Southern Pimento Cheese

If you have an extra ten minutes to spare today, it would be well spent making some Southern Pimento Cheese. And here’s why – it’s a creamy, cheesy, slightly spicy mixture that works just as well as a dip as it does as a spread. It’s versatile, sure, but anything this delicious tends to be versatile because you’ll be finding excuses to put it on evvvvvrything.

It’s great on crackers or celery or chips, but I think this really shines when used as spread on a sandwich or burger. It just adds so much flavor! And it only takes a couple of minutes to mix up, which is always good news.

The main players here are jarred pimentos and cheddar cheese. I like to use a sharp cheddar and I like to reserve a little of the pimento juice to stir into the mix, since those are two flavors I want to stand out. Onions, on the other hand, I want to fade into the background, so grating is the way to go there.

Like any good regional treat, you’ll find versions of this with different spices and seasonings. Ours is kicked up with a bit of Old Bay to keep things peppery and smoky and everything is folded together in a base of mayo and cream cheese so that no matter how you decide to use it, it’s creamy as can be.

Southern Pimento Cheese

10 minutes to prepare serves 10

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 4 oz jar pimentos, drained, 1 tablespoon juice reserved
  • 2 teaspoons yellow onion, grated
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, cream cheese, garlic powder, paprika, and Old Bay until smooth.
  2. Stir in the pimentos and reserved juice, onion, and cheddar cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Chill until cold. Serve as a dip with crackers and celery or spread on sandwiches or burgers. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen.

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