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A pottery bowl of homemade pimento cheese is surrounded by saltines, celery, strips of bell pepper, crackers, lettuce, French bread, and sliced tomatoes.
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4.38 from 8 votes

Homemade Pimento Cheese

This delicious homemade Pimento Cheese is the spread you didn't know you need! This version is bursting with flavor - sharp cheddar cheese, plenty of pimentos, and a bit of jalapeno bring everything together! We are eating this as a picnic spread, party dip, on top of scrambled eggs and of course as grilled cheese sandwiches! I make our version with a little kick but you can make it milder or hotter depending on your taste. This can be made with mayonnaise (traditional) or with sour cream for an allergy friendly version of this amazing Southern treat!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: pimento cheese spread, best pimento cheese recipe, jalapeno pimento cheese, easy pimento cheese
Servings: 8
Calories: 222kcal


  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated is best
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 jars pimento peppers 4oz each (see note)
  • ½ jalapeno pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons green onions minced
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise or sour cream see note
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper use ½ tsp for very spicy or 1/8 tsp for low spice
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt or sea salt


  • Grate the sharp cheddar cheese (pre-grated cheese from the store has things added and is not as good for making this kind of spread.)
  • Drain the pimento peppers and discard the juice they were canned in. Slice the jalapeno pepper in half and remove the seeds / white pith from the half you are going to use. Mince the jalapeno into very small pieces (I use a chopper like this for mincing.) Mince the green onions.
  • In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer beat the softened cream cheese on low speed with all the other ingredients until everything is totally mixed.
  • Taste the mixture and add a little more salt if desired.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. I like to make this the day before or a few hours before and let the flavors develop before serving.
  • Pimento cheese will keep in the fridge for up to a week. The flavor will develop some in the first 24 hours and become a bit spicier.


How to Soften Cream Cheese: You can plan ahead and leave the cream cheese out of the fridge overnight or simply microwave it for 15 seconds at a time until it is soft and pliable.
Pimento Peppers: Most grocery stores carry diced pimento peppers in the canned food section near roasted peppers. The peppers are sold in a water solution and need to be drained for this recipe. Buy a total of 8oz of peppers which will be about 5oz of peppers once drained. If the store only sells strips of pimento peppers you can dice them yourself after draining.
Sour Cream vs. Mayo: The traditional ingredient in pimento cheese is mayonnaise. If you are from the south it is specifically Duke’s Mayonnaise. However, I often make this spread for friends who have an egg allergy. I’ve found that sour cream works great instead of mayo!


Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 714IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 231mg | Iron: 1mg