Pimento Cheese Spread

5 from 4 votes

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The "house pate" of the South, pimento cheese spread works on everything from crackers to burgers.

Pimento Cheese Spread in glass jar.

People who hail from the South know a thing or two about some foods that the rest of us may have missed out on. It’s our loss, and no matter how late in the game we are introduced to these foods, we should do our very best to make up for lost time. Once you discover these foods, you won’t need much urging.

Grits are a big one, whether for breakfast lunch or dinner. Boiled peanuts — an acquired taste for some, but if you love them you love them. I love them.

Pimento cheese. This is just a phenomenal thing. This has been called the “House Pate” of the South (isn’t that terrific?). It’s usually a combo of roasted peppers (piquillo, pimento, or red bell) with mayo and cheddar cheese…and sometimes it stops right there. Often, other ingredients work their way in, such as different cheeses, spices such as hot peppers or paprika, Worcestershire, lemon juice, or some member of the onion family.

Pimento Cheese Spread in glass jar.

Tips

  • Don’t use pre-grated cheese for this Pimento Cheese Spread — freshly grated cheese makes the mixture taste amazing — and adhere together better.
  • Make the pimento cheese at least one day ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld. Serve leftovers with crackers.

How to Use Pimento Cheese Spread

You can use Pimento Cheese Spread on anything — crackers, stuffed into celery sticks (classic), in a sandwich, on a biscuit,

And you can definitely use it on a burger…Make sure to put this on a hot burger, or even better, pile it on the burger for a moment at the end of the grilling process, cover the grill, and let the pimento cheese spread melt a bit. Yum.

My friend, talented Southern chef Griff Day of Back in the Day Bakery, told me he uses a splash of bourbon in his pimento cheese, and that little trick really seems to add some depth and extra flavor to my version as well. I tried his with some crispy bacon and other melty cheese (fontina? havarti? mild cheddar? something like that…) in a griddled sandwich at the bakery, and it was one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten.

Woman scooping pimento cheese spread from glass jar onto burger.

Below, the pimento cheese spread is nestled up with some blue cheese and roasted pepper dressings, a bevy of possible burger toppings for a party.

Glass jars with homemade pimento cheese spread, blue cheese, and roasted pepper dressing.

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5 from 4 votes

Pimento Cheese Spread

The "house pate" of the South, pimento cheese spread works on everything from crackers to burgers.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
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Ingredients 

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 7-ounce jar pimentos (drained and minced)
  • Kosher salt to taste

Instructions 

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, Sriracha, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
  • Stir in the cheese and pimentos, season with salt to taste, and add more hot sauce if desired. Pack into a container and refrigerate for at least 1 day and up to 7 days.

Notes

Don’t use pre-grated cheese for this Pimento Cheese Spread — freshly grated cheese makes the mixture taste amazing — and adhere together better.

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 313mg, Potassium: 48mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 467IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 215mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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7 Comments

  1. Glenn says:

    We can’t get pimentos in the UK

    1. Katie Workman says:

      try chopped roasted red peppers! not quite the same, but a decent substitution.

  2. Tina Lick says:

    Gouda cheese added is excellent too ❤❤

  3. Donna says:

    Don’t have bourbon, don’t have smoked paprika! Can I just omit the bourbon and add a drop of liquid smoke for the paprika (I have regular paprika)? I’d really like to make this!

    1. Katie Workman says:

      absolutely that’s a really interesting thought! go veeerrrryyy lightly with the liquid smoke though, which as you know is super potent. you can always add more!

  4. Janet Fazio says:

    I was just introduced to pimento cheese this spring and I’m obsessed. I’m going to bring this to a July 4th potluck. Can’t wait to make my own!

    1. Katie Workman says:

      it’s one of the world’s greatest foods, and pretty darn easy to make! immediate gratification!