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Pimento Cheese Recipe

Retro Recipe Revival: Pimento Cheese

As a California girl by way of New England, I had yet to taste the wonder-inducing substance that is pimento cheese till a few weeks prior. Let's just say that since that first sharp, creamy, and all-around mind-bogglingly delicious bite, I've been making up for lost time and then some. Luckily, I live with a Southern lady who shares a passion for all things culinary related, and — as luck would have it — comes from a family that's involved in the restaurant and catering business. So, when I decided to re-create this revelatory retro treat I knew exactly who to turn to.

Tangy, twangy, sharp but smooth, and studded with chunks of sweet pimento peppers, this classic, no-frills recipe comes courtesy of my roommate's stepmother — who happens to own a catering business — and is pretty darn perfect. If you've yet to become acquainted with this Southern luncheon staple, there's no time like the present — whip up an addictive batch today.

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese


If you can't find pimento peppers, substitute roasted red bell peppers.

Pimento Cheese


1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated white or yellow onion
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
6-10 dashes Tabasco sauce, to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 4-ounce jar of diced pimentos with juice
1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper, or more to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mashing with a fork to form a thick, spreadable paste; if it's a bit loose, add more mayonnaise until it holds together.
  2. Season to taste, and serve with crackers.

Makes about 3 cups.

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Nancy-Einhart Nancy-Einhart 3 years
I cannot control myself around pimiento cheese.
sinsational sinsational 7 years
I'll change the cheese for tofu and mayo for fat free yogurt and lots of fresh roasted pimentos, with a hint of fresh garlic.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Ellen, you must be thinking of the spread that's passed off as pimento cheese in a lot of the Midwest. Real pimento cheese isn't processed.
ellenp1214 ellenp1214 7 years
pimento cheese totally weirds me out. possibly because i've never had it.. but i'm no fan of processed cheese in general.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
i'm not sure if i've ever had this, but it sounds yummy!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Sarah, I grew up in the Midwest and we had it all of the time in my family; I was always surprised by how many of my friends had never had it until they were at my house. I think my mom's dad picked up a love for it when he used to travel for work, then passed the love for it on to my mom, who passed it on to me.
sarahcateh sarahcateh 7 years
I can't believe you had never had pimento cheese before? I grew up in NC so I guess I thought it was as ubiquitous everywhere else in the US as it is here. One of my favorites (but it has to be made with good quality cheese or else it's no good).
Food Food 7 years
Totally making this for my next party! Addictive, creamy, and had a slight roasted pimento flavor. Dangerous.
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