Put a twist on the traditional southern cheese spread and prepare Jalapeno Pimento Cheese. Filled with traditional ingredients, kick this recipe up a notch with fresh jalapeño and bacon with a delicious spice blend!
SOUTHERN PIMENTO CHEESE
Where do we start? This southern staple ranks high next to sweet tea. With that said, pimento cheese is a spread or topping made with cheese, mayo, jarred pimentos and spices.
This southern delicacy is typically served with crackers or made into tea style sandwiches, served on a hot summer's day. If attending any formal or casual event, pimento cheese will certainly be on the dinner table.
JALEPENO CHEESE SPREAD
This recipe is similar but different from the traditional southern style pimento cheese. With that said, if you want to try traditional first, try my original southern pimento cheese recipe.
Now, this jalapeno cheese spread is a flavorful variation from traditional but filled with pleasing yet different ingredients. To explain, bacon, fresh jalapeno and cream cheese are added to produce a tangy, spicy and creamy texture.
Like any southern family, there is one person designated as making the best macaroni and cheese. There is another, who is designated at making the best pimento cheese. Thank my lovely Aunt B’, who shared her secrets on preparing the best old fashioned pimento cheese.
From this base recipe, this spicy pimento cheese spread is created.
- Cheddar Cheese. Sharp is best and if you want to stay true to old fashioned pimento cheese, only use cheddar. You will not hear this often but pre-shredded or grating your own works in this recipe!
- Mayonnaise. Get the good stuff. Between Blue Plate or Duke’s, you cannot go wrong.
- Cream Cheese. A lot of recipes do not require cream cheese. It is certainly optional; it is added to help maintain the texture and for a bit richer flavor.
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder. It is important to note, this ingredient is a must. This particular garlic powder really enhances the flavor of the pimento cheese. This is a secret ingredient so keep this between us!
- Worcestershire Sauce. Another “secret” ingredient. Do not omit this ingredient.
- Sugar. This helps to balance the flavors and will cut some of the saltiness from the additional ingredients.
- Jarred Pimentos. The star of the show. Find this item at any local grocery market next to the pickles and olives!
- Jalapeno- If you are here, you certainly love spice. Get fresh but I imagine canned could work, I have never tried it though.
- Bacon- I used store bought bacon bits. When testing with homemade cooked bacon, the bacon turned soggy. For this recipe, use store bought as the texture remains intact.
WHY CREAM CHEESE?
Although some will argue cream cheese does not belong in pimento cheese, this recipe and my original, includes it. To explain, the cream cheese helps with keeping a creamy but firm texture. If you prefer slightly thick pimento cheese, certainly add the cream cheese.
Also, the cream cheese adds rich flavor while making the spread thicker in texture.
HOW TO MAKE JALAPENO PIMENTO CHEESE
First, it is important to realize that prepping the ingredients will make for a quick and under 10-minute recipe. Begin by shredding the cheddar cheese.
Then, finely chop the jalapeno and remove seeds for less heat. On the other hand, keep the seeds for more heat.
Next, measure the mayo, cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire Sauce, sugar and pimentos.
Now, in a large bowl perfect for mixing, add the cheddar cheese. Finally, add in the additional ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
Using a spatula or even clean hands, mix the spicy pimento cheese spread until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Now that the ingredients are combined, simply pour into your serving dish or store for later use.
It is important to point out that the pimento cheese will develop in flavor over time so make-ahead for maximum flavor!
HOW TO SERVE
Tasteful ways to serve this spicy pimento spread:
- Tea Sandwiches. Serving pimento cheese tea sandwich style will remove the crust of the bread and then cutting the sandwich into smaller portions in the shape of squares, rectangles or triangles.
- Crackers or chips.
- Sliced vegetables. Celery, Carrots, Bell Peppers, get creative!
- Grilled Cheese. Add pimento spread between two slices of bread and sear on both sides.
- Cheeseburger. Simply slather a dollop of pimento cheese on top of a cooked hamburger. Prepare your tastebuds for a gratifying explosion.
HOW TO STORE AND SHELF LIFE
As mentioned earlier, pimento cheese stores great! Pimento cheese can be stored up to three to four weeks. Mason jars with a tightly screwed lid or any other refrigerator safe container will work best.
Simply stir the pimento cheese before serving and enjoy!
Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
- 2.5 cups Cheddar shredded
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 4 oz Pimentos
- ½ cup Cream Cheese
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder with Parsley see blog notes
- ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp Sugar
- ½ cup Jalapeno
- ⅓ cup Bacon Bits
- Prepping the ingredients will make for a quick and under 10-minute recipe.
- Begin by shredding the cheddar cheese.
- Roughly chop the jalapeno (keep or remove seeds depending on spice level).
- Measure the mayo, cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire Sauce, sugar, bacon and pimentos.
- In a large bowl perfect for mixing, add the cheddar cheese.
- Add in the additional ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Serve (or store for later) and enjoy!
If you like this recipe, you will love traditional
Cheeseburger with Pimento Cheese