Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is a staple in Southern cooking. I'm not talking about the tasteless, orange stuff you buy in the grocery store, but the homemade variety. The basic ingredients are sharp cheddar cheese, diced pimentos, mayonnaise and a little red pepper. This delicious spread was traditionally served on white bread and was at every picnic. In the days before fast food, pimento cheese was stuffed into the cooler to be used for sandwiches on our trips to Florida. During my college days, I often had pimento cheese sandwiches and coffee for breakfast.

My recipe has evolved over the years. If I'm in a hurry and need a pantry version, I just grate sharp cheddar, add diced pimentos, moisten with mayonaise and season with red pepper. For Melissa and Trey's party, I used my latest creation with a blend of cheddar, pepper jack and cream cheese.

Whatever recipe you use, it is delicious on bread - whole wheat is my favorite - or crackers or used as a stuffing for celery sticks. The flavor is best if served at room temperature and will be a lot easier to spread.

Pimento Cheese for a Crowd

2 pounds sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 pound pepper Jack cheese, grated
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (7-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
2/3 teaspoon granulated garlic
2/3 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1 1/3 cup mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to blend. Yield: 60 sandwiches.


  1. I love homemade pimento cheese. Cheese coins, cheese straws . . .

  2. Patty, I agree! This has a little kick to it, but you can always add more red pepper if you like it really spicy.