Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese! It's a Southern staple: a spreadable dip for celery, sandwiches, crackers. We make ours with pimentos, cheddar and jack cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese. Dig in!

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 cups


  • 8 ounces (full fat) cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (smoked paprika if you have it)
  • 1/2 cup diced canned pimentos, drained
  • 3 tablespoons minced light green celery leaves


1 Place the cream cheese into a food processor and pulse until lightly whipped.

2 Add the shredded cheeses, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika, and pulse until well mixed.

3 Add the diced pimento and pulse one or two times only. Remove the mixture from the food processor bowl and place into a mixing bowl. Stir in the minced celery leaves.

4 Place into a serving bowl and serve with crackers and/or celery.

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  • Jana

    I made this according to the recipe and found it way too spice heavy. I will make it again but will add only 1/2 tsp of each dry spice and Worchester sauce.

  • Laura

    Delicious and addictive! I like to add garlic chile paste for some kick (leave out the mustard powder ). In my opinion you must always grate your own cheese.


  • Zorka DeFreeuw

    what is the difference between the old mix master and the paddle mixers? Could I use the old one?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Zorka! A food processor will make a very smooth and creamy pimento cheese. Using a mix master or other mixer should work, but you might not get the same level of creaminess. Enjoy!

  • Dana Ernspiker

    For something different like a game tailgating add some horseradish to the recipe then buy some pork rinds heat in oven for a few minutes then sprinkle a dry rub over them. Enjoy!

  • Melanie Boettner

    I have learned to love pimento cheese since moving to Memphis ten years ago. I have even developed my own recipe, which is similar. No mustard, celery, or the spices you have, but I do add Black & Red (black and red pepper blend) from Penzy’s. Give it a bit of a kick. I think your additions may add some depth, so I’m gonna give it a try — but keep my Black & Red.

    And truth be told, Dukes is the only way to go!

    • Karen

      Duke’s is hard to find in Oregon. Best Foods (aka Hellman’s) comes a close second.

  • Jim

    Well you finally got me – had to post: All of these suggestion are wonderful. I think the key is the cream cheese for smoothness. Instead of onions, maybe a little green onion and finely minced jalapeños? Cheese choices can be just about anything as long as they are layered (or not) flavors. A little Pecorino, possibly some Fontina and a dash of Parmesan with the sharp cheddar. Bacon could overpower so if you need that then do as the previous poster suggested, eat bacon with this dish. My personal thought is that with the herbs or other additions you must be careful not to obliterate the cheese(s) flavors so go slow on amounts with the add-ons if you head that direction – again, all are wonderful ideas and now i plan to put on several pounds to test them all

  • Sandfan

    Sounds great. A pimiento cheese sandwich, like most things in life, is better with a couple of strips of bacon.

  • cathy edwards

    My husband never heard of pimento cheese growing up! That was a sandwich we always looked forward to in our bagged lunch. My mom mixed cheddar and processed swiss, a little mustard, mayo and a tiny bit of grated onion with a jar of pimento. Great memory!

  • Angela

    I like to add a few finely chopped olives. I also stir a little pimento cheese into my deviled egg mixture. Everybody loves it but nobody can figure out what’s different about it. A few years ago I was at a food and wine tasting in Tuscany and they had something called a vegetable spread which to my surprise tasted just like pimento cheese, an excellent one!

  • frances

    my neighbor makes amazing pimiento cheese. i didn’t even know i liked it until i had hers! i don’t think she uses cream cheese. i know it’s extra sharp cabot (has to be cabot, she says), cabot habanero cheddar, a little duke’s, and roasted red peppers. garlic powder? despite the habanero, it’s not overwhelmingly spicy. hers is miles away from the weird pasty stuff so many stores sell. i’ve probably eaten my weight in her pimiento cheese this summer. now i need to beg her for another batch.

    • Mary Ellen

      When you speak with her, be sure to let us know about the cream cheese!

  • Karen

    Love it! Growing up in Alabama, we always seem to have Pa-men-uh Cheese.
    I’ve seen lots of recipes trying to make it fancy by adding things like bacon, onion, pecans, blue cheese, chipotles, etc., etc., etc…
    I make mine just like your recipe. Thanks for sharing! I will look for smoked paprika:)
    Sometimes I use roasted red peppers instead of pimentos. This is fabulous with crackers. My son and I absolutely love Pimento Cheese on BLTs and made as grilled cheese sandwiches!

    • LH

      Katen, if you can’t find smoked paprika locally, try penzeys.com. they have it. I love all their spices!

      • Nancy Long

        check out the Savory Spice Shop online. I’m lucky enough to have a store here. Like them better than Penzeys

  • Lesley

    Love pimento cheese! This recipe is really similar to mine, but I usually use pepper jack cheese with super sharp cheddar. The smoked paprika and Worcestershire are such yummy additions. I had one at a local restaurant recently that had Benton’s bacon and chopped pepperoncinis. It was SO delicious.

  • Susan

    I use an old Raleigh recipe that has (Duke’s) mayo, 1/2 sharp and 1/2 mild grated cheddar, cream cheese, pimientos, a bit of finely diced white onion, Worcestershire sauce, Texas Pete, salt and pepper, blended with mixer. Some folks add in a little sugar, I prefer without.

  • Laura

    This is pretty much how I make mine except instead of the dry seasonings listed, I use salt and pepper and a generous amount of garlic chile paste for heat!

  • joanne

    Thank you to the last commenter. I was wondering if I could use the jar of red peppers in the cupboard as it’s snowing and I don’t want to drive out for a jar of pimentos

  • MaryM

    I must try this! I love good pimiento cheese, but so many store brands just don’t taste all that good. I think I’ll use the fire-roasted peppers from the Italian section, since they seem to have so much more flavor than the jarred ones. There never seems to be enough actual pimiento flavor. Love the idea of the smoked paprika. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Gary in Massena

    Is it time for The Masters already? I always make a batch of this and a pitcher of Arnie Palmer for watching that tournament!

  • chandler

    This must be made with Duke’s mayo.

    • Lesley

      Yes! Duke’s is the best.

  • Julie

    We never use cream cheese in ours. Just shredded sharp cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayo, onion and oregano. We actually make what we call ‘party pizzas’ with it which is just the pimento cheese spread on deli rye bread (good ol’ mix of southern and northern roots) and baked at 325 for about 20 minutes. If we’re feeling fancy we’ll chop up some summer sausage or pepperoni to put on top. It’s actually our traditional Christmas lunch.

  • Tracy

    I live in Australia but am originally from Missouri. We can’t get pimientos as such. I can get cherry peppers though. How would I prepare these for this recipe? Are they in oil, pickled, roasted? I can’t remember!

    • Lesley

      I’ve used finely chopped roasted red peppers and they work great.

  • Carol

    Oh me oh my! One of my most favorite dishes in the world, for 60-plus years. As a child, (yes, from the south) my mother made pimiento cheese regularly and it was always wonderful. I think it was just “rat” cheese as we called cheddar back in those days, pimientos and mayo. These days I like to add capers, green olives and some minced green onion. And toasted chopped pecans are another addition that makes it extra special. I never use sharp cheddar as I don’t like cheese that strong; always a medium or mild if that is what I have.