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 puhminner 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, delicious spread!
Two parts of this recipe are super important – grating your own cheese and grating the onion. While I LOVE the convenience of bagged, pre-shredded cheese from the grocery store, the cornstarch and stuff they use to keep the shreds from sticking together in the bag seems to have an effect on the end texture, so I really recommend shredding your own. Can you use the other stuff, sure. Just know it won’t be quite the same.
And while I love the milder flavor of the garlic powder over fresh grated garlic, I think the fresh onion is super important to the flavor. I just throw it on the box grater right after I grate my cheese so that it adds all that flavor without the unpleasant crunch that chopped onions would give. Y’all enjoy!
Southern Pimento Cheese
- 1 lb block sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained
- 1 tablespoon grated onion
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
- salt to taste
- Grate the cheese using a box grater.
- Combine shredded cheddar, softened cream cheese, mayo, drained pimentos, grated onion, black pepper, and garlic. Stir to combine.
- Add salt to taste. Allow to rest at least several hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to develop.