Pimento 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 pimento cheese is in my blood.
Confession: I don’t trust people who don’t like pimento cheese. There’s literally nothing to dislike about it, so, like… what’s your problem? I’m only half kidding.
Pimento cheese is really the perfect food for any occasion. Tailgate? Serve it with Ritz crackers or pita wedges. Cold, gray rainy day? Grilled pimento cheese sandwich. Just got dumped? Grab a spoon and chow down. I’m not kidding, it’s basically a comfort food. My point is, there really isn’t a bad time for this stuff.
Classic Southern Pimento Cheese
When it comes to food, for the most part, I like to keep it simple. You can create a really flavorful dish or snack without going overboard on ingredients and spices. I’ve seen recipes that have all sorts of add-ins: pickles, onions, jalapeños, things like that. To me, that ruins the beauty of a simple pimento cheese. I don’t like anything crunchy in my spread! There’s no reason to make it 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.
Pimento cheese makes a delicious snack on crackers or toasted bread. It pairs exceptionally well with buttery Ritz crackers. Try it on grilled sourdough for a real treat. Some other really great ways to serve and enjoy it are:
- Simple finger sandwiches (with a “nice” bread) for a tea party or tailgate.
- With grilled or toasted pita wedges.
- Mix it into sausage balls.
- Grilled pimento cheese sandwich with tomato soup.
- On a platter with fried pickles (one of my favorite restaurants in Chattanooga does this).
- As part of a cheese and charcuterie board.
- On a juicy burger.
- Warmed with fresh veggies and other crudités.
How to Make Classic Southern Pimento Cheese
Really, simple is the way to go. It’s delicious just the way it is. You can mix this up by hand in just about 15 minutes. You can mix this in a stand mixer or electric hand-held mixer if you like it a little more creamy and blended, but it’s definitely not necessary. If I’m in a hurry, I mix by hand. But if I have time on my hands, I’ll use my stand mixer.
Ingredients you will need:
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise*
- 2 oz softened cream cheese (about a quarter of a block)
- 2 tablespoons diced pimiento peppers (half of a small, 4 oz jar)
- 1 tablespoon pickle juice
- Salt, pepper, and other spices to taste**
You will also need:
- Cheese grater (like this one)
- Mixing bowl
- Spoon or rubber spatula
- Serving bowl and/or storage container (I like these)
* Use less mayo if you prefer it to not be so creamy. Duke’s Mayonnaise is always my preference.
** I’ve also added paprika to my pimento cheese for a smoky taste. Cayenne is great if you like a little heat, or a dash of your favorite hot sauce. Lately I’ve been adding some Hoff & Pepper Dirty Dust to mine, and that really kicks it up a notch.
To make your pimento cheese:
- Grate the cheese into a large mixing bowl.
- Add mayonnaise, cream cheese, pimento peppers and pickle juice, and mix until combined.
- Add salt and pepper (and other desired spices) and mix again.
- Spoon pimento 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 pimento cheese in 15 minutes or less.
Classic Southern Pimento Cheese
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 oz diced pimento peppers
- 1 tbsp pickle juice
- Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
Grate cheese into a large mixing bowl.
Add mayo, cream cheese, pimento peppers, pickle juice, salt, and pepper.
Stir to combine, by hand or with a mixer.
Transfer pimento cheese to an airtight container. Seal and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with bread, crackers, veggies, or anything you desire.
What’s your pimento cheese style? What are you serving with it?
This post was updated March 2021. This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for any sales generated via those links. Thanks for your support!