Southern Pimento Cheese

Enhance Your Experience: Crafting Southern Pimento Cheese

Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure steeped in Southern tradition and flavor with our guide to crafting the perfect Southern Pimento Cheese. This iconic spread has been a staple in Southern kitchens for generations, cherished for its creamy texture, tangy undertones, and versatile nature. Join us as we delve into the art of creating this beloved dish, from selecting the finest ingredients to exploring creative variations and serving suggestions. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a culinary novice, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and inspiration to master the art of Southern Pimento Cheese.


Before we begin, let’s ensure we have all the necessary ingredients at our disposal:

  • 1 (8-ounce) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (8-ounce) mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup diced pimentos
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise or Greek yogurt (optional)


Now, let’s embark on the journey of crafting our Southern Pimento Cheese:

  1. Select Quality Cheeses: The foundation of any great pimento cheese lies in the quality of the cheeses used. Opt for sharp and mild cheddar cheeses of reputable brands, preferably block cheese that you can shred yourself for optimal freshness and flavor.
  2. Ensure Cream Cheese is Softened: To achieve a smooth and creamy consistency, ensure that the cream cheese is softened before incorporating it into the mixture. This can be achieved by allowing the cream cheese to sit at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes or by gently microwaving it in short intervals.
  3. Dicing Pimentos: When dicing the pimentos, aim for uniformity in size to ensure even distribution throughout the spread. If using jarred pimentos, be sure to drain them thoroughly to remove excess moisture, as this can affect the texture of the pimento cheese.
  4. Seasoning to Taste: While the suggested amount of salt and pepper serves as a baseline, feel free to adjust the seasoning to suit your personal preferences. Taste the mixture as you season, adding more salt or pepper as needed until you achieve the desired flavor profile.
  5. Incorporating Optional Ingredients: The addition of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt is optional and can be adjusted based on personal preference. If you prefer a richer and creamier texture, opt for mayonnaise, while Greek yogurt offers a lighter alternative without compromising on flavor.
  6. Chilling for Optimal Flavor: While it may be tempting to dig into the pimento cheese immediately, allowing it to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour is crucial. This chilling time allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste and texture of the spread.

Cook Notes and Variations

Now, let’s explore additional tips, variations, and serving suggestions to elevate your Southern Pimento Cheese experience:

  • Grating Your Own Cheese: While pre-shredded cheese is convenient, grating your own cheese from a block ensures freshness and superior flavor. Use a box grater or food processor for quick and easy shredding.
  • Customizing Texture: The texture of pimento cheese can vary from chunky to smooth, depending on personal preference. For a chunkier texture, pulse the ingredients briefly in a food processor or mixer. For a smoother consistency, blend the mixture until completely smooth.
  • Creative Additions: Get creative with additional mix-ins such as chopped green onions, diced jalapenos, or crispy bacon for added flavor and texture. These additions can elevate your pimento cheese and add a unique twist to the classic recipe.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve Southern Pimento Cheese as a dip with crackers, pretzels, or crudites for a crowd-pleasing appetizer. Spread it on sandwiches, burgers, or grilled cheese for a flavorful twist. It also pairs beautifully with charcuterie boards or as a topping for baked potatoes or grilled meats.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here are some additional tips and modifications:

  • Low-Carb Dippers: Opt for low-carb dippers such as celery sticks, cucumber slices, or bell pepper strips instead of traditional crackers or bread.
  • Adjusting Ingredients: Adjust the ratio of ingredients to suit your dietary needs, opting for full-fat cheeses and mayonnaise or Greek yogurt with no added sugars.
  • Portion Control: While pimento cheese is delicious, it’s important to practice portion control, as it can be calorie-dense. Enjoy it in moderation as part of a well-rounded keto or low-carb meal plan.

In conclusion, crafting Southern Pimento Cheese is more than just a recipe – it’s a celebration of tradition, flavor, and Southern hospitality. With the right ingredients, techniques, and a dash of creativity, you can create a spread that’s sure to impress family and friends alike. Whether enjoyed as a dip, spread, or topping, Southern Pimento Cheese is a versatile and delicious addition to any table. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to savor the flavors of the South in every bite. Happy cooking!

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