Jalapeno Pimento Cheese is a spicy twist on the traditional southern cheese spread. Kick your pimento cheese recipe up a notch with fresh jalapeño and bacon. Add it to everything from crackers to sandwiches.
Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
This jalapeno cheese spread is a flavorful variation of pimento cheese and includes ingredients like bacon, fresh jalapeno, and cream cheese for a tangy, savory, spicy spread with a rich and creamy texture. Make this once and you'll want to keep a batch stocked in your fridge whenever the craving strikes!
This recipe is similar but different from the traditional southern style pimento cheese. With that said, definitely try my traditional pimento cheese recipe if you haven't already.
- Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
- Why You'll Love This Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Recipe
- What is Pimento Cheese?
- Why use Cream Cheese in Pimento Cheese?
- How to Make Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
- Recipe Variations
- HOW TO SERVE
- Tips and Tricks
- How to Store Leftovers
- Can I make Jalapeno Pimento Cheese in advance?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
Why You'll Love This Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Recipe
- Quick & Easy. Simply combine all your desired ingredients and you have a yummy spread or dip in just minutes!
- Great Make-Ahead Snack. This tastes even better once the flavors have time to meld and it also stores well in the fridge.
- Versatile. Whether you like it with a spicy kick, or ultra spicy, this recipe is customizable so you can make the best jalapeno pimento cheese for your taste buds.
What is Pimento Cheese?
Pimento cheese is a spread or topping made with cheese, mayo, jarred pimentos, and spices. It is a southern staple that ranks right up there next to sweet tea.
This southern delicacy is typically served with crackers or made into tea-style sandwiches, served on a hot summer day. If attending any formal or casual event, pimento cheese will certainly be on the dinner table.
In my family, my lovely Aunt B is the resident pimento cheese maker. She shared her secrets for preparing the best old-fashioned pimento cheese. From that base recipe, I created this spicy pimento cheese spread.
- Cheddar Cheese. Sharp cheddar 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 cheese works just fine in this recipe. Most pimento cheese recipes suggest grating your own cheese but either will do!
- 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.
- Seasoning. I use a flavorful mix of salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. It is important to note, this garlic powder is essential. It 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. Pimento peppers are, of course, 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 use Cream Cheese in Pimento Cheese?
Although some will argue cream cheese does not belong in pimento cheese, this recipe and my original, includes it. Cream cheese provides a creamy but firm and slightly thick texture.
Also, the cream cheese adds rich flavor while making the spread thicker in texture.
How to Make Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
Prepping the ingredients will make for a quick receipt that's ready in less than 10 minutes.
Begin by shredding the cheddar cheese. Then, finely chop the jalapeno.
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 the dip into a serving dish or store for later use.
- Spice. Remove the jalapeno seeds for less heat. Alternatively, keep the seeds for more heat. If you prefer a hotter pepper, try serrano peppers instead. You can also add cayenne pepper as a seasoning.
- Cheese. You can use white cheddar instead of orange.
- More Flavor. Add a smoky element by adding either chipotle powder or smoked paprika when seasoning. You can also add herbs like parsley and chives.
HOW TO SERVE
Here are tasty 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. You can use celery sticks, carrots, bell peppers, and more. Get creative!
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. 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.
Tips and Tricks
- Remember to drain the pimentos before adding them to the other ingredients.
- Although we want the ingredients to be thoroughly combined, avoid overmixing. We don't want to crush the pimentos.
- It is important to point out that the pimento cheese will develop in flavor over time so make-ahead for maximum flavor!
How to Store Leftovers
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!
Can I make Jalapeno Pimento Cheese in advance?
Absolutely! This cheese last up to one month when properly stored in the fridge. So make it ahead of time so you can enjoy it whenever!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I freeze pimento cheese?
Do not freeze jalapeno pimento cheese. The fat from the mayo and cheese will cause the mixture to separate.
How spicy is jalapeno pimento cheese?
This recipe is moderately spicy but you can use more or less peppers to decrease or increase the heat level.
What is the secret ingredient in pimento cheese?
Garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Both ingredients add a depth of flavor that makes this spicy cheese spread even more satisfying!
I HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS JALAPENO PIMENTO CHEESE DIP RECIPE!
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!