Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese Recipe Video – scroll down for recipe card

Pimento cheese is a thing that is truly best when homemade. The stuff in the little plastic tubs just doesn’t do it for me: it’s sweet, it’s pasty, it lacks pizzazz! Homemade pimento cheese — especially mine — is rich and tangy and perfect for sandwiches, crackers, crudite, grilled cheese, or slapping onto a burger. Or mixing into mac and cheese as was suggested to me by a pal. Pretty much anywhere you’d use grated Cheddar, you can use pimento cheese instead with excellent results.

My pimento cheese has a couple of variations from the norm (the norm being cheese, mayo, pimentos). I use cream cheese instead of mayo as the base; I add a little brown mustard; I add pickled jalapeños and pickled jalapeño juice for spice and acidity; and I add a couple peppadew peppers when I have them handy. They add just a tiny bit of sweetness and a little more pepper flavor. In the past, I’ve also added a couple spoonfuls of jarred ajvar, a Serbian red pepper relish, and that is definitely worth trying if you can find some at an international grocery store.

Once you try my version, mix it up and add diced pickles or capers or green onions roasted red bell peppers.

pimento cheese

Best Pimento Cheese Recipe


Pimento Cheese

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x


  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese (full or low-fat is fine)
  • 8 ounces grated sharp Cheddar (about 2 cups grated)
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 4 ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
  • 24 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, diced
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño brine
  • Optional: 1-2 Peppadew peppers, diced


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, Cheddar, mustard and mayo until fairly uniform.
  2. Add in the pimentos and peppers and brine. Mix well.
  3. Taste for salt and pepper (it likely won’t need either one)
  4. Serve now or refrigerate for up to 4 days. Best eaten at room temperature.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 114
  • Fat: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 1
  • Protein: 5

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  1. Melissa on October 11, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I hadn’t had pimento cheese until about a year ago when I was Googling different things to put on a grilled cheese because I wanted a grilled cheese but… different. Anyway, I came across this recipe for pimento cheese grilled cheese and I thought it sounded interesting enough to try. It calls for using cream cheese (like yours) and pimentos (duh) and grated white cheddar cheese, dijon, a couple dashes of hot sauce, pepper and paprika. OH MY GOD! It was amaaaaaazing. It got all gooey and melty and ran off the sides. I never thought to just eat it as a dip, is that what it is usually used for? Is it a southern thing? Anyway, it changed my life and now it’s become a semi-regular menu item in my house (not TOO often or else I’m fairly sure I’d die of a heart attack by the time I hit 40). I’m definitely going to try your recipe! Thanks Hilah!

    • Melissa on October 11, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      I didn’t watch the video before making this comment – you answered my southern question and also mentioned grilled cheese. Oops – sorry!!

      • Hilah on October 11, 2016 at 8:14 pm

        Yay! It’s like I read your mind! 🙂

  2. FoodJunkie on October 11, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    I have avoided pimento cheese (fairly easy because it is not really a thing up here) because I thought it was full of processed cheese which I hate. I tried making a version of the “famous” Rotel Queso and the Velveeta was so disgusting I had to throw it out. This on the other hand sounds good and real easy to make.

    • Hilah on October 11, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      I think the store-bought pimento cheese IS processed cheese, but most homemade ones are pretty wholesome (as long as you consider cream cheese and mayo “wholesome” 😉 )

  3. Louise on October 11, 2016 at 7:19 pm


    Thanks for this very intriguing recipe. I know I’m going to like it. I’m going to save it until we get down to Phoenix where I can probably buy the brands you refer to. I got my better half to look at the recipe and tell me if he thought it was something he would enjoy. His only concern is the heat factor. We love the flavours in things like Jalapenos … but we are Canadians and kind of wimpy when it comes to the potential of hot stuff that makes us cry. Can you tell me how to keep the taste but avoid the heat? Thanks in advance. I still get a kick out of your website. Your wee one is a fine looking little man. Good job girl! He was worth the wait.

    • Hilah on October 11, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Hi Louise!
      For less heat, try adding just the jalapeño brine instead of minced jalapeños. You can also sometimes find mild pickled jalapeños.
      And thank you! This little guy is a keeper and he will be making an appearance in my next video – taste-testing soft pretzels! 😀

      • Louise on October 11, 2016 at 8:29 pm

        Thanks for your time Hilah. I am going to look for those mild pickled Jalapenos if you figure that should do the trick.

        Enjoy your little son every minute you can. He will be all grown up and raising his own kids before you know it. The time really does fly by.

  4. Gigi on October 11, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    What a blast from the past! I grew up on a farm in the deep south and my grandmother seemed to always have pimento cheese in the fridge. Haven’t had it in 30 years, maybe I’ll have to make some and think of Mama Rosie.

    • Hilah on October 11, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      How nice, Gigi! I hope it reminds you of your grandmother’s recipe <3

  5. Tom Adger on October 12, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I love pimento cheese, and this looks like a great recipe to try. My problem is that I live alone, and the “keep up to four days in the fridge” turns me off. I would wind up throwing some out. Can it be frozen?

    • Hilah on October 12, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Hey Tom!
      I imagine it could be frozen but I haven’t tried it. You could just make a half batch, though.

  6. Sandra on October 17, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Just saw a menu where they are serving french fries topped with pimento cheese! I love the recipe. Prefer cream cheese to mayo and love the addition of the other pickle-ie ingredients!

    • Hilah on October 17, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      That sounds so good! Like extra cheesy chili-cheese fries!

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