Gifts from the kitchen, Pimento Cheese

The thing about pimento cheese is people feel passionately about it…you either love it or you hate it

Why this particular dish creates so much emotion is beyond me, but what I have learned about it is that EVERY SOUTHERNER HAS AN OPINION! It’s true, it’s almost like talking about politics or religion~people get fired up about this subject!

The other fact you must know about this infamous food is that EVERY SOUTHERNER HAS A DIFFERENT RECIPE or PREFERENCE. This is where a lot of the passion comes in, some people insist on certain ingredients and methods and  consider any other way as not PROPER.

Being a Yankee born, Southern California transplant now living in the heart of Dixie , I don’t pay any of them much attention…long ago I went about creating my own version…


It’s simple.  It’s versatile. It’s delicious! Amen.  As in end of discussion.  BUT, you MUST use Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp and Vermont Sharp White Cheddar! That’s the secret.


Drain the pimentos well on a paper towel.


Place in a food processor with the grated Cheddar and add 1/4 cup mayo.  Season.  I use a little black pepper, but use red or cayenne if you want more of a kick. I don’t add salt because the cheese is pretty salty already.


Pulse it a few times and check consistency.  I want it to just hold together, and I don’t want the cheese to become over processed mush.  This was a little dry so I added 2 more T mayo.


A few more pulses and it was perfect.  Just pulse, do not walk away and leave the machine running, you will end up with cheese butter yuck.

pimento cheese

Some for me and some for DD.  Now here’s the funny thing around here…SHHHHHH, keep this quiet….HH, HHjr, and NG all swear they hate this stuff. Wouldn’t touch in with a ten foot pole type drama…but they actually eat it ALL THE TIME!  Let me show you some of the dishes I make with this~

breakfast sandwich

Breakfast sandwiches!  The pimento cheese adds a nice tang

grilled pimento cheese

Grilled ham & cheese sandwiches

tomato pie

Tomato Pie~pimento cheese in place of the mayo in this traditional Southern dish of layered tomato slices and basil, is  a nice change from traditional mayonnaise.  {this photo was taken before baking so just pretend the crust is golden and the tomatoes are cooked and everything is all happy and melty}

tortilla spirals

Tortilla spirals {these are made with additional chopped red pepper and green onion}

pumpkin cheese ball

Cheese Ball~ I used white cheddar only for this version to keep it looking more like a white pumpkin last fall and rolled it in chopped parsley

veggie dip

Vegetable dip, simply add a little more mayonnaise and a dab of sour cream to make it into a dip

mixed veggie casserole

Mixed vegetable or green bean casserole, the pimento cheese adds a nice cheesy surprise and the pimentos wake up the flavor.


Spread on toasted burger buns, pimento cheese makes a fabulous topping.

pimento cheese sandwich

And my personal favorite, pimento cheese on fresh rye with lettuce and tomato. Now I can’t get the guys to eat this yet, but I bet if I loaded this sandwich up with bacon they would wolf it down!  They sure gobbled up all the other dishes!

Here’s the recipe:


Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 2 cups


  • 8 oz Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • 8 oz Cracker Barrel Vermont White Cheddar
  • 4 oz chopped pimentos
  • 1/4-1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • pepper to taste


  • Place cheese and drained pimentos into a food processor with 1/4 cup mayo and pulse just a few times until just mixed.
  • Check to see if mixture holds together. If it is too dry add more mayo, 1-2 T and pulse once or twice. Check and add additional mayo until you get the consistency you want.
  • I use just enough mayonnaise to bind, you want to taste the cheese, not the mayo! Do not overmix! Makes about 2 1/2 cups. Keep in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Keyword appetizer, cheese spread, pimiento cheese, sandwich spread

Whether you’re a lover or a hater, I hope you’ll give my recipe a try and tell me what you think!  Or make your own version and try it in some of these other ways.

Thanks for visiting, I love hearing what you have to say!


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14 Responses to “Gifts from the kitchen, Pimento Cheese”
  1. Looks so good. I need to make a batch or three.

  2. Marigene says:

    Looks so yummy…born and bred in Vermont, I would have to use some Cabot’s extra sharp!

  3. I’ve not eaten pimiento cheese since I was a little kid. It was the cheap kind, so that’s probably why it didn’t tickle my fancy. I would very likely like THIS, though…especially spread on a nice burger. I think that would rock! You are SO slick for sneaking that in when everyone claims to hate it! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Mary says:

    Jenna~ I don’t why I don’t make pimento cheese, I usually pick it up my favorite brand from the deli section at the grocery store. Mayonnaise is something I find people have VERY definite opinions on! It’s sacrilege in the south to use anything but Duke’s 🙂

  5. Rattlebridge Farm -- Foodie Friday says:

    🙂 Southerners DO tend to be loyal and opinionated about certain recipes–especially if the food is mayonnaise-based. Your pimento cheese has transcended Duke’s Mayo, my dear. It is making me sooo hungry. And the toasted bread…pure foodie heaven.

  6. tyler says:

    really good variety, lots of uses for this one recipe.

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