Pimento Cheese

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When I think about sandwiches and the South, I automatically think about pimento cheese.  This iconic Southern menu item is great slathered between two pieces of soft white bread, piled onto a stalk of celery, smeared on a cracker, and even more delicious… melted over burgers and hotdogs!  And while there are lots of folks that don’t even know what a pimento is, we Southerners grew up on the stuff – though it’s rarely called pimento cheese.  We usually refer to it as pimenter cheese, in true Southern twang.  And every Southerner has a different recipe for the orange gooey deliciousness.  Well, here’s mine.  And though the addition of cream cheese is not traditional, it sure does make from some creamy spread!


  • 1 lb block sharp cheddar
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 4oz jar chopped pimentos, drained
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • salt to taste


  1. Grate cheese.  Don’t use the pre-shredded, bagged stuff here.  While it’s great for some recipes, it’s coated with powdered stuff that keeps the cheese from sticking together in the bag and it can really throw off the texture of something like pimento cheese.
  2. Combine shredded cheddar, cream cheese, mayo, pimentos, grated onion, black pepper, and garlic.  Stir to combine. 
  3. Add salt to taste.
Pimento Cheese
Prep time
Total time
  • 1 lb block sharp cheddar
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 4oz jar chopped pimentos, drained
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • salt to taste
  1. Grate cheese.
  2. Combine shredded cheddar, cream cheese, mayo, pimentos, grated onion, black pepper, and garlic. Stir to combine.
  3. Add salt to taste.
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  1. What an interesting recipe! I love seeing different versions of “pimmenocheese”. Your’s is the first that I have seen that includes cream cheese. I’ll have to give it a spin.

  2. Leslie Jean says:

    I looove pimento cheese, My Rocky Mountain born husband turned his nose up at the first time I made it….but he is a convert now and love to put a dollop on at hot from the grill hamburger! I will add chopped toasted pecans when I want it to be “fancy”.

  3. emily willingham says:

    try it with a splash of Wochestershire sauce added in

  4. Laurice Kirkham says:

    I add a can of Original Ro-tel tomatoes, drained, to my pimento cheese. It adds a little zip to it. You would probably need to omit any salt and reduce the garlic powder in this recipe.

  5. Sounds great! I like the addition of cream cheese and granulated garlic in this recipe. I think I’ll try making this for a football-watching party this Saturday.

  6. Martha Montgomery says:

    My mother-in-law taught me to make Pimento Cheese when I married in 1965. I will need to try the cream cheese version…

  7. I use a pound of fine shredded cheddar (from store) and 1/2 lb or more of xtra sharp block (course shredded at home) I let the fine shred come to room temp and then along with everything else except course shred and pimento let it blend in stand mixer til creamy. I usually add an envelope of Good Seasons Italian Dressing & Sauce Mix. After all is creamy I fold in the course shred cheddar and pimento. Ends up as a nice blend of creamy & chunky. No problem from the anti-caking stuff from the pre-shredded cheese. Mayo is upped to about a cup.

  8. Love it. Great on burgers, toast or bagels (my northern friends might question this),grilled hot dogs, celery, wrapped up in lettuce leaves as a quick snack, …..

  9. Thank you for this. Before I came to the South, my only experience with pimiento was the awful stuff sold in those tiny jars, and I hated it. But I tried my first sandwich at Gilchrist in Birmingham and I was hooked! I’ve never tried it with cream cheese—that sounds lovely. I like to add a bit of spice to mine with some hot sauce. I serve it on toasted bread with lettuce for a crunch.

  10. Thanks for the recipe! There is a great cafe here in the Houston area (The Whistle Stop Cafe in Tomball, TX) and they add jalapeno to theirs! Oh my it is to die for! I love the hot spicy taste of it . . . I add it to mine all the time!

  11. I have never been a Pimento Cheese fan…and I’m a Southerner! I decided to try this recipe…and it is fantastic! I brought it in for my staff today and they said it was the best Pimento Cheese they ever had.

    • Katherine, You are so sweet to come back and let me know how much you liked the pimento cheese. It just thrills me to know that my recipe is the one that got you loving this Southern favorite!

  12. Love the pimento cheese. Have you ever tried it in Honey Maid Graham Crackers? Sweet and tangy. Just great.

  13. Adding cream cheese is new to me. I use velveeta for my pimento cheese. Will have to try the cream cheese

  14. jeannie flake says:

    grow your own pimento peppers and use them after roasting them in the oven for a really good flavor!

