Pimento Cheese is a Southern classic cheese dip that’s rich, creamy, and made with a blend of cheeses mixed with mayonnaise and diced pimentos. Perfect served with crackers, vegetables, or as a spread in sandwiches.
For the past three years during April school vacation, we’ve spent our time South Carolina, but it wasn’t until this year that I finally tried pimento cheese. While dining at one of our favorite restaurants, I noticed it was offered as an appetizer. The waitress said “Y’all should try it. It’s real good.” She wasn’t wrong. It was served with thinly sliced biscuits which made it even better.
I tend to order things at restaurants that I don’t make at home. I knew I wouldn’t be deep frying any of my biscuits. It’s too much work and too messy. But, pimento cheese was something I definitely could handle. Pimento cheese, otherwise known as “caviar of the South”, has nothing to do with fish eggs and everything to do with rich, cheesy deliciousness.
I never realized it was so easy to make. It’s basically grated cheddar cheese, mayo, and diced pimentos. The only rule is using freshly grated cheese and not the pre-grated packaged stuff. Pre-grated is coated in starch to keep it from clumping and takes away from the texture of freshly grated cheese. This being such a simple recipe, grating isn’t a big deal.
I find the addition of diced jalapeños makes it interesting. Some recipes include it and some don’t. I’m not going to get into what is true Southern pimento cheese and what isn’t because I honestly don’t care about that. All I care about is that it tastes good.
Another ingredient that helps in texture but may be controversial is cream cheese. I’ve made it without cream cheese and found the texture lacked the same smoothness I experienced at the restaurant. Since I’m into being controversial, I also added some Dijon mustard which cut through all the fat and brightened up the dip.
Don’t be alarmed with the addition of cayenne pepper along with the jalapeños. It’s just a pinch and it’s mellowed with the cheese and mayo. If you’re weary of it, try a tiny sprinkle on a spoonful of dip and then you can determine if you want to add it or not.
After the pimento cheese is refrigerated, it will be hard. It will soften after it sits a few minutes on the counter. You know how it works.
Once you try this, you’ll want to include it in your party dip collection. And why not? It takes minutes to make, it’s tasty, and your guests will love it! “Y’all should try it. It’s real good!”
Try some of my other dips:
Looking for appetizers? Can’t go wrong with these:
- Dad’s famous sweet and sour kielbasa
- Strawberry basil brie bites
- Creamy garlic bread
- Peruvian deviled eggs
- Adobo seasoned crack wings
- Bacon wrapped dates with almonds
Life is too short for mediocre food.
This post contains affiliate links for the products I use in my kitchen.
Pimento CheesePrint Recipe Pin Recipe
Makes about 2 cups.
- Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the cheddar cheese and transfer into a bowl along with the cream cheese.
- Dice the pimentos and jalapeños and add to cheeses.
- Stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, and cayenne.
- Serve with crackers, as a dip for vegetables, or as a spread in sandwiches.
- Store any leftovers covered in wrap in the refrigerator. Note that it will be hard after it’s refrigerated, but will soften when it comes to room temperature.