Pimento Cheese

5 from 3 votes
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Pimento cheese is so easy to make at home and customized to your own liking that there is no reason to buy store-bought ever again. My secret ingredient really does make this the BEST pimento cheese ever!

Creamy, tangy, and full of flavor, this is the quintessential party cheese dip or sandwich spread for your party, especially during the holidays.

Table of Contents
  1. Pimento Cheese
  2. What are Pimento (Pimiento) Peppers?
  3. Pimento Cheese Ingredients
  4. How to Make Pimento Cheese
  5. What to Serve With Pimento Cheese
  6. Other Recipes that Use Pimentos
  7. Pin This Recipe To Your Appetizer and Dips Recipes Board and Remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!
  8. Pimento Cheese Recipe
pimento cheese in a bowl

Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is a true Southern Classic party dip- shredded cheese is mixed with cream cheese, red pimentoes, seasonings, and de-seeded pickled jalapeños. You spread it on crackers, and vegetables and even make pimento sandwiches with it.

Bursting with cheesy flavor, this will be a hit with everyone – my sister definitely gave this dish the side eye while we were making it, but was instantly won over the minute we taste-tested it. This pimento cheese is now up there with my Mom’s cheeseball recipe as a must-have for our holiday dinners!

close up of pimento cheese

What are Pimento (Pimiento) Peppers?

The star of pimento cheese is, of course, pimentos. Pimentos are heart-shaped red-colored sweet peppers that are about 3 inches wide and 4 inches long. These flavor-packed red peppers are not bell peppers and are also known as cherry peppers.

They are best known for being the red piece that is stuffed inside of your favorite olives in the jar, but make for excellent flavoring in this cheese spread. Mild and not the least bit spicy, they add flavor, not heat, to dishes they are added to. Pimento papers are sweet and more aromatic than red peppers.  

Pimento Cheese Ingredients

The best part about making pimento cheese is that the ingredients are so simple yet combine to make one heckuva delicious dip!

  • Shredded Sharp (old) Cheese – the better the flavor of the shredded cheese, the better your cheese dip will taste. Use your favorite cheese.
  • Cream Cheese – make sure that the cream cheese is softened completely, or there will be lumps in the final product. Full fat is best for texture.
  • Mayonnaise – Again, use your favorite mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing!) and full fat is better for texture in this.
  • Pimentos – Drain these well so they don’t add moisture to the dip
  • Pickled jalapeñosthis is my secret ingredient! Most pimento cheese recipes use fresh jalapeños, but if you use the milder pickled jalapeños and take the center circle of seeds out, you will add the most amazing jalapeños flavor with almost no added heat! This makes it delicious for almost all palates and why it’s a hit with everyone!
  • Seasonings – garlic, onion, and cayenne are must-haves, along with salt and pepper of course.

How to Make Pimento Cheese

This is definitely best made the night before you want to eat it, as the flavors get a chance to meld together, the cheese gets to break down slightly and the texture improves. You definitely still can make it the day of if you are in a hurry!

  • Place the shredded cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimento, jalapeños, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and onion powder in a large bowl.
  • Mix until combined. Taste test, then add in more garlic or cayenne if desired, then salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and refrigerate until the next day for the best results, but this can be eaten right away if desired.

What to Serve With Pimento Cheese

Traditional – serve this cold with crackers, baguettes, vegetables, and pretzels.

Sweet Fruit – This is delicious with pomegranate and cranberry jams. They both pair perfectly with the tangy cheese!

pimento cheese on a cracker

Other Recipes that Use Pimentos

Pimentos are the most popular in recipes from the 1970s. Mild and not the least bit spicy, they star in recipes like Chicken ala King. Chicken Caruso and my Piggybank Pork Casserole. And let’s not forget the deli meat Pimento Loaf!

I hope you give this a whirl and if you make it at home, let me know your version! Like all classic recipes, everyone has their own version!

Happy cooking!



Pin This Recipe To Your Appetizer and Dips Recipes Board and Remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!

How to make southern style pimento cheese! Skip the grocery store and make your own pimento cheese spread at home. A secret ingredient makes this the best pimento cheese ever!

Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Use homemade pimento cheese to grill up some fantastic pimento cheese sandwiches!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


Pimento Cheese

  • 2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • one 4 ounce jar pimentos drained well and chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños drained, deseeded and chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder more to taste if desired
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper optional
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Sandwich Ingredients

  • 8 slices Texas Toast bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter


Pimento Cheese Instructions

  • Place the shredded cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimento, jalapeños, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and onion powder in a large bowl.
  • Mix until combined. Taste test, then add in more garlic or cayenne if desired, then salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and refrigerate until the next day for the best results for a dip, but this can be eaten right away if desired in sandwiches.

To Make Sandwiches

  • Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium-high heat. Butter one side of each bread slice and set aside.
  • Place one piece of bread, butter side down, on the griddle. Scoop out 3-4 tablespoons of the pimento cheese into the middle of the slice and spread out into an even layer.
  • Place another slice of bread, butter side up on top. Repeat for three more sandwiches.
  • Grill each sandwich until the bottom is browned and toasted, then carefully flip over and repeat until the other side has browned.
  • Remove and let sit briefly, then slice and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure that the cream cheese is well softened or you will have clumps in the mixture.
  • Extra sharp cheese is also known as extra OLD

Nutrition Information

Calories: 125kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.004g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 230mg, Potassium: 37mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 386IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 115mg, Iron: 0.1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Lynne says

    I have not made this yet but my brother loves this from the jar and hard to find by us. can. your recipe be made to store for winter in small canning jars

  2. Doris says

    Good day!
    Great recipe and there are so many versions depending on your tastes. I use a combo of sharp cheddar, vermont white cheddar , some grated raw onion, mustard, and a bit of cajun seasoning. Sometimes I add horseradish . A tad smoked paprika and garlic powder. I’ve never used the pickled jalepenos but may give that a try. Cheers!5 stars

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