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30 September 2021

This pimento cheese recipe is an iconic taste of the south with shredded cheddar cheese swirled with rich mayonnaise and other seasonings, the perfect cheese spread or dip. Learn how to make it.

Looking for a quick and easy cheese spread or appetizer to serve at your next gathering? Look no further than classic Pimento Cheese, my friends.

Pimento cheese is simple and easy to whip together at a moment’s notice, so rich and decadent and huge on flavor. And incredibly popular. Keep this one in your recipe rotation, as it is sure to satisfy.

Now that I’ve moved south, I see pimento cheese on menus everywhere, as well as for sale in grocery stores. Of course I had to learn how to make my own, as homemade is always better than store bought when it comes to spreads and condiments.

What is Pimento Cheese?

Pimento cheese is a beloved recipe of the American south, a creamy mixture of cheddar cheese, diced pimento peppers and mayonnaise with a few other flavoring ingredients tossed in. It’s iconic, dubbed the “pate of the south”, found in southern kitchens everywhere, ubiquitous on southern menus.

It is famous as a component of the famous dish fried green tomatoes, though you’ll find it served on sandwiches and as a component in other dishes as well.

You can use store bought pimento cheeses for your parties, but homemade pimento cheese is so much better. It’s fresher with a superior texture and flavor, of course, from your own personal touches.

This is how I like to make mine.

Let’s talk about how to make pimento cheese, shall we?

Serving Pimento Cheese on a serving board with extra crackers

Pimento Cheese Ingredients

  • Cheddar Cheese. I’m using a combination of both white and yellow extra sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Pimentos. Use jarred pimentos, drained.
  • Mayo. Duke’s Mayo is preferred, as it is a classic southern staple, but you can use your favorite mayonnaise.
  • Worcestershire Sauce. For depth and extra flavor.
  • Garlic. My own personal addition. I love a lot of garlic.
  • Cayenne Pepper. For a touch of heat. Use paprika for a milder pimento cheese.
  • Salt and Pepper. To taste.
  • Hot Sauce. Optional, for a touch of spicy goodness.

Pimento Cheese Ingredients

How to Make Pimento Cheese – the Recipe Method

Stir the Ingredients. Gently stir together the pimentos, cheddar cheeses, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl.

Pimento Cheese ingredients in a mixing bowl

Combine. Fold the mixture gently to combine. You can use a food processor or a hand mixer, but it will change the overall texture and consistency.

Mixed Pimento Cheese in a mixing bowl

Taste and Adjust. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Add in a dash or two of hot sauce to your preference. Add a bit more mayo if you’d like a thinner consistency.

Refrigerate the Pimento Cheese. This is an important step. Refrigerate the pimento cheese in a sealed container at least 1 hour before serving to let the flavors develop. This will also help to firm up the cheese.

Pimento Cheese on a serving board with crackers

Boom! Done! Ready to serve. Who wants some pimiento cheese? Absolutely delicious. It’s perfect served with crackers or for topping all sorts of delicious foods, making them even more delicious. It’s the perfect appetizer.

How are you serving yours?

Pimento Cheese on a serving board

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Cheeses. Extra sharp cheese works best for making pimento cheese because they contain less moisture. You’ll achieve a better texture with it. You can use other cheeses for this recipe, though cheddar is classic. Also, it is best to shred the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses from the store contain anti-caking elements that can affect the texture of your pimento cheese. It is best to avoid them.
  • The Mayo. Duke’s mayo is definitely preferred for making pimento cheese, as it originates from the south and it has a higher ratio of egg yolks than most other commercial mayos, making it extra rich and creamy. Try it with Japanese Kewpie mayo as well. Talk about delicious.
  • The Pimentos. Canned or jarred diced pimento peppers are a must here, hence the name of the dish. Pimentos are mild and sweet and add a wonderful flavor. Learn more about pimento peppers. You can use roasted red peppers as a substitute. The flavor will change somewhat, but it is still quite tasty.
  • Additional Ingredients. Every southern family has their own personal touch to pimento cheese. Some I’ve learned are yellow mustard, dash of sherry, garlic powder, onion powder, grated vidalia onion, cream cheese, paprika, jalapeno pepper, dry mustard and green onion. Feel free to add your favorite flavors. 
  • Serving Pimento Cheese. Pimento cheese spread is great as a simple appetizer, snack or party food served with Ritz crackers or club crackers. It’s perfect on another icon southern dish, fried green tomatoes. Use it to make pimento cheese sandwiches on simple white bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, or as a general condiment. I love it for topping my burgers!

