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Southern Pimento Cheese

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Southern Pimento Cheese is a classic recipe here in the south, combining cream cheese, cheddar cheese, pimentos, and mayonnaise. Make it your own by adding in spices, onions, and in this case, sriracha! A great party dip that also makes the BEST sandwiches!

I recently used pimentos in my Smoked Pimento Mac and Cheese, which is a top 10 recipe for my boys. Next up, developing a hot pimento cheese dip!

A bowl of southern pimento cheese, with pretzel crisps.

Best Pimento Cheese

I gotta admit. I’d never tried pimento cheese prior to moving south. Growing up in the Midwest, we enjoyed our casseroles, sweet corn bread, tons of soups, and all the rhubarb! So I’m now enjoying things that to me, have more of a Southern feel.

I remember first trying this pimento cheese at a work even when I was first living in Texas. At the time, I wasn’t an adventurous eater, so those little pimentos were a bit scary to me. But one bite in and I was hooked. Look at me now…making my own homemade version!

What are pimentos?

Pimento (also spelled pimiento) peppers are small red peppers that are mild in taste, even more mild than red bell peppers. You might recognize them as the little red peppers stuffed inside green olives. Pimentos are generally found as a jarred, stocked item in the pickle section of the grocery store. You can also grow them fresh in your garden, and are generally harvested in late summer to early fall.

Overhead shot of a bowl of southern pimento cheese.

Ingredients for Pimento Cheese

  • Cheddar Cheese – Sharp cheddar cheese is what I normally use, but you could also try a combo of sharp cheddar and white cheddar. Make sure you use a block of cheese and shred it yourself. Pre-packaged shredded cheese is ok, but it’s often coated with something to keep it from sticking together. The flavor is just not the same. Trust me, friends!
  • Cream Cheese – I recommend the full-fat version. Light is ok, but tends to get watery faster, and you want it to stay fresh for as long as possible.
  • Pimentos – A 4 oz. jar is all you need. Some people like to use roasted red peppers and dice them up themselves. It’s totally up to you.
  • Green Onions – This adds a nice bite to the dip. I highly recommend topping the dip with diced green onion.
  • Mayonnaise – I went super light on the mayo because the cream cheese makes it creamy enough. My preference is a mayo made with olive oil, but any version you like is A-ok.
  • Sriracha – For some kick. You can leave it out for a milder dip. But you know me. Spice is the key to good cooking!
  • Seasonings – Just a simple combo of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (optional, for a kick). Feel free to play with the mixture of seasonings as well.
A hand mixer in a bowl of blended pimento cheese.
blending the pimento cheese

How to make Southern Pimento Cheese

Ya’ll, this is SO SIMPLE. Make it soon and impress your guests!

  1. Freshly grate your cheese. I can’t tell you how important this step is. The pre-shredded cheese is often coated with something that’s not all that tasty. Grate your own for the best tasting dip!
  2. Combine ingredients. Combine all the listed ingredients (softened cream cheese, grated sharp cheddar, drained pimentos, mayo, sriracha, and spices). Top with green onions.
  3. Enjoy!
Side shot of southern pimento cheese.

Ways To Enjoy Pimento Cheese

The best part of making this yummy pimento cheese is how versatile it is.

  • Serve it as a dip with veggies and crackers. I have a thing for Sea Salt Cracked Pepper pretzel crisps!
  • Add it to a grill cheese. SO GOOD and when I made this for my hubby, he asked for it the following two days!
  • Enjoy it on toast. Let it get melty!
  • Drizzle it over French fries. I haven’t personally tried this one, but plan to.
  • Make it the filler for quesadillas. This is epic. And super duper easy.
  • Stuff it inside a burger. On the list for ways to try it next.
  • And on and on…
A grilled cheese pimento sandwich.

Other Party Snacks

If you are like me, I’m always wanting to try new dip recipes for friend or family gatherings. Here are a few others I recommend.

A hand holding a pretzel crisp with pimento cheese on it.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

A bowl of southern pimento cheese, with pretzel crisps.

Southern Pimento Cheese

Southern Pimento Cheese is a classic recipe here in the south, combining cream cheese, cheddar cheese, pimentos, and mayonnaise. Make it your own by adding in spices, onions, and in this case, sriracha! A great party dip that also makes the BEST sandwiches!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: southern pimento cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 251kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese – freshly grated
  • 8 oz. cream cheese – softened
  • 4 oz. diced pimentos – drained
  • 1/3 cup diced green onions
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha – or more
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste

Instructions

  • Freshly grate your cheese. I can’t tell you how important this step is. The pre-shredded cheese is often coated with something that’s not all that tasty. Grate your own for the best tasting dip!
  • Combine ingredients. Combine all the listed ingredients (softened cream cheese, grated sharp cheddar, drained pimentos, mayo, sriracha, and spices).
  • Spoon into a bowl and top with diced green onions.
  • Enjoy this yummy dip!

Notes

Try this pimento cheese in all the various ways:
  • Serve it as a dip (with veggies and crackers).
  • Add it to a grill cheese. SO GOOD!
  • Enjoy it on toast.
  • Drizzle it over French fries.
  • Make it the filler for quesadillas.
  • Stuff it inside a burger.
  • And on and on…

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1133IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 234mg | Iron: 1mg

4 Comments

  1. Tiffany Ringsdorf says:

    Currently snacking on this while waiting for dinner! Absolutely delicious Suebee<3

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      So good to hear, Tiff! Try it in a grilled cheese next! 🙂

  2. Cheese is my favorite food and spicy cheese, well can it get any better?!! I love all the flavors together on a cracker or in a yummy, messy grilled cheese. This is a splurge dish but it’s ok to splurge often, right?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Yes, it’s definitely ok to splurge often! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it, Shari!

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