This classic Southern Pimento Cheese recipe is from Southern Living and has been around forever! Why? It’s Absolutely The Best. Serve pimento cheese as a dip or a sandwich spread. The cayenne pepper gives this dish a little heat, so if you’re not a fan of spicy, you might want to reduce the amount of pepper.
There are just some recipes I do not like to experiment with- deviled eggs and pimento cheese are two of these recipes. I make them the same way every year. I do not want change or variety in these two foods…nor do I care for change in my country cream gravy… call me a food snob, but some things aren’t open for adaptation in my opinion.
What’s In Basic Pimento Cheese?
The most basic recipe consists of cheese, mayo and pimentos. This recipe adds a few others: cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, diced and drained pimentos, a pinch of cayenne, a little onion and a dash of Worcestershire. Just combine all ingredients in a bowl, allow it to sit a while so the flavors can meld, then serve as a dip, on a sandwich or burger, or stuffed in a slice of celery as a snack!
Should I Use Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?
Southern cooks are divided on the issue of which works best in Pimento cheese. This is definitely one conversation you do not want to bring up in Southern Cooking groups… the result can get ugly… think Civil War. Seriously.
Some swear by Duke’s Mayonnaise while others prefer Miracle Whip brand mayonnaise “dressing,” and a whole other group swears by Hellman’s. It’s a never ending battle and in the end, it’s really up to you. I’ve had pimento cheese made with Miracle Whip and mayonnaise and I prefer mayonnaise.
Miracle Whip was first introduced in 1933 by the Kraft company. It has high-fructose corn syrup and a little less fat than mayonnaise. The traditional Pimento Cheese recipe recommends using a high quality mayonnaise rather than a mayonnaise “dressing.”
What Type of Cheese Works Best?
Since cheese is the star of this Southern recipe, you’ll want to use a high-quality, block cheddar, which is the traditional cheese for really good Southern pimento cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses do not have the moisture that block cheeses have, and the result looks and tastes a bit different.
Pimento Cheese Variations
There are many variations of Southern Pimento Cheese that are equally delicious! Try using Gouda, or Smoked Gouda in place of cheddar. Another version I’ve seen is with White Cheddar. Of course, you can always add garlic or onion powder to pimento cheese for additional spice or chop black or green olives, onion or bell pepper for added texture!
- 16 ounces sharp cheddar grated
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 8 ounces chopped pimento drained
- 1 teaspoon grated sweet onion
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a large bowl, combine grated cheese and drained pimentos
- In a separate, smaller bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well
- Pour mayonnaise mixture into the cheese and pimentos; combine well and serve