Southern Style Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese makes the yummiest dip, spread or condiment for snacking or even sandwiches. This easy recipe packs tons of flavor to create a homemade version of the classic Southern staple.

Southern style pimento cheese shown on a wooden spoon laid on top of pretzels and crackers

Pimento cheese is one of those ultimate comfort foods for me.

It’s full of nostalgia for hot summer days growing up.

This cheese can be challenging to find if you’re not in the South, so I decided to make my own as the perfect snack for summer.

pimento cheese is shown in a glass mason jar surround by pretzels and crackers.

What is pimento cheese & where did it come from?

Despite being decried as Southern gospel throughout the South, this quintessential Southern cheese spread actually has it’s roots up North. Specifically in New York state.

In the late 19th centuries farmers in New York began making a soft cheese in the style of French Neufchatel- the beginnings of today’s popular cream cheese.

Within decades several New York companies were mass producing it!

Around this same time, the Spanish had begun to can commercially import their sweet red peppers to America.

Introducing every day households with ‘el piemento’. Marketing eventually dropped the first ‘e’.

Both trendy foods were now readily available to average Americans. In true American fashion- the two were destined to be mashed up in mixing bowls across the country.

Eventually the popular cheese spread made it’s way to the South. 

This was largely a result of Georgia’s success in growing the peppers & in canning them and mass marketing them.

At some point Southern cooks took what was essentially an industrial product and began making an at home version of the stuff. The idea really took on.

Eventually the stuff transformed into a regional favorite and phenomenon. 

Southern style pimento cheese features a combination of cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos and seasoning. No cream cheese to be found.

Aromatic, sweet Spanish pimentos and shredded cheddar are mixed together with seasoned mayonnaise to create a creamy concoction you can use as a dip, a spread or even as a filling.

It’s a universal Southern delicacy that everyone needs to make & enjoy at least once.

pimento cheese is shown in a glass mason jar surround by pretzels and crackers.

How to Make

Making this recipe is very easy.

Just add all of the ingredients except the cheese to a large mixing bowl and whisk them together until they form a smooth dressing.

Then, fold in the cheese using a spatula into the dressing.

Cover the bowl with an air tight lid or tightly cover with plastic wrap to seal.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled through.

Serve as a snack or dip or use in recipes.

How long will this keep?

This recipe will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

The trick to storing it is to make sure it’s sealed tightly the whole time.

a wooden spoonful of pimento cheese being scooped out of a glass jar

How to Serve

You can serve this as an appetizer or snack.

It makes an excellent spread on crackers.

You can also dunk crunchy veggies like cucumber slices, pepper slices, celery or carrot sticks into it.

It’s also delicious as a condiment on sandwich.

It’s fabulous smeared on deli style sandwiches or even spooned onto a juicy burger.

Recipes that Use It

Aside from using this recipe as a snack or appetizer, tons of recipes use it as an ingredient. Some of my favorites include:

Southern style pimento cheese shown on a wooden spoon laid on top of pretzels and crackers

Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure not to use the finely shredded cheddar. Use the thicker shredded cheese.
  • Allow the dip to chill fully for best flavor.
  • Make sure to cover it tightly.

Other Cheese Spreads You Might Enjoy

This southern style pimento cheese recipe is one of my favorite easy cheese dips.

Join in the tradition of decades of Southerner’s before you, and whip up a batch the next time you want the Southern staple instead of trying to find some premade at the store.

Looking for another cheese spread? Try these:

If you’ve tried this Southern Style Pimento Cheese Recipe, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on.

pimento cheese is shown in a glass mason jar surround by pretzels and crackers.

Southern Style Pimento Cheese Recipe

Pimento cheese makes the yummiest dip, spread or condiment for snacking or even sandwiches. This easy recipe packs tons of flavor to create a homemade version of the classic Southern staple.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Snack, Spread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 489kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2- 5 cups shredded cheddar cheese NOT the finely shredded variety
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise Hellman's brand preferred
  • 1 4 oz jar Pimentos drained, but reserve 1/2 tbsp juice
  • pinch onion powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce optional

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients, except the cheese, to a large mixing bowl. Whisk them together until the dressing is smooth.
  • Using a spatula, fold in the cheeses until evenly incorporated.
  • Cover the mixing bowl with an air tight lid, or with cling wrap to seal. Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or until chilled through.
  • Serve immediately as a snack/dip with crackers or use in recipes.

Notes

This pimento cheese will keep in the refrigerator safely for 3-4 days. Make sure it's sealed tightly the whole time so air can't get to it.

Nutrition

Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 873mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 950IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 646mg | Iron: 1mg

recipe adapted from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen

One thought on “Southern Style Pimento Cheese

  1. 5 stars
    We loved this pimento cheese! I gave some to our neighbor and his mother; they also loved it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe which is very unusually to the ones I have been making.

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