Home Appetizers Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe

Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe

Pimento cheese is a classic, no-cook Southern dip recipe that’s as easy to make as it is delicious.

It has a delightfully cheesy, tangy flavor and is highly customizable.

Better yet, it requires only a handful of ingredients, and it comes together in 15 minutes or less.

Bowl of Homemade Pimento Cheese with Crackers
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Pimento Cheese

I’ve heard pimento cheese referred to as “the pâté of the South.” And while that may sound bougie, it’s also accurate.

It’s a rich, tangy, cheesy spread that tastes great on sandwiches, crackers, and more.

You can even whip it up and use it as a party dip!

Because it’s best served cold, it is an excellent make-ahead dish. You can pull it together – no cooking involved – and refrigerate it for up to a week!

Ingredients

You’ll find the complete list of ingredients and the full method at the bottom of the post.

But here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to make the best pimento cheese spread:

  • Shredded Cheese. Two parts sharp cheddar to one part Monterey Jack. Be sure to grate it freshly yourself instead of buying the pre-grated stuff.
  • Cream Cheese. You’ll need about half a block of regular, full-fat cream cheese. Let it soften at room temperature so it mixes easily.
  • Mayo. It adds flavor and helps smooth out the thick, cheesy mixture. Full fat is best since it’s thicker and richer.
  • Pimentos. What are pimentos? They’re a small type of chili pepper. You’ll find them canned in every supermarket without issue. But feel free to use fresh if you have them.
  • Seasonings. I use a blend of garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Go ahead and tweak that as you like.
  • Worcestershire Sauce. Though optional, the sauce adds a rich depth of flavor that’s hard to beat.
Homemade creamy pimento cheese with crackers in a wooden board

How to Make Pimento Cheese

Making pimento cheese is super simple. Just follow these steps:

1. Combine the cheeses. Mix the cream cheese until smooth, then stir in the shredded cheese.

2. Add everything else. Mix all the other ingredients into the bowl until it looks evenly distributed.

3. Chill and/or serve. You can serve pimento cheese right away. But it tastes better cold. So, cover the bowl and chill for at least an hour.

Recipe Variations

This cold dip recipe is great as is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add to it and make it your own.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Mix in 1/4 cup of nuts for crunch.
  • Add chopped celery or bacon crumbles.
  • A tablespoon of Dijon mustard adds nice depth of flavor.
  • Dice and deseed a jalapeño for extra heat.
  • Swap out the grated cheese varieties. Try Gouda or Pepper Jack.
Delightfully cheesy pimento cheese topped with green onions in a white bowl

How to Serve Pimento Cheese

When most people think of pimento cheese, they picture it between two slices of bread.

And yes, pimento cheese sandwiches are delicious.

But this tangy cheese spread is way more versatile than that! Here’s how I use it:

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How to Store

Pimento cheese spread will last for up to 7 days if stored properly. So feel free to make it ahead for your next Game Day party or holiday feast.

Here’s how to keep it fresh:

To Store: Transfer the dip to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to a week.

I don’t recommend freezing pimento cheese spread. The taste and texture won’t be quite right after thawing.

If you have to freeze it, make sure it’s in an airtight container. And let it thaw in the fridge overnight before using it.

You’ll need to mix it well before serving and possibly add a bit more cream cheese.

More Dip Recipes You’ll Love

Hot Bean Dip
Skyline Chili Dip
Blue Cheese Dip
BLT Dip

Pimento Cheese

Course: Recipes, AppetizersCuisine: American
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Calories

308

kcal

Southern pimento cheese dip is easy to make and bursting with delicious cheesy flavor. It requires minimal ingredients and can be ready in just 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated

  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated

  • 4 ounces (1/2 block) cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 (4-ounce) jar of pimentos, drained and finely chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, optional

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix in the shredded cheese.
  • Add the mayonnaise, pimentos, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, onion powder, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce (if using). Mix until the cheese is smooth and uniform in color and the pimentos are evenly distributed.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  • Serve southern pimento cheese right away or cover and chill for an hour. Enjoy it as a sandwich filling, on crackers, or as a party dip.

Notes

  • For a creamier pimento cheese spread, add extra cream cheese.
  • Avoid pre-grated, store-bought cheeses. The anti-caking agent in them can negatively affect the final product.
  • Store leftover pimento cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 308kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 5.7g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Fat: 27.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.3g
  • Cholesterol: 58mg
  • Sodium: 376mg
  • Potassium: 163mg
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Sugar: 3.6g
  • Calcium: 290mg
  • Iron: 1mg
Pimento Cheese

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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