This recipe comes courtesy of my brother and his life partner, who is a true Southerner. I’ll confess I never liked pimentos growing up, but I learned that I probably never had real pimentos. Instead I probably had red peppers, and as someone who doesn’t digest bell peppers very well, it’s easy to see how I decided I didn’t like pimentos.
The other thing I found out about pimento cheese is that every Southern family has a recipe for it, and they all have a secret ingredient or two. The biggest secret, though, is that no one really measures anything and keep adding their favorite ingredients until the mix tastes just right. I hope you enjoy this Pimento Cheese recipe. It has become a staple at our home, and I hope it becomes a staple at yours too.
Pimento Cheese Recipe Ingredients
Tips for Pimento Cheese Success
Let all of the ingredients come to room temperature.
Combine the cream cheese and half of the mayo completely in a medium size bowl. Keep adding mayo until the mixture is soft but not soupy. Add a pinch of sea salt and mix thoroughly.
Begin adding the grated sharp cheddar cheese an ounce or two at a time. This is where personal preference come in. My brother and I like to add as much shredded cheddar as the mix will hold and still be creamy enough to spread. If you prefer less, then use less.
Next, it’s time to add the pimentos to the mix. Some people prefer a more prominent pimento taste and use the entire jar. Some prefer a milder taste and use less. To test it, put half the jar into a strainer, then add into the cheese mixture. Test the mix when finished, and if you want more of the pimento flavor, add the rest of the jar after draining the oil.
Hot sauce is the next item to add to taste. A few dashes of hot sauce does not make it hot but brings out the flavor. As someone who is a complete baby when it comes to spice, I promise this is true.
My brother sometimes adds a spicy pepper to give it a kick. I never do.
There are a few more items to add to taste. They are garlic powder, onion powder and pepper. I add between a quarter and a half teaspoon of each and enjoy the flavor that adds to the mix.
Serve with crackers or veggie dippers. We especially love it on celery, and some people think it makes the best grilled cheese ever.
The recipe doubles well, and I would suggest if you are making this for a party, or if you want to have it for more than one sitting to definitely make a double batch.