Pimento Cheese – a quintessential of Southern food; primarily a blend of sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and sweet spicy pimento peppers. Creamy, slightly sweet and sharp. An addictive appetizer that goes perfectly with crackers, veggies, sandwiches and burgers! PLUS 27 other scrumptious recipes to try for every day of February as we celebrate Black History Month are down below!
At first, I honestly didn’t understand why people (especially the Southerners) go gaga over this bright orange creamy spread. But during my last trip to South Carolina, I finally got the courage to “taste test” my sister’s homemade Pimento Cheese. And boy, I didn’t even notice I was already spreading my crackers and sandwiches with it as the day went by. Now I know why it’s a staple down South!
What is pimento?
Pimento peppers are bright red heart-shaped or round-ish sweet peppers that are usually 3-4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Among the pepper family, these register with the lowest heat. Instead, they are very mild and sweet in flavor. It can add a sweet pepper flavor to your dishes like those of red bell peppers. They are frequently sold in cans or jars in most grocery stores and usually displayed along the olive counter as they are commonly used as stuffing in green olives.
What is pimento cheese?
Depending on where you’re from, pimento cheese are also called pimenna or mento cheese. It is named for the Spanish word pepper: pimiento (or pimento) which is one of the highlights of this recipe. Pimiento cheese is a lovely blend of sharp cheddar, sweet-spicy pimento peppers and mayo. It’s creamy, slightly sweet and sharp and has been well-loved in the Southern part of the U.S.
Pimento cheese is best served as dips for crackers and veggies and as a sandwich spread. They’re perfect for summer time parties, tailgating and game days!
How to make pimento cheese?
It’s too easy to make this popular Southern dip/spread. You can even make it with your eyes closed. 😉 To start, you have to soften the cream cheese to room temperature before adding it in a bowl with shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, garlic and onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mix all of those by hand or with a mixer; I prefer using a mixer to ensure they are thoroughly combined. Then you gradually fold in the diced pimentos and jalapeno pepper and season with salt and pepper.
Allow it to sit in the fridge at least an hour or overnight before serving.
How long does pimento cheese last?
Since there are less preservatives in this homemade pimento cheese compared to jarred store-bought, you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week.
Can you freeze pimento cheese?
As much as we love to freeze and save almost anything in our kitchen, this one here is beyond our power. The ingredients in a pimento cheese don’t freeze well. The oils from cheddar and mayo separate as it is thawed and the cheddar cheese becomes spongy, also the flavor is there only partially. It won’t look as appetizing at it was when freshly made.
You can spread them on crackers, burgers, sandwiches OR make it as a dip for crackers, chips, tortillas, veggies like celery and peppers. If you have the luxury of time, you can take the pimento cheese sandwich up a notch and turn it into a Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich. What a treat!! My son loved it! So if you’re planning a game day menu, make sure to include this one to your list.
Aaand keep scrolling down to feast on other scrumptious dishes from fellow black food bloggers as we celebrate Black History Month through rich and soulful flavors of black cuisine across the world.
Tips and Notes:
- If you can only find the whole jarred pimentos, just dice them up yourself with a knife or food chopper.
- I go with Philadelphia cream cheese, but generic will work just fine. Make sure to soften it so it’ll combine with the other ingredients well.
- Add more mayonnaise if you want a thinner consistency. Adjust taste to your preference.
Pimento Cheese - a quintessential of Southern food; primarily a blend of sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and sweet spicy pimento peppers. Creamy, slightly sweet and slightly sharp. An addictive appetizer that perfectly goes with crackers, veggies, sandwiches and burgers!
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup gouda (sub with cheddar cheese )
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ jalapenos pepper ,seeded , diced (adjust to taste )
- 4 ounces diced pimentos, , drained
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce , optional
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring cream cheese to room temperature before proceeding.
Then add cream cheese, cheddar and gouda cheese , mayonnaise, garlic, onion powder , cayenne pepper , jalapeños , pimentos and hot sauce to a large bowl.
Thoroughly mix - use mixer, if possible, this with ensure that the mixture is fully combined.
if desired. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Bring cream cheese to room temperature before proceeding. Then add cream cheese, cheddar and gouda cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper, jalapeños, pimentos and hot sauce to a large bowl.
Thoroughly mix – use mixer, if possible, this with ensure that the mixture is fully combined. If desired, season to taste with salt and black pepper.
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