Pimiento cheese is a Southern staple and necessity at almost any event that requires food. I remember helping my mom grate cheese as young as three years old (don’t worry, she supervised). So you could say pimiento cheese is in my blood.
It’s really the perfect food for any occasion. Tailgate? Pimiento cheese with crackers or pita wedges. Cold, gray rainy day? Grilled pimiento cheese sandwich. Just got dumped? Grab a spoon and chow down. Okay that’s a little weird, but you get the idea. There really isn’t a bad time for pimiento cheese.
Confession: I don’t trust people who don’t like pimiento cheese. There’s literally nothing to dislike about it, so, like… what’s your problem? I’m only half kidding.
When it comes to food, for the most part, I like to keep it simple. You can create a really flavorful dish without going overboard on ingredients and spices.
I’ve seen pimiento cheese recipes that have all sorts of add-ins: pickles, onions, jalapeños, things like that. To me, that ruins the beauty of a simple pimiento cheese. I don’t like anything crunchy in my spread! There’s no reason to make pimiento cheese more complicated than it should be.
For the record, I have a similar philosophy about deviled eggs. But that’s another post for another time.
Simply Southern Pimiento Cheese
Because really, simple is the way to go. It’s delicious just the way it is.
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise*
- 2 tablespoons diced pimiento peppers
- 1 tablespoon pickle juice
- Salt and pepper to taste**
* Use less mayo if you prefer it to not be so creamy. Duke’s mayonnaise is my preference.
** I’ve also added paprika to my pimiento cheese for a smoky taste. Cayenne is great if you like a little heat, or a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
To make it:
- Grate the cheese into a large mixing bowl.
- Add mayonnaise, pimiento peppers and pickle juice, and mix until combined.
- Add salt and pepper (and paprika if desired) and mix again.
- Spoon pimiento cheese into serving bowl. Serve with assorted crackers and bread slices.
Pro tip: it’s even better if you store it in the fridge for 24 hours and let all the flavors combine and come together. So if you have time, make it the day before you need it for best flavor results. Trust me on this one.
See how easy that is?! You can make a nice bowl of pimiento cheese in 15 minutes or less.
Pimiento cheese makes a delicious snack on crackers or toasted bread. Try it on grilled sourdough for a real treat. Some other really great ways to serve and enjoy pimiento cheese are:
- Simple finger sandwiches (with a “nice” bread) for a tea party or tailgate.
- With grilled or toasted pita wedges.
- Grilled pimiento cheese sandwich with tomato soup.
- On a platter with fried pickles (one of my favorite restaurants in Chattanooga does this!).
- On a juicy burger.
- Warmed with fresh veggies and other crudités.
There are many, many other ways to enjoy pimiento cheese – get creative with it! If you serve or eat it in a way I haven’t mentioned, let me know so I can try it too!
If you’d like to see more of my recipes, check out my new Recipes page!
What’s your pimiento cheese style? What are you serving with it? What’s your favorite “simply Southern” treat or snack?