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Grilled Pimento Cheese

Earlier this year, I was having dinner with a friend when the topic of conversation turned to food. {This is not unusual, seeing as how most of our conversations end up being about food.} I was saying how my mother and I had just recently discovered the glory that is the grilled pimento cheese sandwich – made with my great-grandmother’s homemade pimento cheese recipe, of course. At this point my friend looked at me and said, “Wait a minute. You can make pimento cheese? I thought it only came from a jar.”

That statement took a minute to sink in. Pimento cheese out of a jar? After a bit of research {nerd alert}, I realized that she was referring to this. Friends, this may be a controversial statement, but that is not real pimento cheese.

Real pimento cheese is a Southern staple, and there are about as many recipe variations as there are opinionated Southern grandmothers, but – in general – it is a spread made up of sharp cheddar cheese, chopped pimentos, and mayo. Some recipes, such as my great-grandmother’s, may use additional ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, but those first three components are fairly consistent. Of course, there are a few people who use cream cheese in their pimento cheese, but I’m fairly certain that this idea would make my great-grandmother turn in her grave, so I personally stick to the basics.

I grew up eating pimento cheese sandwiches – literally, just pimento cheese and some slices of fresh tomato between two slices of bread – but for some reason it never occurred to my family to turn our pimento cheese into grilled cheese until recently.


I am so glad to have seen the light. Grill all the cheese!

Grilled Pimento Cheese
Yield: Makes enough pimento cheese for a least 4 sandwiches
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped jarred pimentos
  • ½-1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Slices of your favorite crusty bread
  • Butter
  1. Make the pimento cheese: In a bowl, stir together the cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, and Worcestershire sauce until combined. Start by adding ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, and increase to up to 1 teaspoon as desired.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spread a few tablespoons of the pimento cheese spread on a slice of bread. Top with a second slice, spread the top of the sandwich with butter, and place in the heated skillet, butter-side down. Spread butter on what is now the top slice of bread, and cook until the sandwich is golden brown on both sides, flipping halfway, for a total of 3-4 minutes. Cut in half and serve with your favorite tomato soup.


  1. Yesss! Here’s a funny story. Daddy told me awhile ago that he never did like pimento cheese (before he had Ma-Ma’s), because all he knew about was said jarred stuff. Bless his heart. I’m glad that he’s seen the light on many culinary glories. And, it’s thanks to Christina and her Instagram post from her honeymoon that made me see the light. And that light is grilled pimento cheese. 🙂

    1. Heck, yeah! Why do you think that southern girls are what boys want (or the ones with any sense)? Did you catch her “opinionated southern grandmother” statement? Not that we don’t have a few of those in the family. 🙂

    1. Actually, pimento cheese isn’t remotely spicy! Pimentos aren’t spicy…more like finely chopped roasted red peppers. Kinda. But no spice! So you’d be fine 🙂 (I’m a spice lightweight, too!)

    1. If I wasn’t busy this weekend I would be showing up at your doorstep with the ingredients for this sammich and force-feed it to you. The baby would approve.

    1. YES! Omg, I’m so glad someone else thinks that. I really wanted to write, “Make the danged sandwich. If you haven’t figured out how to do that by now, you’re doomed.” Haha.

    1. Well. You are a born and bred Yankee, so it isn’t really your fault that you weren’t raised right. 😉 But really…this is such a Steph food. You neeeeed to try this.

  2. You make my heart swell…Let’s do this and a bowl of tomato soup for dipping…that’s it. I’ve got every meal planned from here on out. Grilled cheese and soup. done and done. I’ve never actually purchased a jar of pimentos. It is time, my friend…it is time. 🙂

  3. Mmmm I love a good grilled cheese. I have never had pimento cheese, but I have seen that stuff in a jar. I thought that’s what it was! And that’s why I was really kind of confused at the end of the Food Network Star finale lol. Thanks for showing me the light. Looks amazing!

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