Southern Pimento cheese is a go-to appetizer for picnics and family gatherings around here. Not only is it super easy to make, it is a great budget-friendly option to feed a crowd.
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Southern Pimento Cheese has been a staple in my house my whole life. My dad grew up in Texas and has been putting his own spin on this simple dish for as long as I can remember.
Some will argue that Pimento (or Pimiento, they're both acceptable and mean the same thing) Cheese should contain cream cheese, but I disagree. The simple, affordable ingredients really do allow for the flavors of each component to come through.
Sharp Cheddar Cheese: It is really important to shred the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in a powder to prevent it from clumping, and it really affects the flavor. Take the time to shred it either by using a box grater or a food processor. I call for Sharp Cheddar because you want cheese with a lot of flavor, but Extra Sharp is too overpowering.
Diced Pimientos: These will come in a jar and be in the pickle/olive section of your grocery store. If you can't find diced, you can get a jar of whole or sliced and chop them yourself.
Mayonnaise: Diehard pimento cheese lovers will say that you have to use Duke's Mayo. If you have access to it, great. If not, Hellman's or homemade mayo will work perfectly.
Spices: For the spice ingredients, you can use what you have on hand. Cayenne pepper is optional, but it does add just the tiniest bit of kick.
How to Serve Pimento Cheese
I've been known to stand in front of the fridge sneaking bites of Pimento Cheese all the time. No other vessel needed than a spoon. If you're planning on serving it like a civilized person, try any of these:
- Serve with saltines or butter crackers
- Spread on celery sticks or other veggies
- Make sandwiches using pumpernickel bread slices for a more classy occasion
- Serve on white bread for a simple, delicious lunch
- Make grilled cheese sandwiches filled with pimento cheese!
- Try this Pimento Cheese and Tomato Pie
Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe
- 8 oz Block Sharp Cheddar
- 4 oz Jar Diced Pimientos, drained
- 1/4 cup Mayonnaise (Duke's, Hellman's or Homemade)
- 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 tsp Dry Mustard
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- pinch of Cayenne (optional)
- Using a box grater or food processor, shred the sharp cheddar cheese.
- Transfer shredded cheese to a mixing bowl.
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Serve or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
If using a food processor, you can shred the cheese and mix the cheese spread in the food processor.
Your spread will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.