Prepare your tastebuds for this simple, old fashioned pimento cheese recipe. A classic southern staple served at any family or formal event. Creamy, cheesy, tangy with a hint of spice, try this recipe and it will be the last pimento cheese recipe you ever use!
If you like pimento cheese, you have to try my Pimento Cheeseburger recipe!
WHAT IS PIMENTO CHEESE?
Where do we start? This southern staple ranks high next to classic sweet tea. With that said, pimento cheese is a spread or topping made with cheese, mayo, jarred pimentos and spices.
WHY SOUTHERNERS LOVE OLD FASHIONED PIMENTO CHEESE
Southern inspired foods are made with love. From cheesy, mayonnaise doused (may-nase), fried and slow simmered, there is not one dish that does not stem from a labor of love.
Pimento cheese does not fall from this tradition. Most popular southern foods stemmed from a "means to an end" and pimento cheese is a very inexpensive dish to prepare. Pimento cheese does not spoil if sat out at room temperature, hence why it is served at gatherings!
It is important to note, southern people are known for planning a gathering for any occasion (or none at all) and like deviled eggs, it is just the way of the south!
WHAT ARE PIMENTOS?
To explain, pimentos are a specific type of red chili pepper. Not to be confused with red bell peppers, pimentos are heart shaped peppers, sweet in flavor and mild in the level of heat.
Jarred pimentos, which is what is used in this recipe are sliced, diced and canned in jars preserved in their own juices.
Fun fact! Paprika, a popular is made from pimento peppers.
INGRDIENTS TO MAKE OLD FASHIONED PIMENTO CHEESE
Just like any southern family, there is at least one person who is designated as making the best macaroni and cheese. Indeed, 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.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- 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!
DOES TRADITIONAL PIMENTO CHEESE HAVE CREAM CHEESE?
Traditional southern pimento cheese should not have cream cheese in it. I have prepared and enjoyed pimento cheese with and without cream cheese.
Cream cheese is added to uphold texture and to provide a richer flavor. If preparing this for an event, the cream cheese will aide in the pimento cheese remaining true to its thick and creamy texture.
HOW TO MAKE OLD FASHIONED 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. Next, measure the mayo, cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire Sauce, sugar and pimentos.
Third, 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 will result in the best texture and flavor. Now that the ingredients are combined, simply pour into your serving dish or store until later use.
It is important to point out that the pimento cheese will develop in flavor over time so make-ahead for maximum flavor!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PIMENTO CHEESE?
Here are how most southerners will serve it:
- 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.
- Pimento Cheeseburger. Simply slather a dollop of pimento cheese on top of a cooked hamburger. Prepare your tastebuds for a gratifying explosion.
HOW LONG DOES PIMENTO CHEESE LAST?
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!
Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese
- 2.5 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 4 oz Pimentos
- ½ cup Cream Cheese
- ¼ teaspoon Salt more if needed
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 2 teaspoon Garlic Powder with Parsley see blog notes
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 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.
- Next, measure the mayo, cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire Sauce, sugar and pimentos (be sure to drain).
- 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 pimento cheese, try it with this pimento cheeseburger recipe!
This recipe helped me to “fall all over again” with pimento cheese spread!!! Adding the secret ingredients really did take my spread up a BIG notch!! SeasonedToTaste, you NEVER disappoint!! Love your blog on the old recipe from “The South”!! Nothing better than tea sandwiches offered at a familiar outing. I love myself some pimento cheese! AND, I learned something today. Did not know that’s where paprika is made! Using pimentos!!
Thanks for checking out the post and trying the recipe. Who wouldn't love this staple?!!!!
I made this for ladies night and it went so perfectly on my cheese board!! Thanks so much for this recipe 😍
Dan R says
I added 1 medium size de-seeded jalapeño in a small dice for some “pop” takes even another notch up enjoy
Hahah! Yes. If you liked that, you should try my jalapeno pimento cheese recipe. 🙂
Thanks for the feedback, Jennifer. You can certainly adjust to your to your taste!
Should I drain the pimentos from the jar?
Yes, please drain the pimentos. I've also added that step in the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out. 🙂
Gene Stevens says
I dont drain pimento. This makes pimento really good