If you like store-bought Pimento Cheese, you’re going to be full-on obsessed with this Southern staple’s made-from-scratch makeover. This Homemade Pimento Cheese Sandwich Spread comes locked-and-loaded with thick, creamy shreds of fresh Cheddar, diced pimentos, and a well-seasoned mix of cream cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, and spices.
Bring these simple ingredients together in less than 10 minutes to mix up one glorious masterpiece of a spread.
Serve it in between two slices of white bread, as a filling to take your grilled cheese to the next level, or even as a burger topping! It’s also an excellent make-ahead addition for potluck parties and can be used both as a tea sandwich filler or as a dip alongside crackers or vegetables.
Love a good sandwich spread? Try our Smoked Salmon Lox Spread! Perfect for schmearing on bagels and as a tea sandwich filler as well.
WHAT IS PIMENTO CHEESE?
Pimento cheese is a classic Southern spread mostly made up of Cheddar cheese, pimento peppers, cream cheese, and mayonnaise.
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
The predominant flavors you’ll get from a bite of Pimento Cheese Spread are Cheddar and pimento.
Most are well aware of what Cheddar cheese tastes like (rich, creamy, and somewhat tangy), but maybe not so much pimentos.
Pimentos are incredibly mild peppers (also known as a cherry pepper) that originated in Spain. They’re not spicy by any means and are really more sweet than anything else. In fact, they’re actually 40x milder than a jalapeño pepper!
As far as both the flavor and texture goes in a pimento pepper, think roasted red bell pepper, only…well, milder.
HOW TO MAKE PIMENTO CHEESE SANDWICH SPREAD
- Make the Base – Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, and spices to a large mixing bowl. Mix on medium-high speed with a handheld mixer until smooth and well-combined.
- Add Cheddar and Pimentos – Add the grated Cheddar cheese and drained and chopped pimento peppers to the bowl and fold in the ingredients until evenly distributed.
- Spread – Dollop a couple of spoonfuls of the Pimento Cheese Sandwich Spread onto a slice of bread and spread it to the edges. Top with another slice of bread, serve, and enjoy!
MORE WAYS TO MIX IT
Stand Mixer | You can whip up a Pimento Cheese Sandwich Spread using a handheld mixer, but if you’re privy to the stand mixer, you could certainly use that fitted with the paddle attachment for this task.
By Hand | And, it’s also worth mentioning, you could totally ditch the appliances altogether and go rubber spatula if you don’t mind putting forth a little extra elbow grease!
Food Processor | If you want your spread to be a little smoother in consistency, you could also use the food processor fitted with a blade attachment.
- Cheddar Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Hot Sauce (optional)
When taking the time to make your own Pimento Cheese Sandwich Spread from scratch, it really is best to use freshly grated Cheddar rather than pre-packaged cheese.
This recipe calls for sharp cheddar (which means the flavor will be more pronounced), however, if you prefer a more subdued cheddar, you can sub in mild or medium Cheddar in its place.
In addition to the Cheddar, as expected, pimento peppers are one of the main ingredients in pimento cheese. If you have trouble finding them, roasted red bell peppers can be subbed in. Use about a 1/2 cup of chopped roasted red bell peppers in the place of a 4-ounce jar of pimento peppers.
You will typically find them on the aisle near other canned vegetables at the grocery store. Although, pimentos are mostly sold in glass jars, not cans.
Cream cheese makes for an excellent base and binder. You can use regular cream cheese or Neufchatel cream cheese for this recipe.
Mayonnaise mellows out the flavor of the cream cheese and creates a creamy, smooth consistency in the spread. You can use light or regular mayo for this recipe.
If you’re looking to make Pimento Cheese with a “looser” consistency (closer to a dip), just add an extra tablespoon of mayonnaise to the recipe!
The spice mixture for this spread is simple: Garlic powder, onion powder, and salt are all you need. If you’d like to replace the onion powder with fresh onion, see below for recipe substitutions and fun additions!
The hot sauce adds a little heat and just the right amount of acidity and tang to this Pimento Cheese Sandwich Spread. If you are sensitive to heat, feel free to sub in white vinegar instead.
WANT TO SPRUCE UP YOUR PIMENTO CHEESE SANDWICH SPREAD?
Jalapenos | Want to spice up your pimento cheese? Feel free to add some diced pickled or fresh jalapeños to the mix. Fold in about 1-to-2 tablespoons when adding the Cheddar.
Horseradish | If you’re a fan of horseradish, you’ll love it in this Pimento Cheese Sandwich Spread. Add about 2 teaspoons of prepared horseradish to your cream cheese when mixing up the base!
Pickles | Love pickles? Chop up your favorite dill pickles and add them to the mix! About 2-to-3 tablespoons will do the trick. This ingredient is best added along with the Cheddar cheese.
Onion | Grated onion is no stranger to pimento cheese, and shallots would make for a nice addition as well. If you plan to add fresh onion or shallot to the mix, omit the onion powder from the recipe entirely. If using a shallot, you’ll only need about 1 tablespoon of minced shallot. If using onion, 2 tablespoons of grated onion will do nicely. Add either one of these ingredients when whipping up the base.
Bacon | There could be no better way to add extra savory, meaty vibes to a Pimento Cheese Spread than with bacon. Fry up a couple of slices in a skillet until crispy, chop them up fine, and sprinkle them right in, along with the Cheddar cheese!
MORE WAYS TO SERVE PIMENTO CHEESE
Pimento Cheese is an extremely versatile spread and can be used for more than just cheese sandwiches! You can spread across a toasty burger bun, serve it as a dip for potato chips, bagel chips, Saltine crackers, or pretzels, or alongside vegetables like carrots and celery!
5 MORE SANDWICH RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Cucumber Sandwiches
- Ultimate Club Sandwich
- Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- Ceasar Shrimp Sandwich
- Cold Roast Beef Sandwich
A Southern Homemade Pimento Cheese Sandwich Spread recipe made with thick, creamy shreds of fresh Cheddar, diced pimentos, and a well-seasoned mix of cream cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, and spices.
- 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos
- 6 ounces room temperature cream cheese
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Generous 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese separated
Drain the diced pimento peppers and set them aside. Add the room temperature cream cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder to a large mixing bowl and use a handheld mixer on medium-high speed to combine.
Fold the Cheddar and pimentos into the cream cheese mixture.
Once the Cheddar is evenly distributed, serve right away or keep refrigerated for up to five days.