Southern Pimento Cheese

My grandmother made her pimento cheese the old fashioned way. She had a dedicated meat grinder she used to grind her cheese. It was a process definitely worth watching as a little girl. And it resulted in the most delicious pimento cheese I’ve ever tasted.

Not having my grandmother’s meat grinder and not having her patience, I turn to already shredded cheese and a few other ingredients to make the quickest, simplest, delicious pimento cheese. And, it includes my grandmother’s other secret ingredient (cream cheese).

Here’s how I make it.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Southern Pimento Cheese
Prep time
Total time
A quick recipe for southern pimento cheese
Serves: 12
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup pimentos
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
  1. Cream together cheeses.
  2. Stir in pimentos and salt and pepper.
  3. If you prefer your pimento cheese to be a bit thinner for spreading, add in optional mayonnaise to preference.


Makes the perfect dip with pretzels or crackers or for sandwiches. Be ready to make more, pimento cheese is gobbled up in a hurry.



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  1. 4


    Believe it or not, I never liked pimentos until recently – too bitter! But now? Well now I’m looking to put pimentos in EVERYTHING! And during our trip to Charleston the past spring, found a new favorite – this pimento cheese – who knew something so simple could taste soooo divine!

  2. 6


    I am craving pimento cheese. Thanks for sharing a family recipe and an updated shortcut. The million dollar question…does it include the secret ingredient?

  3. 11

    Alice says

    Oh Robyn, You just made my day with this post. As a child we also made homemade everything. I had all my old time things stolen and never quite found anything close to replacing them. Thanks for making it possible for me to make homemade pimento as soon as I can get the rest of the ingredients. It may not be the exact thing but it’s very close. Again THANKS!

  4. 13


    My family recipe is similar – I use my grinder attachment for my stand mixer to shred cheddar :) But I have to thank you for the cream cheese ingredient. We have one in our house that is allergic to eggs and has never been able to have my pimento cheese – because of the mayo. I’ll try it this way now. Thanks again!

  5. 14

    Jennifer says

    Try making “grilling” it like a grilled cheese sandwich on some multi grain bread with a couple slices of bacon! To DIE for!

  6. 18

    Rachael says

    I did not realize this was a secret lol. I have only made pimento cheese a couple of times but I could not imagine not using cream cheese…but then again, I add cream cheese to almost everything–mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, tortilla soup, spaghetti bake, cheese dip, nachos etc. I’m a big fan of cream cheese, can you tell? Btw, I strongly suggest purchasing block cheese and using a small hand held grater to shred it (it’s not very time consuming). It really does make a difference in the taste. Additionally, if you really want to go the distance, use a smoked cheese as one of the cheeses–it’s absolutely wonderful!

  7. 19

    Rachel says

    I made this last night. It taste wonderful but it is so thick that I am unable to spread it to make sandwiches. What can I do to make it creamer?

    • 20

      Robyn says

      Hi Rachel, so glad you enjoyed it. We love that pimento cheese on sandwiches! It’s one of my favorite go-to lunches for the summertime, especially. You can add a bit of mayonnaise to thin it a bit or allow it to stand for a little while to reach room temperature. I’ve not had that problem, so please let me know what works best for ya.

      • 21

        Kiki says

        I don’t understand this response. Why do you say you “can add a bit more mayonnaise to thin it a bit” where there isn’t supposed to be ANY mayonnaise in it at all?

        • 22


          Hi Kiki, I should have said that you can add a bit of mayonnaise to it to thin it a bit. Another idea is to add a little bit of the liquid from the pimentos if you prefer not to use mayonnaise. I hope you enjoy it and thanks so much for clarifying!

  8. 25

    Andi says

    Thank you! I love pimento cheese, from the Kraft processed stuff in the glass jar to the stuff from Ohio Amish country to the cheese sandwiches I get down in Kentucky.

    I rushed to the kitchen and made due with what I had in the kitchen, I had to substitute roasted red peppers but it still tastes divine! I agree that it is too thick for a dip but I might try whazzing it in the food processor with a tad bit of the roasted red pepper juice to thin it.

  9. 26

    Tanys says

    New twist on sandwich…try this
    Toast your bread…put your pimento spread on,
    add tomato and bacon and enjoy the best sandwich
    ever! I know…it sounds strange…but it really is good.

  10. 27

    melanie says

    I love pimento cheese but I have never heard of it not having mayo in it. But I do love cream cheese so I really can’t wait to try this.

  11. 29

    Lynn D Kimbell says

    Will have to try this with the cream cheese instead of mayo. My mom always added a bit of celery seed to it also.

  12. 30

    Kelly S. says

    I just made this with half the cream cheese and pimentos and only 8 ounces of sharp cheddar (that’s all the cheese I had on hand). Mine came out really really thick, to, so I added some pimento juice. I added in sweet pickle relish and juice (that’s how my mom always made it.) and it was still super thick, so I added a big dollop of Miracle Whip (some of you I know will say ‘Ew!’, but again, that’s how Mom always made it.) I like the addition of cream cheese. I’d never made pimento with it.

  13. 31

    L says

    Love pimento cheese with cream cheese!! For those who do not like mayo but find this a little thick – try adding a little plain greek yogurt! Wonderful substitute for Mayo and/or sour cream in almost anything!

    another yummy flavor addition is a little dill pickle juice and a dash of cayenne!

  14. 32

    Katherine says

    One can never go wrong with cream cheese in the reicpe. This sounds devine. We love pimento cheese, and this recipe goes to the front of the line. I’m thinking of variations too…olive juice, pickle juice, jalapenos, smoked gouda, or white cheddar. I can’t wait to try this. Yum!

  15. 36

    Kathy says

    My mom’s pimento cheese was always made with grated Kraft Sharp Cheddar, a jar of pimentos & juice (crushed), and lots of mayonnaise, much more than 2 or 3 tablespoons, plus salt & pepper. That is a simple southern pimento recipe. If it used 8 ounces of cheese, then the mayo would be at least half a cup, maybe more. She never measured, just mixed it until it looked the right consistency. The consistency when you mix it will be creamier than after it has been refrigerated for a few hours.

    • 38


      Hi Ann,
      I use my stand mixer to cream together all of the cheeses. However, you can also use a food processor if you’d prefer.

  16. 41

    Cindy Lodge says

    We have a vegetable garden. Every year we plant a few pimento plants. I roast the red ripe pimentos, peel them and store them, layered in groups equalling a quarter to a half cup in each quarter inch thick layer. You use a double sheet of plastic wrap between layers. I seal them tight in a plastic freezer box and store in the freezer for later use. When you want to make pimento cheese, just use one layer. It will thaw quickly. You can chop it up while it is frozen. There is nothing like fresh pimento, compared to the jars. I hope, one day, you will get a chance to try it. We add a dash of cayenne, Tabasco, onion powder, some very finely chopped onion and sometimes garlic. I wonder, if you make it in a food frocessor, if a few teaspoonfuls of your favorite oil would make it more spreadable.

  17. 42

    beth says

    I for one don’t eat cheese… But I just made pimento cheese for my bf tonight… I used Colby and swiss I think it was and pepper jack cheese and mayo.. Dukes.. Never heard anyone using cream cheese in it until now. May try that on next batch. Thanks for the tip!!


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