With so many ways to enjoy this southern classic, you’ll want to whip up a batch of homemade pimento cheese on a regular basis! This delicious spread is quick and easy to make and uses just a handful of ingredients.
Pimento cheese is one of the most important foods in my family. In fact, it may as well be its own food group.
While we all prefer this recipe, we aren’t overly picky and will eat just about any pimento cheese – except for the stuff that comes out of the jar. That does not count as true pimento cheese.
But put this one in front of us and it’ll disappear in record time. It’s quick and easy to make, uses just a few simple ingredients, and can be served in so many different ways.
WHAT IS PIMENTO CHEESE?
Pimento cheese is extremely popular in the southern United States, although you will find it elsewhere around the country, especially in the Midwest.
Pimento cheese is a spread made primarily of cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos. There are definitely some regional variations to recipes – and even some variations between families.
For example, in some places you will find pimento cheese made with cream cheese as the base, either instead of or in addition to mayo. But in my family, we are strictly mayo only. I’ll eat the cream cheese stuff, but I won’t make it – I don’t want my great-grandmother haunting me, after all.
Pimento cheese is usually served as a dip with crackers or vegetables or on sandwiches. Skip down to “serving suggestions” for more on this.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PIMENTO CHEESE
My great-grandmother’s homemade pimento cheese is so simple to throw together. In fact, it’s tempting to keep a batch of it in the refrigerator at all times!
My recipe for pimento cheese uses just 4 simple ingredients. But as with all recipes that rely on just a small handful of ingredients, each of the ingredients is important.
Freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese: I prefer a sharp cheddar for my pimento cheese, although you could get away with using a medium or mild cheddar. The most important thing though is to make sure that you shred it yourself. Don’t use pre-shredded cheese for this recipe!
Mayonnaise: Look, you can use any mayo you like, but I really hope you’ll use a good quality one. I really like Duke’s or even using homemade mayonnaise. I don’t recommend using an off-brand mayo; they often don’t have much flavor to them.
Jarred diced pimentos: It depends on the grocery store, but you can usually find these over by the jarred olives and jarred roasted red peppers.
Worcestershire sauce: This is the key to a really delicious homemade pimento cheese. Don’t skip this!
Making this recipe
This is so simple I actually feel silly giving you directions on how to make this. Are you ready?
Stir all of the ingredients together. Give it a taste and see if you want to add more Worcestershire sauce – start with 1 teaspoon and add more to taste.
Now it can be served right away, but I think it’s best if you let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
And that’s it. Really! To quote Ina: How easy is that?
Ok here’s where it gets fun. Yes, you can simply eat your homemade pimento cheese as a dip with your favorite crackers or veggies, but there are so many other ways to enjoy it:
- Make a simple pimento cheese sandwich with white bread, pimento cheese, and big slices of summer-ripe tomatoes. This is my uncle’s favorite!
- Make a grilled pimento cheese sandwich.
- Use it as a spread on burgers or fried chicken sandwiches.
- Mix it into macaroni and cheese for the best macaroni and pimento cheese.
- Turn it into pimento cheese pinwheels.
- Use it in pimento cheese jalapeño poppers.
- Bake it into mini phyllo shells for a quick and easy appetizer.
And so much more! Although I’ll warn you, you’ll want to make a double batch so you have enough to snack on while you’re cooking.
Store homemade pimento cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you need to make it ahead of time for a party, feel free! It will hold really well in the fridge and tastes better after it has chilled for a couple of hours anyway.
You should not freeze this pimento cheese. Because it is mayo-based, freezing will cause it to split.
I hope you will love this recipe as much as my family does and that it will become a family favorite for you as well!
Homemade Pimento Cheese
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese freshly shredded
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup jarred diced pimentos drained
- 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Can be served right away, but is best if you cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.