Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese will take you back to your childhood days in the South. It’s about as Southern as things come, and uses only 5 ingredients. Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese takes minutes to make, and is amazingly versatile. Spread it on crackers, serve it as a dip with corn chips, toast it on bread, make incredible grilled cheese sandwiches, use it to top your favorite burger, make pimento cheese quesadillas, or use it as a base for Wonton Jalapeño Popper Bites. However served, Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese is always a crowd pleaser.
Ingredients for Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese:
I used the following ingredients: Cream cheese, mayonnaise, extra sharp Cheddar cheese, fresh jalapeño pepper, and diced pimentos. I also used a couple of grinds of black pepper. For the cream cheese, I used Neufchâtal Cheese because of the reduced fat, but could have used regular or low-fat cream cheese.
One thing that’s important for a really good Southern Pimento Cheese is to shred the cheese yourself as opposed to using store-bought pre-shredded cheese. The reason is that the pre-shredded cheese has some additives that negatively impact the taste.
About Pimento Cheese?
Pimiento is a small, sweet variation of the red bell pepper. You’re likely most familiar with pimientos stuffed into green olives. Their sweetness serves to offset the somewhat bitter taste of green olives.
From this point on, I’m going to use the pimento spelling. Combined with several other ingredients, pimentos are the star of the quintessential Southern classic – Pimento Cheese. You may be surprised to know that Pimento Cheese actually has it roots in New York. You can read all about its history at Serious Eats.
There are probably as many variations of Pimento Cheese as there are Southern cooks. Aside from the typical cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos, Southern cooks might add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, onions, jalapeño peppers, cayenne pepper, and a whole host of other ingredients. One thing is sure, however – Pimento Cheese is a favorite in the South.
Making the Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese:
To start, I beat room temperature cream cheese with mayonnaise until the mixture was smooth. This took about a minute.
Then, I added the shredded Cheddar cheese, jalapeño peppers, diced and drained pimentos, and a couple of grinds of pepper.
Typically, Pimento Cheese should be on the chunky side. Therefore, I used a wooden spoon to stir mixture together. That’s it!
I ended up with about 2 1/2 cups of the most delicious Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese that you can imagine. I served it with Ritz crackers for an incredible appetizer. What we didn’t eat is in the refrigerator awaiting another equally amazing variation. Yum.
Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature (See Note 1)
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 113 grams) mayonnaise
- 2 cups (8 ounces, 227 grams) shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
- 4 ounce (113 grams) jar diced pimientos, drained
- Several grinds of black pepper
- Beat together cream cheese and mayonnaise with electric mixer on high until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon until well combined.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (See Notes 2 and 3)
- Yield: About 2 1/2 cups.
Chula's Expert Tips
- I used Neufchâtal Cheese because of the reduced fat. However, you could also use regular or low-fat cream cheese.
- Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese can be stored, covered in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese is delicious on its own or with crackers, corn chips, tortilla chips, celery, or carrots. It's also an amazing topping for a burger, and delicious filing for finger sandwiches. Use it in place of regular cheese for an out-of-this-world grilled cheese sandwich, or toasted on bread. The list of variations goes on and on!