Pimento Cheese

A popular southern dish, this EASY Pimento Cheese recipe is made with only 6 ingredients and tastes great spread onto crackers or in a grilled cheese!

close up of pimento cheese spread with chives


 

Whether you’re looking for a new party appetizer or just a way to step up your grilled cheese game, this Pimento Cheese Dip is the answer! Simple ingredients and only 5 minutes to make!

Chances are you’ve heard of it- or at least seen it on menus across the country. On Food Network touted by Paula Deen or Southern Living?

pimento cheese dip with crackers and chives

Maybe even overpriced in the cheese case at your grocery store. Now you can make Pimento Cheese Spread at home!

Homemade Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is a cheddar cheese and pimento pepper dip. It originated and is still most popular in the South and sometimes listed as “pâté du Sud,” or Southern pâté or the caviar of the south.

pimento cheese ingredients in a food processor

If you happen to find it in the midwest, primarily made with Wisconsin cheese, it might be palmetto pimento cheese or simply palemetto.

Southerners are very particular to how their pimento cheese is prepared and like many regional cheeses there are several “right ways”. There are also many fun variations.

One thing is for sure, it is a chunky mix. It is best made in a food processor with a few pulses (do not just let the machine run, this is not a smooth mix). You can hand mix it in the mixing bowl too, but the cream cheese is hard to blend super smooth.

pimento cheese spread in the food processor

What Are Pimentos?

Pimentos are a small red pepper, like a cherry pepper, but mild and sweet. If you can usually find them jarred near the sandwich condiments aisle.

Many recipes use roasted red peppers instead.

Pimento Cheese Ingredients

This pimento cheese dip recipe is basic, from there you can customize to your liking. Depending on how you are using it, you might need to adjust the mayonnaise and/or cream cheese.

pimento cheese spread
  • Cheddar Cheese– we like to use a sharp cheddar cheese for flavor and texture. You can switch it up and use a combination of sharp and regular cheddar or even white cheddar. We do strongly recommend shredding your own right off the block. Pre shredded cheese has a light coating of starch to prevent sticking which can impact the texture of your dip.
  • Cream Cheese– adding more cream cheese makes a thicker dip perfect for cheese balls and grilled cheese sandwiches, while less makes it easier to spread on crackers.
  • Pimento Peppers– What is a pimento? Pimento is just a fancy word for roasted red peppers. You can roast them yourself or save some time and buy them in a bottle, most commonly found in the International food aisle near Italian foods or by sandwich condiments and pickles.
  • Mayonnaise– Southerners typically have very strong feelings over what brand of mayo to use. Duke’s seems to be the most preferred brand, but whatever you do, use a good quality brand since it is the base of the dip.
  • Add-Ins– from here you can customize for flavor. Garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, chopped parsley or chives and salt and pepper are the most common.
bowl of pimento cheese dip

Spicy Pimento Dip

If you want to make your pimento cheese dip spicy, add 1-2 teaspoons of seeded and diced jalapenos. If you don’t want to mess around with chopping peppers, add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.

knife in pimento cheese spread

For best results, allow your dip to sit and the spicy flavors to marry and sink into the cream cheese and mayonnaise.

Light Pimento Cheese

It is hard to make a super light version of the dip due to the main ingredient being cheese, however, you can use reduced fat cheese.

pimento cheese on a cracker

You can also substitute light mayo or plain Greek yogurt for full fat mayonnaise and use light or reduced fat cream cheese.

Cheeses

Traditional dip uses a sharp cheddar cheese, but you can use a combination of any mildly soft cheese. Some use a medium sharp cheddar with sharp.

pimento cheese on a spreading knife

Others prefer smoked gouda or white American cheese. I’ve even used pepper jack. Totally your call!

Pimento Cheese Appetizers

Pimento cheese it most commonly served as a spread with crackers or crudites. I also like to spread it on celery sticks like Ants on a Log or even use it on my famous Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs, Stuffed Celery or Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls.

pimento cheese appetizers

You can also make a Pimento Cheese Sandwich, which is just spread thick onto sandwich bread or on a crustier loaf as a grilled cheese or just a pimento sandwich.

Get fancy and make it into cheesy bread or even mac and cheese!

southern pimento cheese spread for Pinterest

More fun party dips:

A plate of food on a table, with Bread

Garlic Parmesan Olive Oil Bread Dip

4.59 from 29 votes
With only 5 simple ingredients, this Garlic Parmesan Olive Oil Dip is an incredibly easy appetizer! It's so flavorful, you'll want to make it all the time!
See The Recipe!
Close up of queso dip in a serving bowl

Mexican Cheese Dip Recipe

4.08 from 38 votes
If you've ever wondered how to make queso dip, you're in luck. This queso recipe is super easy and only requires five ingredients!
See The Recipe!
Close up of pimento cheese spread for pinterest
bowl of pimento cheese dip

Pimento Cheese Spread

4.34 from 42 votes
A popular southern dish, this EASY Pimento Cheese recipe is made with only 6 ingredients and tastes great spread onto crackers or in a grilled cheese!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse it several times until a pale pink and fully combined but still chunky.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!

Video

Notes

Do I need to use a food processor? You don’t have to, but it is the best way to achieve the correct texture.

Nutrition

Calories: 205 kcal, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 6 g, Fat: 20 g, Saturated Fat: 9 g, Cholesterol: 44 mg, Sodium: 374 mg, Potassium: 49 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Vitamin A: 464 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 156 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 205
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pimento cheese dip, pimento cheese spread, southern pimento cheese
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I took this to work with crostini; there was none left over. I couldn’t imagine homemade would be anything different than what I buy in the stores, but this was wonderful. I’m fixing to make some more for a NYE party. Thanks for this very easy and delicious recipe! I also made your pimento cheese sausage balls with the same success.
    p.s.–you’re right about Duke’s. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Love the cheese spread. Great recipe. Love it on fresh bread. Will make it again for parties.

  3. 5 stars
    We LOVE pimento cheese in our house!! I never thought to use cream cheese, though. Thank you for the great idea. One of my favorite mix-ins is diced green olives.

  4. 5 stars
    I usually buy my pimento cheese ready made from the grocery. Now that I know how easy it is to make it myself, I’m never buying another tub. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    What a great way to save money making your own pimento cheese. This recipe will be a crowd favorite for any gathering.

  6. 5 stars
    So I am about anything cheese. Seriously. It has the word cheese in it and watch out world! LOL This looks amazing. I’d eat the entire bowl!