  15. Winnie Mom says:

    Love homemade Pimento Cheese–Makes the best grilled cheese sandwich to pair with tomato soup. I too add a little jalapeno or some cayenne pepper while mixing up. Never had with cream cheese but plan to do the next batch this weekend with it added.
    Thanks for all the good simple recipes.

  16. Renee Rogers says:

    The best I have ever had/made is using Cracker Barrel brand New York Sharp /White Vermont Cheddar blocks, cut into little cubes about the size of small dice , and sometimes I use Miracle Whip instead of mayo, which works well, too. I don’t use onion but def use garlic and sometimes use the Worcestershire sauce…. haven’t had the cream cheese but makes perfect sense and definitely will be adding that. Also goes very well with homemade roasted tomato soup.

  17. Love pimento cheese! Especially with some good ole fried chicken……pimento cheese sandwiches are a must! (Well, along with pineapple sandwiches.)

  18. SOOOO glad to see DUKE’S mayonnaise in the picture…wouldn’t use any other kind. A few weeks ago, my sister had a big party, and when trying to cut costs, she bought some XXbrand mayonnaise. She bought several jars. She took a bite, and went back to the store. She asked if I was “particular” about my mayonnaise…needless to say, she has a supply of XXbrand mayo….maybe she could use it on her hands…or hair…or remove water stains from wood…but she surely won’t eat it…We are also pimento cheese lovers…what southern girl isn’t????

  19. I sometimes mix a small block of Monterey Jack or mozzarella with my cheddar. I love to run the cheese under the broiler to toast. Sometimes add a slice of pineapple onto my sandwich. I had an aunt who put boiled eggs into hers. I never did that.

  20. Stefanie says:

    My most recent favorite way to have pimento chees is as part of a meatloaf sandwich. My mom, who loves both, and knows how to make both, introduced me to it.

  21. Gerri Barron says:

    So glad to see the word pimenter cheese in print…that is just how I say it. And we watching The Masters par 3 today…perfect for today.

  22. I recently bought some pepper jack pimento cheese from a small town (Alabama) grocery deli & it was the best!!! It was still the same orange color, so I’m guessing that they just used pepper jack in addition to the regular cheddar? It was pricey…so I’m thinking I need to play around & try to make some! Thanks for all of your great simple southern recipes!!!

  23. I put Worchestire Sauce in mine!

  24. Hi Stacey, love your blog and also love pimento cheese. A splash of Worcestershire is a must. I like putting in a little prepared horseradish sauce or buying at the deli a sharp white cheddar with horseradish in it. What ever recipe I use the guide line of 3/4 regular cheddar to 1/4 grated cheddar with horseradish then eat it on rye triscuits.THE BEST!!!

  25. Roxanne Hendrix says:

    Stacey, I have never added cream cheese to my “menner” cheese, but I would like to give it a try. I also add Worchestershire to mine. Have you ever added a dash of hot sauce? It is great to give it a little kick! A friend in Prattville shared this secret with me and I never make it without the hot sauce anymore!

    • Hi Roxanne! Sometime I will add both Worcestershire an hot sauce! It certainly gives it a different flavor. The cream cheese in this recipe makes it very, well… creamy. 🙂

  26. I make pimento cheese often. I use sharp cheddar cheese that I shred at home and 8oz of cream cheese, Kraft mayonnaise, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp “Wooster” sauce and hold on for the special secret ingredient–about 1/2 tsp of sugar!

  27. Stacey, I grew up in OK/TX and pimiento cheese was one of my favorites! My mom and grandma always added either dill pickle juice or juice from an olive jar and sometimes very finely minced pickles. It doesn’t take much so be careful or the pimiento cheese will be soggy. That simple addition gives it a tang and makes it stand out from other recipes. Let me know what you think!

  28. Stacey, thanks for explaining why NOT to use pre-grated cheese. I was trying to tell my mom why you HAD to grate the cheese up fresh for this and had no leg to stand on as to why but told her to “just do as I said”. OOH but I waited years for THAT comeback, LOL. I also use cream cheese in mine though a fat free or low fat version of it. I like it creamy, not soupy with mayo. If I had the cheese and pimento on hand, I would be whipping me up a batch right now. THX for sharing your time and talents with bloggerland.

  29. Have you read “Being Dead is No Excuse!” – – It refers to pimento cheese as the “pate of the south!” Great book about southern “funeral” culture! Great recipe – – can’t wait to try it!

  30. About how many sandwiches will this make?

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