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 the pimento cheese 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.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese
There are only five ingredients that go into making this delicious pimento cheese.
- The Cheeses: Two cheeses are used in this tasty recipe: cream cheese and cheddar cheese. I used Neufchâtel because of the reduced fat. My cheddar cheese of choice was extra sharp Cheddar which I shredded myself. The pre-shredded cheddar cheese had additives that can negatively impact the flavor.
- For Added Flavor: I like to add finely diced jalapeños to the pimento cheese for not only added flavor but also an added bite. I also like to add a few grinds of black pepper.
- The Star of the Show: It wouldn’t be pimento cheese without pimentos, right? Therefore, the star of the show was drained diced pimentos.
- The Binder: Bringing up the rear was mayonnaise to bind everything together.
Is it Pimiento or Pimento?
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.
About Pimento Cheese
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
Pimento cheese is one of the easiest things that you could make.
- First, I beat room temperature cream cheese with mayonnaise until the mixture was smooth. This took about a minute.
- Next, I added the shredded Cheddar cheese, jalapeño peppers, drained diced pimentos, and a couple of grinds of black pepper.
- Typically, Pimento Cheese should be on the chunky side. Therefore, I used a wooden spoon to stir the mixture together. That’s it!
I ended up with about 2 ½ cups of the most delicious Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese that you can imagine.
I served the pimento cheese with Ritz crackers for an incredible appetizer. What we didn’t eat is in the refrigerator awaiting another equally amazing variation. Yum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to use full fat or low-fat cream cheese in this recipe.
I typically use extra sharp Cheddar cheese because that’s what I have on hand. However, you could certainly substitute regular or sharp Cheddar cheese.
There are numerous different recipes for pimento cheese. Some don’t include cream cheese. One of the beauties of this recipe is that numerous variations are delicious.
Cheese is an important addition to pimento cheese (thus it’s name!). However, feel free to substitute Monterey Jack, Colby or other cheeses for the Cheddar cheese.
I like the extra bite that jalapeño peppers provide. However, you could leave it out. You could add onions or garlic in its place if you desired.
Tasty Southern Pimento Cheese
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature (See Tip 1)
- ½ 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 pimentos (a.k.a. pimientos), well 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 Tips 2 and 3)
- Yield: About 2 ½ 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!