The Best Homemade Pimento Cheese Recipe

Homemade pimento cheese is the perfect cracker spread or on a sandwich. Make a grilled cheese, add it to a burger, stuff celery, or use it as a dip! The possibilities are endless.  

Homemade Pimento Cheese on a red plate with crackers and jalapeno slices.

Pimento cheese made from scratch is 100 times better than the stuff from the grocery store.  It’s so easy to make, too!  

Here in the south, this stuff is a staple, and we will eat it on almost anything. THE BEST!

We love our appetizers, especially when we have friends and family over. And on game day, we have to have some good finger foods like this.

Some other appetizers we love breaking out alongside this homemade pimento cheese are our easy homemade Chip Dip Recipe, Layered Black Bean Taco Dip, Sausage Balls, and Smoked Chicken Salad.

Why This Recipe Works

You can serve it any way you like. You can serve it as a pimento cheese spread or pimento cheese sandwiches. You can make a killer burger by topping it with this amazing spread.

Pimento Cheese in the center of a red plate surrounded by crackers and sliced jalapeños.

I don’t use cream cheese in my pimento cheese. Why? Because my aunt taught me differently, I think it tames the tangy sharp cheddar taste too much.

Some recipes call for cream cheese; if that is your preference, go for it. We believe that pimento cheese without cream cheese allows the cheddar to be the star and shine.

Our favorite way to enjoy this easy homemade pimento cheese is with grilled smoked sausage and jalapeno on a saltine. This is a must-try!

This was introduced to us, as an appetizer, by my sister-in-law one night while having dinner at a barbecue restaurant. Now we make it at home and enjoy it as a meal.

If you’re a fan of cheddar cheese, this will go with anything. But we do recommend it with the sausage. Man, it’s a perfect bite!

What Is Pimento Cheese

This classic spread is made from some pretty simple ingredients. The main ingredients are cheddar cheese, mayonnaise (mayo), pimentos, and spices.

Pimento peppers (also called cherry peppers) are a type of red chili pepper, the same pepper from which paprika is derived. It is not red bell peppers, as some are led to think.

How To Make Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.

Grab your box grater and grate the sharp cheddar cheese by hand, or my favorite way is with the food processor. A hand mixer is not needed. It comes together pretty easily using a spoon.

Mix the cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder (basically, all the ingredients) together in a bowl and refrigerate.

Keep refrigerated for at least two hours before serving.

That’s it! It can’t much easier than that, and the flavors are amazing!

Pimento Cheese on crackers topped with smoked sausage and jalapeno slices.

This is so tasty, I promise you. You need to try it.  Cool, pimento cheese, warm smoky grilled sausage with jalapeno’s fresh, crisp flavor.  To die for! Kick store-bought to the curb.

You can also use serrano peppers. I’m too big of a wimp for those.

Pimento cheese dip is a southern favorite. The great thing about this easy recipe is that it’s so easy to make and delivers big flavor.

Take this delicious dip, this pâté of the south, and play with other ingredients.

There are so many different ways to make this classic southern spread into your own homemade pimento cheese recipe.

Pimento Cheese in the center of a red plate surrounded by crackers and sliced jalapeños.
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Tips And Variations

  • Skip the crackers and serve with celery sticks to make this easy pimento cheese recipe keto.
  • This southern pimento cheese recipe will keep at room temperature for a good while. Perfect for family gatherings and cookouts.
  • If you like a little kick, try adding a few dashes of hot sauce and/or red pepper flakes.
  • Use Duke’s mayo if you can find it. It’s a classic southern staple.
  • Use different types of cheese. Extra-sharp cheddar cheese for more kick, or conversely, use an equal mix of Monterey jack and cheddar cheese for a mild cheese experience. Do not use pre-shredded cheese if you can help it. It’s coated with cellulose (blech!).
  • Add more mayo and a dash of Worcestershire sauce for a more creamy texture. This will give you more of a dip versus a spread.


What are the ingredients for pimento cheese?

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
4-ounce jar of pimentos, drained
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more if desired)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Combine well and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

How long will pimento cheese last?

About ten days in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator.

What kind of crackers do you eat with pimento cheese?

Saltines or club crackers are great options.

Other Delicious Appetizer Ideas

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Homemade Pimento Cheese on a red plate with crackers and jalapeno slices.

The Best Homemade Pimento Cheese Recipe

Homemade Pimento Cheese – This stuff is amazing! So easy to make and 100 times better than the prepacked stuff.
4.82 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dip, Spread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 258kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe


  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounce jar pimentos, drained
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


  • Use a food processor or hand grate the cheese.
    8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • In a large bowl, stir pimentos, mayonnaise, cayenne, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder until combined.
    4 ounce jar pimentos, drained, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Stir in cheeses until well blended.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


This pimento cheese will last about ten days in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator.


Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 28mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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  1. This looks amazing and can’t wait to
    Make it!!! Problem is i
    Can’t get pimentos anywhere here so someone told me I could substitute jarred roasted red peppers would that be suitable??

    Thankyou for the recipe 🙂

  2. I hope it got the 5 stars I tried to give it. First time making pimento cheese, and this was a HUGE hit. My entire family said it was the best they had ever had. Thanks for a great recipe and easy one too!

  3. Pimento Cheese is one of our favorites here at the cottage, wow how do people get through life without Pimento Cheese. Your recipe looks awesome. Hope you are having a fantastic day and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen5 stars

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