Pimento cheese spread is a classic southern recipe, but it can be found almost anywhere in the US if you look hard enough. It has been referred to as the 'pâté of the south' and for a good reason - it's delicious spread on anything! Of course, there are variations, and our version is by no means “traditional.” It just happens to have an amazing texture and flavor. This Easy Homemade Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe is the perfect addition to your charcuterie board! It’s a great appetizer to serve alone with some crackers and fresh veggies, or spread it on some bread for a delicious cheese sandwich!
What is in Pimento Cheese?
Canned pimentos and cream cheese combined with a few other ingredients was the precursor to what is traditionally called ‘Pimento Cheese’ today. Now it almost always includes the following four ingredients – cream cheese, jarred or canned pimentos (cherry peppers), cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise.
Variations on the traditional pimento cheese are everywhere, but you should expect to have a similar flavor profile wherever you go. We’ve seen so many different recipes in various places across the country that you could actually argue that there isn’t a true traditional version anymore, and that is definitely OK!
Our Easy Homemade Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe
Our version has those four simple ingredients (cream cheese, pimentos, cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise) as the base, but we jazzed this one up with some other interesting flavors that make it stand out a bit. We feel that the additional ingredients gives this version of pimento cheese something special that you won’t find anywhere else! This might just be the best pimento cheese recipe, so give it a try and let us know if you agree!
We made some detours from the truly traditional version. Firstly, we like the texture and flavor of mascarpone (an Italian creamy cheese) in addition to the cream cheese. The mascarpone adds to the creamy texture of the cheese spread. You can, of course, just use cream cheese, but the texture will be creamier with the addition of mascarpone.
Second, in our homemade pimento cheese recipe we replaced some mayonnaise with sour cream. This is personal preference, but we prefer the slight acidity that this adds to the taste. Finally, the use of a serrano and some cayenne pepper (which can be adjusted for spice levels) gives the pimento cheese just enough spicy heat to make it more interesting. The rest of the ingredients are straightforward enough and help with the overall flavor.
Where do I find pimento peppers?
As for the pimentos (cherry peppers), we always use jarred or canned versions. Just make sure you dice them if they don’t come diced. You should be able to easily find these in the grocery store, usually near the pickles and other jarred condiments. Or you can click HERE to order them online from Amazon.
Will any cheddar cheese work in this recipe?
One of the most important ingredients is sharp cheddar cheese. Alternatively, you can use extra-sharp cheddar cheese, but the flavor will suffer if you use any mild cheddar cheese. We recommend shredding the cheese yourself rather than buying pre-shredded cheese, but either option works well in this recipe.
Ways to Eat Pimento Cheese
So, how is this eaten? Well, if you’re a golf fan, you know that pimento cheese sandwiches are a staple at The Masters which is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia every April. But there are so many ways to incorporate this cheese spread into other fun recipes. Here are a few of our favorite ways:
Sandwiches, Burgers and Hot Dogs: Sandwiches can be simply served between slices of white bread or "fancied" up by cutting the crusts off the bread. However, this is our least preferred way to eat pimento cheese, although a lightly grilled cheese sandwich using pimento cheese is much more our speed. Or spread some pimento cheese onto a deli sandwich or a burger in place of mayo or aioli. And of course, it’s great on hot dogs.
Cheese and Charcuterie Boards: We love adding pimento cheese to our charcuterie boards with various crackers, slices of baguette or other nice crusty bread that has been lightly toasted. Pimento cheese is also great on celery sticks. carrot sticks, cucumber slices or other fresh vegetables for a crudités platter.
Mac & Cheese: Finally, mixing some pimento cheese into an otherwise boring mac n’ cheese is also a nice option!
How to Store Pimento Cheese
Pimento cheese keeps in the fridge for about 10 days. Simply store the cheese spread in a jar or other air-tight container. We prefer to enjoy it at room temperature, but you can enjoy it straight out of the fridge if you like.
We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Easy Homemade Southern Pimento Cheese! If you give it a try and like it, leave us a comment and 5-star rating below! Or click the heart to like this recipe and share it with your friends! And, of course, make sure to tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out: