This pimento cheese is the best! It’s cheesy, tangy, peppery (spicy if you wish), and spreadable. Recipe yields 2 cups.
2 cups freshly grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1” cubes and softened at room temperature*
4 ounces pimento peppers**, well drained and chopped if in strips
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Duke’s is traditional but I also like Sir Kensington’s)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (decrease or omit if sensitive to spice)
1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, and minced (about 1 tablespoon; omit if sensitive to spice)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the cheddar, cream cheese, pimento peppers, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and jalapeño (if using), and several twists of black pepper.
Beat the mixture together with a hand mixer, your stand mixer, or by hand with a sturdy wooden spoon or spatula. Beat until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Taste, and add more black pepper if desired, and/or salt for more overall flavor (I usually add a pinch of two). If you’d like your pimento cheese to have more of a kick, add another pinch of cayenne. Blend again.
Transfer the mixture to a smaller serving bowl. Serve your pimento cheese immediately, or chill it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Pimento cheese hardens as it cools; let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature to soften.
*Cream cheese tip: If you, like me, always forget to pull the cream cheese out of the fridge in advance, simply cube it into a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Warm it in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds, just until it’s more pliable. We only need it warm enough to mix into the other ingredients, but not warm enough to melt the cheese.
**Where to find pimento peppers: You’ll find pimento peppers in well-stocked grocery stores, typically near the roasted red peppers. If you can’t find them, substitute a scant 1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper. You’ll hardly tell a difference.
▸ Nutrition Information
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