Pimento Cheese Burger on a platter

Not the prettiest photo, my friends, but dang is it delicious! I’ll take a pimento cheeseburger anytime.

Or give my recipe for pimento cheese jalapeno poppers a try. These are the perfect appetizers or party food!

Pimento Cheese Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my pimento cheese recipe. Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you and how you’re making it your own. And how you’re serving it! 

Cookbook Recommendation

If you’re interested in southern cooking and cuisine, check out this cookbook for some great southern recipes. I’m learning quite a lot about southern food from it. Definitely some great eating!

Mike scooping Creamy Pimento Cheese on a cracker

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Creamy Pimento Cheese on a cracker

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Pimento Cheese Recipe
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5 from 4 votes

Pimento Cheese Recipe

This pimento cheese recipe is an iconic taste of the south with shredded cheddar cheese swirled with rich mayonnaise and other seasonings, easy to make!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheddar cheese, hot sauce, pimento, southern, spicy
Servings: 32 tablespoons
Calories: 32kcal


  • 1-1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1 4- ounce jar diced pimentos drained
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise Duke's Mayo is a southern classic
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic optional, my personal addition
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder or to taste - use paprika for a milder version
  • Salt and pepper to taste about 1/2 teaspoon each
  • Dash of hot sauce optional - Crystal or Tabasco are great here


  • Gently stir together the cheddar cheeses, pimentos, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Fold the mixture gently to combine until uniform.
  • Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Add in a dash or two of hot sauce to your preference.
  • Refrigerate in a sealed container at least 1 hour before serving to let the flavors develop.



Use within 1 week. Makes about 1 pint.
Extra sharp cheese is best for lower moisture content.


Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 168IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

NOTE: This recipe was updated on 9/30/21 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 4/7/21.



  1. Marnie Hamber

    Wondering if I can use fresh pimento peppers instead of canned.
    We had an exceptional hot summer , live on Vancouver Island, BC., so we have an abundance of peppers this year. So glad I stumbled across your website.
    Cheers, Marnie

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Marnie. Yes, you can use fresh. No problem! Enjoy!

  2. Susan PateLeitz

    5 stars
    This is awesome! We just tried it and love it! Your recipe is almost dead-on to the pimento cheese my mother made so many years ago. And I have varied from that recipe a little. I use both white and yellow sharp cheese, Duke’s mayo and I season mine with a cajun season blend and course ground black pepper. It’s a favorite at our house. But the hubs loved yours, so we may have a new favorite! Thanks for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m going to make open-faced sandwiches with it, on griddle-toasted ciabatta and/or sourdough. I use Kewpie mayo — you would love it, Mike, I promise. Also, smoked paprika, Franks hot sauce, + a sprinkle of a different spice mix on top of each open-faced sammie: Ethiopian Berbere, Jamaican Jerk, Ras el Hanout, Perfection, and good ole Can of Whoopass (all from Teeny Tiny Spice Company). It’s so versatile, all of your suggestions sound fantastic! I’m very excited about this simple yet flexible recipe. Thanks so much!

    P.S. The Five-Minute One-Bowl Arugula Salad from Alex Guarnaschelli’s Cook with Me cookbook will be PERFECT alongside! (That’s the recipe that made me buy the cookbook!)

  4. Catherine Lee

    5 stars
    Excellent and also makes a mean, delicious grilled cheese sammie! I put some extra hot sauce in, soooo delicious !

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Yaasss! I totally agree. Need a pimento cheese sammich!

  5. will be making this soon can i use vegan cheeses and mayo instead as am a vegan looks perfect for my snacks will tag you on twitter if i make this Thanks Ramya

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Give it a try, Ramya, and let me know how you like it.

  6. 5 stars
    we have a (sort of) similar thing over here dubbed ‘savoury cheese’ which is almost this but not. unsure why it’s called that as ‘sweet cheese’ isn’t exactly a thing/ hadn’t heard of pimento cheese until now.
    your does appear nicely decadent however and will be added to the list of things to make.
    great photography as always.
    keep them coming.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      I hope you enjoy it, Col. Definitely decadent!

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