This is my version of a Simple Pimento Cheese can be used for daily lunches, party trays, and even a dip at your next cookout. It makes a wonderful topping for burgers, raw veggie, and as a spread for crackers. There are no fillers or yucky preservatives like store bough brands and it is lower in carbs and THM “S” Friendly.
What is Pimento Cheese Spread?
I don’t know about you, but I grew up with Pimento Cheese. It has always been a favorite of my sweet Momma and many others I know. I’m not sure if it is just eaten in the South or not, but I do know it is widely known around these parts.
Did I just say “these parts? Geeze I somehow transformed into a character from the reruns of those old western movies just then. Something I also grew up with.
Anyway, don’t let me distract you, back to the recipe. In the Southern United States (maybe north too, I’m not sure), pimento cheese is a rich and creamy spread that is usually made with cheese, mayonnaise and pimentos.
But you certainly don’t need to be a southerner to enjoy this Simple Pimento Cheese Spread. As long as you like cheese, your going to love it! If you don’t, I’ll totally be shocked!
You can even find it in the grocery stores near the cream cheese and dips. There are a couple of brands that taste pretty good, like the Mrs. Weaver’s brand that my mom enjoys. But nothing compares to making your own at home.
We make it because my son and I love it, and because of the all the fillers from the store bought brands. So by making ours, I can lower the carb count per serving and avoid all the fillers and preservatives.
Here’s a look at a few of those things you’ll find in the store bought Pimento Cheese that we avoid: Modified Corn Starch, Added Colors, Soybean Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Sodium Benzoate. Yuck, right?
So let me encourage you to skip the store bought brands and make this cheesy spread at home. Just wait until you see how easy it is!
What king of cheese should be used to make this Simple Pimento Cheese Spread?
Since the cheese is the main star here in this recipe it is important that you use a good brand of sharp cheddar. If you are generally not a fan of sharp cheddar I would recommend trying it at least once in this recipe before moving to a mild cheddar.
The sharpness of the cheese in this recipe is perfect and it stand up perfectly to the flavors of the mayo and the cream cheese. Listen, I normally don’t buy sharp cheeses when using it for salads or everyday things, but it is absolutely perfect in this cheese spread.
Pimento Cheese really is one of those recipes that is so traditional but it can vary from home to home when it comes to what is in the recipe and what isn’t. So there is no hard or fast rule here on this recipe that says you have to stick to only one kind of cheese.
For example if you enjoy a bit of spice in your food, then you can use half cheddar and half pepper jack cheese for an amazing flavor profile. Or skip the pepper jack and use half sharp and half mild if that works better for your taste buds.
Another thing that you will see in my recipe that you may not see in most is the addition of cream cheese. Most recipes will only use mayo as the binding ingredient but I love the thicker and richer flavor the cream cheese gives my Pimento Cheese.
It will get thicker in the refrigerator as it sits but sit it out on the counter for a few minutes before you are ready to eat it and it will soften up and become a velvety smooth cheese spread.
Can shredded cheese be used or do I need to shred my own cheese at home for this recipe?
Good questions, and the answer is simple. Shred your own cheese. Always purchase the cheese in the block form and shred it yourself for this recipe. Yes, it takes a little extra time but you want to take the extra step to get a quality spread.
I know I said that this recipe varies from family to family, but trust me when I warn you here about not skimping in this area. Do not use the already shredded cheeses in the bags.
The shredded cheese have a potato starch that is used to coat the cheese to keep it from clumping together and you can totally feel that starchiness in this spread when you use it. At least I can, and it is definitely off putting.
The freshly shredded cheese will also give you a much fresher flavor that you and your guests will enjoy making the extra step you took shredding your own cheese totally worth it.
How is this homemade Simple Pimento Cheese Spread made?
With with only four main ingredients and a few spices you’ll have this simple cheese spread made in no time. For us the toughest part about making this recipe is letting it chill for serval hours. We usually want to eat it right away, but somehow we manage to survive the wait.
Most people will be familiar with all the ingredients except the pimentos. These are just red sweet peppers that you can pick up at the store in little jars. Most commonly you’ll see them in little jars of green olives, you know those little red things in the center? Those are pimentos.
If you can’t find pimento peppers, then you can pick up a jar of roasted red peppers and dice those up as well. They are actually a great substitute and my go to option. I used them here in this recipe instead of pimentos since I have them on hand.
So feel free to use either of those options in this recipe. You’ll nee about a half of cup of peppers to get the flavor in the spread. If you only want to purchase one of the little jars of pimentos, that’s fine too.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- cream cheese
- real mayo
- pimentos or roasted red peppers
- spices (garlic powder, parsley, onion powder)
Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients this recipe will go really fast. Simply shred your cheese and add it to a large bowl. Then add in the softened cream cheese and mayo. I really like to do this in my Kitchen Aid mixer because I like to let the mixer do the work.
Mix these three ingredients until combined and then add in the pimentos and the seasonings. Mix again. After you have the Pimento Cheese all mixed add it to a bowl with a lid and place it into the refrigerator to chill for serval hours before serving.
Here are some tips and suggestions for serving the Pimento Cheese Spread.
Before I end this post I wanted to share a few suggestions that you can serve with your Simple Pimento Cheese Spread. Of course if you are like my mom you’ll love it just as it us spread between bread as a sandwich.
But if you are low carb like our family you may want to have several ways to enjoy this yummy spread. The picture here shows the low carb chips and bread sticks with some of our favorite crunch veggies. So check out the list below for more options.
- Pimento Cheese is excellent as a topping for burgers either traditional or low carb lettuce wrapped buggers.
- It makes an amazing grilled cheese sandwich again for low carb bread or traditional bread if that’s what you prefer
- Use it as a party dip or spread on a tray as featured here in my post. It is such pretty dip it will be beautiful as a center piece.
- Bake it and use it as a warm cheese dip for your favorite dippers
- If you are low carb or Keto check out his options for serving your Pimento Cheese: low carb bread sticks and low carb crackers.
A traditional cheese spread that is perfect on any dip tray. This Simple Pimento Cheese Spread is the perfect topping for any cracker or a yummy dip for raw veggies.
- 16 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, block form
- 8 ounces of super soft cream cheese
- 1 cup of real mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup pimentos or roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1 /2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Begin by shredding the 16 ounce block of cheddar cheese. Don't skip the step of shredding the cheese yourself. See the blog post above for more info on why.
- To a large mixing bowl add the shredded cheddar cheese, softened cream cheese, and mayonnaise. Mix well.
- Next add in the Pimentos or Roasted Peppers and the seasonings. Mix again until well combined.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed for your preference.
- Place the Simple Pimento Cheese Spread into a bowl and cover before putting it into the refrigerator to chill for several hours. Letting the Pimento Cheese chill will allow all the flavors to meld together and make it extra tasty.
- Before serving let the spread sit on the counter 10-15 minutes to allow it to soften up a bit if it is to stiff to spread.
Serving Size2 Tablespoons
Amount Per ServingCalories 213Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 39mgSodium 253mgCarbohydrates 2gNet Carbohydrates 2gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 6g
I am not a nutritionist. If you have strict dietary needs I always recommend using an online nutrition calculator to calculate your totals using your exact brands you're using in this recipe as values may vary per brand.
I am a southern girl through and through that loves to laugh, cook, read and spend time with family. My passions outside of home schooling my son are ministering to those in need and creating art in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure in our little house and I wouldn’t trade it or the chance to share here with you for anything!