispy Bacon for another savory and smoky element.
  • Sun Sun-dried tomatoes add sweetness and smokiness.
  • Add a hint of nuttiness with chopped toasted pecans or walnuts.

FAQ’s

What are pimento peppers?

Pimento, also known as pimiento peppers, is a cherry pepper. This large, heart-shaped pepper is slightly sweeter and more aromatic than a regular red bell pepper. The peppers come in a variety of colors and heat levels, but primarily, the sweet variety is used in things like this pimento cheese or the insides of salty green olives.

My pimento cheese is separating after refrigeration; what do I do?

If you notice any separation, before serving, give the cheese a gentle stir to redistribute the ingredients and flavors throughout.

Expert Tips

  • I recommend grating block cheese with the large side of a hand grater for the best taste and consistency.
  • If you prefer smoother pimento cheese, use a hand mixer to blend the cheese mixture until it reaches your desired consistency.

Looking for more dip recipes? Try these out:

 If you have tried this recipe or any other recipe on my blog, please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

Pimento cheese served in a bowl next to crackers.
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5 from 2 votes

Pimento Cheese Recipe

Pimento Cheese, a flavorful Southern staple, blends creamy, tangy, and a touch of spice in every mouthful.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword pimento cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 280kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • 8 oz pepper jack cheese grated
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese softened
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces jar diced pimientos drained
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Ritz crackers or cut vegetables for serving

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, and cream cheese. Use a spatula or a hand mixer on low speed to mix until the cheeses are well combined.
  • Add the mayonnaise, diced pimientos, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder into the bowl. Stir the ingredients until well incorporated.
  • Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Serve the Pimento Cheese with Ritz crackers or vegetables.

Notes

  • I recommend grating block cheese with the large side of a hand grater for the best taste and consistency.
  • If you prefer smoother pimento cheese, use a hand mixer to blend the cheese mixture until it reaches your desired consistency.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 364mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 764IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 287mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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Although myforkinglife.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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Recipe Rating




Barbara

Thursday 23rd of May 2024

Thank you for allowing me to place a comment. I live in NC and have ate several of the types you are talking about but by far the one wrote the recipe on is the best and the smoke paprika is the best. I've had it close to without the seasoning almost and it really isn't that good so don't take it out thinking it will make it just as good. It doesn't.

Tanya

Thursday 23rd of May 2024

Thanks Barbara! So happy you liked the recipe.

Andrea

Friday 17th of May 2024

Wow this looks terrific !! I can't wait to make it.

Tanya

Friday 17th of May 2024

Thanks Andrea! I hope you like it as much as we do :)