Texas Living

Pimento Cheese Recipe

By Jillian Kring 3.27.23

Pimento cheese is a classic Southern dish. Whether this is a time-tested favorite of yours or you have never tried the stuff, you are going to want to make this. This tangy, savory, creamy dish really has all the flavor you’re looking for and can be utilized in so many dishes to add a delightful and surprising twist. Here, we give you the history behind the creation of pimento cheese, how to make it, and different ways to serve it.

pimento cheese recipe
Photo by Natalie Goff. Styling by Kylie Valigura

History of Pimento Cheese

Have you ever been curious about the origin of this Southern staple? The first iterations of cream cheese were emerging in New York around the turn of the 19th century, and at the same time, Spain began exporting canned red peppers to the United States. These canned peppers were called pimientos, and people soon began chopping them up and adding them to cream cheese. In the early 1900s, a recipe appeared in in Good Housekeeping and was quickly adapted in kitchens across the South. This evolved into the iconic Southern dish it is today.

pimento cheese recipe
Photo by Natalie Goff. Styling by Kylie Valigura

Pimento Cheese Recipe

The recipe is easy: Place ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined!

1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 ½ cups chive cream cheese
3/4 cup jarred pimentos, finely chopped
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 dash paprika

pimento cheese recipe
Photo by Natalie Goff. Styling by Kylie Valigura

How to Enjoy Pimento Cheese

Try this versatile recipe in any number of ways:

  • As a baked dip: Add pimento cheese to a baking dish, top with 1 cup of shredded cheddar, and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Serve with vegetables and tortilla chips. 
  • In a sandwich: Make a sandwich with high-quality bread, arugula, pickles, and pimento cheese. Try grilling it in a panini press for a zesty take on a grilled cheese. 
  • In a pasta salad: Cool one box of elbow macaroni and combine with pimento cheese.
  • On pizza: Buy your favorite pre-baked pizza crust. Add a dollop of our pimento cheese recipe and bake at 400 F for 5 minutes. 
  • In a quesadilla: Spread pimento cheese over a tortilla and top with jalapeños and shredded cheddar. Top with another tortilla. Spray a pan with olive oil and cook each side over medium heat until cheese is melted.
  • In a cookie: It might sound crazy, but this pimento cheese cookie recipe is delicious!

Pimento cheese is always a hit at parties and game-watching events. Check out these other tailgating recipes to win the day.

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