Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese Recipe

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This Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese recipe is a southern classic made from creamy cheese, diced pimentos and the perfect blend of special seasonings.

Enjoy it as a dip, sandwich spread, appetizer, and topping for everything from burgers to fried green tomatoes! It's known as the caviar of the south!

pimento cheese recipe in mason jars.
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What is Pimento Cheese?

Pimento cheese is a southern favorite recipe featuring grated cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese, jarred pimentos and a variety of spices. It has a creamy texture that melts in your mouth which makes it a popular sandwich spread and dip at parties and events.

This basic recipe is quick, easy, and comes out perfectly every time. If this is your first time making this classic southern staple, it's best to follow this simple recipe and add variations later.

All southern cooks have a favorite recipe for pimento cheese, which has been called everything from Carolina caviar to the pâté of the south! It's so popular, there's even a special version of pimiento cheese served at the Masters Golf Tournament in Georgia every spring!

Why You'll Love It

  • Ready in Minutes: in 15 minutes or less, you'll be on your way to pimento cheese bliss!
  • Easy Recipe: eat with crackers, celery sticks, or as a classic sandwich on two slices of white bread
  • Great Taste: there's nothing more delicious than homemade pimento cheese
  • Perfect Party Spread: great spread for finger sandwiches at a tea party, baby shower, or bridal brunch
  • Versatile Dip: customize this recipe with many variations to suit your taste or party theme
old fashioned pimento cheese dip in a bowl.

Ingredients

To make Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese you'll need the following ingredients which can be found at your local grocery store:

  • extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • cream cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • diced pimentos
  • onion powder
  • ground mustard
  • garlic salt with parsley
  • hot sauce (optional but delicious)

Some folks make their spread with Velveeta cheese or white cheddar, but since this is an old-fashioned pimento cheese recipe, it's best to stick to the basics.

ingredients needed for old fashioned pimento cheese recipe.

Equipment Needed

  • box grater or food processor
  • large mixing bowl
  • mixing spoons
  • stand mixer or hand mixer

How to Make Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese

Add a block of cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the cream cheese for at least 3 minutes until creamy. Or, do it the old-fashioned way and whip it with a spoon!

stand mixer ready to whip cream cheese.

Add mayonnaise to the cream cheese and mix well.

Grate cheese by hand with the large holes of a box grater, or use a food processor. Drain the jar of pimentos.

sharp cheddar cheese being shredded by a box grater.

Add drained pimentos and shredded cheddar cheese to the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Mix on low for 1 minute with a hand mixer, then add the spices and blend well.

cream cheese, pimentos and shredded cheddar in a bowl.

Enjoy right away, or store the spread in an airtight container such as glass mason jars with tight fitting lids. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Homemade pimento cheese is so good, you'll be making more than just one batch!

pimento cheese spread in mason jars with crackers.

Variations

This is the best pimento cheese recipe just like it is, but if you're feeling adventurous, try these variations...

  • Heat things ups with black pepper, red pepper flakes, jalapeño peppers, or cayenne pepper.
  • Add extra garlic powder, or use minced garlic if desired.
  • Use a dash of Worcestershire sauce instead of hot sauce.
  • Add dill pickles or green olives for extra flavor.
  • Chop a white onion or add green onions for a little crunch.
  • Toss in some candied bacon for a real treat!

Recipe FAQS

What is a pimento?

Pimentos are actually a type of mild chili pepper. When diced and jarred in water, they take on a sweet flavor that is a perfect match for sharp cheddar cheese.

Can I use pre-shredded cheese in this recipe?

You can use pre-shredded cheese, but I don't recommend it. Packaged cheese contains stabilizers to keep the cheese from sticking together. You need a creamy consistency with no preservatives or caking. By shredding the cheese by hand, you'll get perfect results every time!

How long will pimento cheese keep?

Southern Pimento Cheese will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container. I like to store it in small mason jars and seal it tightly between servings. You can also serve it straight from the jar if desired. These little mason jars make great gifts too!

Can pimento cheese be made ahead?

Yes, feel free to make this spread up to 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until time to serve.

pimento cheese spread on crackers.

What to Serve with Pimento Cheese

You'll love how versatile this easy spread can be! Here are just a few different ways to serve this popular dip...

I like to give this spread a little kick, so I add hot sauce as a secret ingredient which turns it a lovely shade of orange.

bowl full of pimento cheese spread.

Storage and Freezing

Make ahead - assemble this spread up to 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator before serving.

Store leftovers - store leftover spread for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Freezing - since this product contains mayonnaise, freezing is not recommended.

More Dips & Spreads

This southern pimento cheese recipe is a great appetizer for game day, holidays, and parties of all shapes and sizes! Try my other dips and spreads that go great with this recipe...

 

Recipe Card

mason jars filled with old fashioned pimento cheese spread with crackers on the side.

Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese Recipe

This Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese recipe is a southern classic made from creamy cheese, diced pimentos and the perfect blend of special seasonings.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings8
Calories: 317kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Equipment

  • mixer (hand or free standing)
  • mixing bowl and spoon

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese (shredded by hand or food processor)
  • 4 ounces diced pimentos (drained)
  • ½ tsp. dry ground mustard
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt with parsley
  • 1 dash hot sauce (optional)

Instructions

  • Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Beat with hand or stand mixer for 3 minutes on high until creamy.
    8 ounces cream cheese
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again for a few seconds.
  • Add mayonnaise and beat for 1 minute on high.
    ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again for a few seconds.
  • Shred the cheese by hand and drain the pimentos. Add both to mixing bowl. Mix on low for 1 minute.
    8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, 4 ounces diced pimentos
  • Add ground mustard, onion powder and garlic salt with parsley. Add a dash of hot sauce if desired. Mix until blended well. 
    ½ tsp. dry ground mustard, ½ tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. garlic salt with parsley, 1 dash hot sauce
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • Pimento cheese can be given as gifts in mason jars (ad), or enjoyed as a topping for burgers, fried chicken, or fried green tomatoes
  • Make ahead - assemble this spread up to 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Store leftovers - store leftover spread for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • Freezing - since this product contains mayonnaise, freezing is not recommended.

Nutrition

Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 232mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just made this pimento cheese recipe and it was to die for! The flavors are perfect and remind me of my grandma's old fashioned recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Yum, thanks. Been wanting a good pimento
    cheese recipe. Have allergic reactions to some
    of the store bought ones.

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