This old-fashioned spicy pimento cheese recipe is a delectable Southern dip or sandwich spread. But with hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and pimentos mixed with cheese and creamy mayo, it brings the heat!
Pimento cheese (pronounced puh-men-uh) is a staple in the Southeastern United States and also in the Philippines. Clearly, this speaks to the wonderful taste of those folks (love y’all!). It’s one of those things we had often growing up and sometimes you just get a hankering that nothing else will satisfy except a good old pimento cheese sandwich.
2 ways with pimento cheese
There are a couple of ways to make pimento cheese, but the main two involve sharp cheddar cheese (like this recipe) and Velveeta (click here for the Velveeta version). Both are delicious in my book.
However, at a photo shoot for Taste of the South last weekend, we had wheat crackers and a big old tub of spicy pimento cheese. It was so heavenly that I decided to come home and whip some up to show folks how to make it, just in case you didn’t know. Because not having a little spicy pimento cheese from time to time would be a crying shame.
Now, I’m warning y’all, see that spicy in the title? Yeah, this isn’t a recipe for the faint of heart. The 6 ingredients you need are sharp cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, salt, and hot sauce. But if you don’t mind a little heat, you’re going to love this hot pimento cheese recipe. Fortunately, it’s also super quick and easy to make. We basically just have to mix the ingredients together and then let it chill in the fridge for a few hours to let all those flavors mingle together.
Keep scrolling for lots of serving suggestions. But whether you serve it as a homemade pimento cheese dip or sandwich spread, you’re in for a treat!
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Cayenne pepper
- Hot sauce
Helpful Kitchen Tools
How to Make Spicy Pimento Cheese
Grate all of your sharp cheddar cheese.
Place that in a large mixing bowl alongside the drained pimentos and mayo.
Stir that up really well.
Add hot sauce to mixing bowl…
And the cayenne pepper and hot sauce.
Stir again until well blended.
Place this in an airtight container or cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap.
Then refrigerate the pimento cheese dip for several hours, or overnight, to allow flavors to marry.
Here’s our hot pimento cheese ready to serve.
There are serving suggestions below. But pimento cheese dip with raw veggie sticks or crackers is absolutely delicious!
- Store leftover homemade pimento cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
- The mayonnaise and cheese don’t freeze well so I don’t recommend freezing pimento cheese.
- I always like to point out to the folks who don’t love mayo that I don’t either, so don’t fret over it in this recipe. You really won’t taste it because the cheddar cheese, sauces, and pimentos really overshadow it. We mainly have it in there to hold it all together.
- Use your favorite hot sauce, whether that’s Sriracha or Tabasco.
- If you don’t want to use sharp cheddar cheese, regular cheddar cheese works just as well.
- For extra creaminess and cheesiness, use 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and 8 ounces of softened cream cheese instead.
- For extra flavor, add 1/4 cup of drained, diced, and chopped jalapenos.
- Another way to add flavor is to add 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and/or black pepper.
- If this pimento cheese is too spicy, you can reduce the amount of cayenne pepper and hot sauce or omit them completely. You can even swap them for chopped fresh herbs, like parsley or chives.
What is pimento cheese made of?
Pimento cheese is traditionally made with shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos.
What does pimento cheese taste like?
Pimento cheese tastes like a spicy and creamy spreadable cheese mixture.
Why is it called pimento cheese?
Pimento cheese gets its name from the pimentos it contains. Pimiento is the Spanish word for pepper, although most spell the word without the additional “i” nowadays.
What is the difference between Palmetto Cheese and pimento cheese?
Palmetto Cheese is a brand of pimento cheese you’ll find in grocery stores.
Can you eat pimento cheese hot?
You can eat pimento cheese cold, at room temperature, or hot.
What can I substitute for pimentos in pimento cheese?
The easiest substitute for pimentos is bell peppers.
How are you supposed to eat pimento cheese?
- Enjoy a pimento cheese sandwich on plain bread or toasted bread. I recommend serving it with sliced cucumber or dill pickles, tomato, lettuce, and even a fried egg.
- Serve it as a grilled cheese sandwich or spread it on a burger.
- Serve it as pimento cheese dip with crackers, raw veggie sticks, tortilla chips, pretzels, bagel chips, or pita chips.
- Stir it into mac and cheese, melt it over fries or nachos, or whisk it into scrambled eggs.
How many days does homemade pimento cheese last?
Up to 10 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Don’t miss these recipes:
- 1 1-pound block sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 7-ounce jar drained pimentos
- Grate your sharp cheddar cheese.1 1-pound block sharp cheddar cheese
- Place it in a large mixing bowl with the mayo and pimentos. Stir well to mix.1 cup mayonnaise, 1 7-ounce jar drained pimentos
- Add in the hot sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper and stir again until well combined.1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight.
- Serve on toasted bread, plain bread, or your favorite crackers.
“You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Submitted by Jackie