Pimento cheese spread is a crowd-pleasing appetizer that's easy to make from scratch. Filled with sharp cheddar, mayonnaise, and diced pimentos, serve this creamy cheese spread with crackers and veggies.
If you've never had pimento cheese before, it is a classic Southern staple. Pimento cheese is a creamy spread made of shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese, and a few flavorful additions, like onions, hot sauce, and pimentos.
Serve this pimento cheese cold with crackers, bread, veggies, or tortilla chips at your next party. This addictive and flavorful dip will be the first dish to go!
What is pimento cheese made of?
The base ingredients of pimento cheese include shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and diced pimentos. It's kind of a mix between a spread and a relish.
Pimentos are a sweet, aromatic cherry pepper, and one of the lowest peppers on the scoville scale.
Another common ingredient includes cream cheese, which adds a rich, creamy, and smooth texture.
Other optional flavor additions include ingredients like worcestershire sauce, horseradish, jalapenos, hot sauce, onions, or diced pickles.
Ingredients and substitutions
I used a block each of sharp cheddar cheese and extra sharp cheddar cheese. I suggest using a higher quality brand of cheese if possible. Since cheese is the star of this recipe, the higher the quality, the better the flavor. I highly recommend grating your own cheese from the block, it has a much better texture, and isn't coated in anti-clumping powders like bagged cheeses.
Pimentos should be diced. Pimentos are often found near the pickles at the grocery store - they're sold in small jars. If you have whole or sliced pimentos (long strips), make sure to give them a quick dice before adding to your spread.
The minced onion can be omitted, but adds a great amount of flavor and texture to the pimento cheese.
Hot sauce adds just enough flavor without making the pimento cheese 'spicy'. You're welcome to add more hot sauce to taste if you'd like a spicy cheese.
Ways to eat pimento cheese
Pimento cheese is a creamy spread that can be added just about anywhere you'd like to add more cheese!
- Spread onto crackers
- Add to bread for a quick cold sandwich
- Make tea sandwiches as an appetizer
- Make a grilled cheese sandwich
- Serve with tortilla chips
- Spread onto celery
- Roll into pinwheel sandwiches
- Replace sliced cheese on burgers
- Add to a ham or turkey sandwich
- Use to stuff olives
- Spread on a biscuit with bacon for breakfast
- Add to deviled egg filling
Leftovers and storage
If you can manage to keep pimento cheese around this long, it will keep for up to two weeks in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
Dairy doesn't tend to freeze and thaw well (the texture can get grainy), so I do not recommend freezing leftovers.
Pimento Cheese Spread
- 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 4 ounces jarred pimentos, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a large bowl, add all of your ingredients. Using a hand mixer, stand mixer, or a wooden spoon, beat until evenly combined.
- Taste and add more hot sauce, salt, and pepper as desired.
- Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately with crackers and veggies, or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Recipe will serve 12 as an appetizer spread, or will make 8 sandwiches.
- Spread will keep for up to two weeks in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.