My mom’s mouth-watering Pimento Cheese Spread recipe is the ultimate in Southern comfort food. A zesty blend of two sharp cheddar cheeses, tangy pimentos, mayo and just the right amount of spice, this dip will elevate your taste buds to the next level. Whether you’re enjoying it with crackers or spreading it on a sandwich, this recipe is sure to impress your guests at your next party or gathering.
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This is the Best Pimento Cheese Recipe
Mom loved pimento cheese and made her Pimento Cheese Spread often, sometimes just for our family to enjoy. She never measured the ingredients, just mixed them to taste. This is my version of her “recipe;” I add cayenne pepper to give it a little kick. Note that it’s important to use a good quality Cheddar cheese with lots of flavor.
In addition to serving it as a spread or dip, pimento cheese also makes a great sandwich – which is traditionally served at Augusta National Golf Club during the Master’s tournament in early April. While the Augusta version is on white bread and wrapped in green waxed paper, I prefer it on whole wheat bread.
What is Pimento Cheese?
Pimento cheese is a classic Southern spread and sandwich filling that has been enjoyed by my family – and other Southerners – for generations. The traditional recipe calls for a blend of shredded Cheddar cheese, creamy mayonnaise, finely chopped pimentos, and a dash of salt and pepper. Despite its traditional roots, pimento cheese has seen some creative variations over the years, including the addition of garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, or horseradish.
Pimiento Cheese Recipe Ingredients
Here’s all you’ll need to easily whip up a batch of this crowd-pleasing spread (details, including quantities, are in the recipe card below):
- Yellow and white sharp Cheddar cheese
- Chopped pimientos (in a jar)
- Cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Crackers and/or celery stalks, for serving
How to Make Pimento Cheese Spread
- Combine main ingredients.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine cheeses, mayonnaise, and pimientos. Mash together with a fork until well-mixed.
Season to taste with cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
How easy is that? And, in only 10 minutes you have an amazing appetizer ready to serve!
What Do You Eat With Pimiento Cheese Dip?
I serve this dip with a variety of crackers and also celery sticks. It’s also delicious as a filling in cheese sandwiches for lunch, or stuffed into cherry tomatoes for a more elegant appetizer.
What kind of crackers are good with pimento cheese?
Most any cracker will go well with pimento cheese. Southerners traditionally serve it with saltines; my mom liked it with Carr’s Table Water or Ritz crackers. I like to serve it with Table Water and Milton Multi-Grain crackers, plus celery sticks.
Homemade Pimiento Cheese Storage
Pimento cheese should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How long will homemade pimento cheese keep in the refrigerator?
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, pimento cheese will last up to 1 week.
Pimiento Cheese FAQs
Pimento cheese is also referred to as “Pâté of the South” or “Caviar of the South.”
Pimento cheese is a culinary creation that originated in the U.S. According to Serious Eats, it was originally created in New York, then spread to the southern states where it was popularized and quickly became part of the region’s culinary culture.
A pimento, or pimiento, is a red, sweet pepper that’s mild in flavor. They’re also called cherry peppers, due to their round shape and bright red color.
Pimentos and red bell peppers have similar mild flavor, with the former being a bit more aromatic and sweet.
More Dip and Spread Recipes You’ll Enjoy
- Benedictine Cheese
- Country Ham Spread
- Feta Cheese Spread
- Olive Dip with Cream Cheese
- Artichoke, Jalapeno and Cheese Dip
- Smoked Salmon Mousse
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated yellow sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated white sharp Cheddar cheese (we like Cracker Barrel brand)
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 (2 ounce) jar chopped pimientos, drained
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Crackers and/or celery stalks
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine cheeses, mayonnaise and pimientos. Mash together with a fork until well mixed. Season to taste with cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.
- Serve with crackers and/or celery stalks.
Gluten free: Serve with gluten-free crackers.
Make ahead: The cheese spread can be made up to 3 days before serving, covered and stored in the refrigerator.
- Category: Quick & Easy, dips and spreads
- Method: No cook
- Cuisine: Southern
Note: this recipe was originally posted on January 10, 2010 and updated in August of 2023.