Updated: Jul 11, 2022
Southern food has a few dishes that are so quintessential, there's just nothing else like them anywhere. Pimento cheese is definitely one of them. It is truly such a simple dish that you can wonder how it has stood the test of time, but I think that's exactly why it has stood the test of time. There's nothing fussy about it; It requires no actual cooking; and it can stay in your fridge (or freezer!) for a while, ready for your snack cravings or unexpected guests.
I didn't really get into pimento cheese until I actually moved to the south. My only exposure to it up north was packaged stuff in the grocery store that I never really found appealing. Then of course I had it at a restaurant down here in Tennessee and I finally saw the light.
My recipe is nothing fancy, as it should be, and goes a little lighter on mayo than some other versions I have seen. The key to what I think makes mine (and other versions I've really gravitated towards) is that I mix everything in my electric stand mixer. It makes for such a better texture in my opinion and truly makes it its own thing. Spoon mixing just can't get you there. But if you don't have a stand or hand-held mixture, don't worry. It will still taste great!
Serve this up with Ritz crackers, pretzels, pita, crudités (veggies) -- literally anything that goes with cheese. It's also so delicious to use it as your cheese on a juicy burger or the filling for a grilled cheese. There are no limits to the use of pimento cheese.
Whip this up to have as a snack eagerly awaiting you in the fridge or for your next party. Either way, it is sure to delight all who taste it!
Slo's Classic Southern Pimento Cheese Makes ~ 1.5 Cups Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: None
Click the file below to download and print the recipe
I recommend reading the recipe all the way through, including the recipe notes at the bottom, before you start cooking.
1 C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (preferably from the block, not pre-shredded)
1 C. shredded monterey jack cheese (same note as above)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
3 oz. cream cheese (cool to room temperature is best)
1/3 C. mayonnaise
3 TB drained and diced pimento peppers
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add all of the ingredients and turn the mixer to low to start combining everything.
As the ingredients come together, turn the mixer speed up. Once everything is well-mixed, turn the mixer to high for about a minute. You want the cheese to be creamed together and slightly whipped.
Spoon the mixture into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve with crackers and veggies or use on top of a burger or in a grilled cheese sandwich.
Keep leftovers in an air-tight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months.
*Recipe notes + Variations*
Kick the heat up a notch with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper! Or out the mild monterey jack cheese with pepper jack.
This freezes so well. Make sure it's in a tightly sealed container, but it will last for 6 months with no issue. Defrost in the refrigerator and enjoy the same as if you made it fresh. Eat within a few days of defrosting.