Pimento cheese is a Southern classic! Creamy, sharp cheese combined with the mild heat and slightly sweet taste of pimento peppers is a match made in heaven. This old fashioned pimento cheese recipe is so easy to whip up and a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Make it ahead of time – it’s a great appetizer for parties and summer barbecues.
So pour yourself some sweet tea and let’s make this delicious dip together – Southern style!
What are pimento peppers?
Pimento peppers, more authentically known as pimiento peppers, are mild, sweet red peppers. If you’ve had a Spanish olive – the green one with the red in the middle – you’ve had a pimento pepper. They’re the little red guys stuck in the middle of the olives.
Pimentos, also known as red cherry peppers, were introduced to the United States through the Spanish and Portuguese influences on Southern cuisine.
Cheese, a staple ingredient in many Southern dishes, found its perfect match in pimentos. This simple yet flavorful combination quickly gained popularity, and pimento cheese began to appear in cookbooks and on menus across the South. Pimento cheese sandwiches are still a Southern favorite today.
What’s in this pimento cheese dip
Six simple ingredients is all you’ll need to whip up this recipe. This short list of ingredients makes for quite the addictive flavor profile:
- Sharp cheddar cheese. Go for as sharp a cheddar as you can find. It can be yellow or white cheddar, but for this recipe I use yellow for the color.
- Pepper jack cheese. This adds a little bit of heat without being spicy.
- Pimento peppers. You can find them in small jars at the grocery store.
- Mayonnaise. This, with the cream cheese, will create a smooth, creamy texture.
- Cream Cheese. Be sure you’re using it at room temperature so it blends more easily.
- Scallions. You’ll fold these into the cheese dip after it’s blended in the food processor.
How to make the best pimento cheese recipe
It couldn’t be easier to make this tangy cheese mixture. Simply place all of the ingredients except for the green onions into a food processor and blend until smooth. Then, fold in the chopped green onions.
This recipe makes about 3 1/2 cups of pimento cheese, so you’ll have plenty to both enjoy now and save for later.
How to Serve this Pimento cheese recipe
Affectionately known as the pâté of the south, pimento cheese is a classic Southern staple and can be enjoyed in many different ways.
Serve pimento cheese as a dip with celery sticks and crackers. Ritz or other types of buttery crackers are a classic pairing.
Pimento cheese is also amazing as a sandwich spread. Keep it simple and sandwich pimento cheese between two slices of white bread, cut it into triangles and remove the crusts. Perfection!
And if you haven’t tried a grilled pimento cheese sandwich, you’re missing out. Put it on your bucket list!
How to store pimento cheese
Storing this Homemade pimento cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator will help maintain its flavor and texture for up to a week.
The fat content in the cheese and mayonnaise helps to preserve this pimento cheese spread, but it’s important to keep it well-sealed to maintain freshness.
Can you Freeze Pimento Cheese?
The short answer is, you can but you shouldn’t. Due to the high moisture content of cheese, freezing it can affect the texture and consistency.
When thawed, pimento cheese can become watery or grainy. It’s best to enjoy pimento cheese while it’s fresh or refrigerated for a few days after it’s made.
Variations on this pimento cheese recipe
Classic pimento cheese recipes all contain the basic ingredients of sharp cheese, mayonnaise and pimentos. Over the years, cooks have expanded on the basic recipe, including ingredients to suit different tastes and give pimento cheese new flavor twists.
Some pimento cheese recipes use garlic powder, onion powder or Worcestershire sauce to enhance the tangy flavor. Other recipes amp up the heat using hot sauce, cayenne pepper or diced jalapeño peppers.
I’d recommend trying this recipe for the first time as it’s written, and then play around with ingredient additions to see what floats your boat.
When you make this pimento cheese recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more Southern-style recipes, try these:
For more easy appetizers, try these:
Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe (Easy Homemade Dip)
- 2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese grated
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sliced pimento peppers
- 1/4 cup diced scallions (green onions)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients except for the scallions in a food processor. Blend until smooth. (Alternatively, blend in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer.) Fold in the diced scallions. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper.