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!
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 cornbread, 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 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.
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.
How to make Southern Pimento Cheese
Y’all, this is SO SIMPLE. Make it soon and impress your guests!
- 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). Top with green onions.
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 grilled 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 of ways to try it next.
- And on and on…
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.
Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)
Southern Pimento Cheese
- 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
- 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!
- 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…
LOVE this recipe, but listen to Suebee and use freshly grated cheese! We make this recipe often and I thought I could take the lazy way out and it’s definitely not as good!
Good point, Tiff! 🙂
I love this dip! I made it during the Super Bowl, but saved it for Valentine’s Day. It’s delicious and spicy and makes a great snack on crackers. I can’t wait to try it in a sandwich. I made sure to make it with Duke’s Mayo so my husband from South Carolina would approve – and he did! Declared it very authentic!
It’s a great game day snack! Thanks for your feedback, Linda!
Great recipe. We like it on toast and toasted under the broiler. I am tempted to try it in the air fryer .
It’s good with so many things! Thanks for your review, Debby!
I can’t stop thinking about this dip! It’s sooo good! Soooo much better than the store bought stuff and easy enough to whip up for a HH snack, or just for whenever.
Thanks so much Traci! Enjoy!
This will not disappoint. On a burger or in a grilled cheese……
Just made this for happy hour get together tonight. Turned out so yummy. I grew up on Pimento cheese sandwiches – on Wonder Bread no less!! Can’t wait to try this on your burger recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Julia! Thanks for your feedback! 🙂
Currently snacking on this while waiting for dinner! Absolutely delicious Suebee<3
So good to hear, Tiff! Try it in a grilled cheese next! 🙂
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?
Yes, it’s definitely ok to splurge often! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it, Shari!