I’m always on the hunt for party-friendly eats, and I’ve been searching round the clock for quick and easy recipes that are both delicious and versatile. And as a Southerner myself, my mind strayed to one particular southern staple – the “caviar of the south” – pimento cheese spread.
Now, before you write off this pepper and cheese concoction known mostly for its unique yellow, orange, and red appearance, answer this:
Have you ever tasted this (delicious!) combination?
One Google search can tell you that this creamy, colorful spread has been changing people’s minds for a long time!
While pimento cheese has been used as both a spread and a dip in the south for years, it has more recently begun making its way around the states because of its ability to be used as a meal, a snack, a treat, or all three in one!
Well, what is pimento cheese spread?
Pimento cheese spread, at its core, is just a spread (or dip) made with cheese, mayonnaise, and, most importantly, pimento peppers.
There are various other ingredients added to the basic spread depending on personal taste, region, or recipe. Horseradish, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and jalapenos are just a few of the regional touches added to this dish.
Helpful Tip: Whenever possible, grate your own cheese! While pre-grated cheese works okay for this recipe, the best results come with grating your own cheese.
What are some ways that I can use pimento cheese spread?
Pimento cheese spread can be used in so many ways!
- Put a layer in between two slices of bread for a basic pimento cheese sandwich. You can have a cold sandwich, or you can toast your bread, throw your spread in the oven for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees, and have a hot pimento sandwich.
- Pimento grilled cheese sandwiches are always a hit, especially with kids!
- Having a party? Turn your pimento into cocktail finger food by making sandwiches, trimming the crusts, cutting them into triangles, and adding a garnish.
- You can even roll pimento spread as a kick of flavor in pinwheels!
Can I make this in advance?
This dish can definitely be made in advance. The recipe is easily doubled (or even tripled) for parties and celebrations, and it lasts a long time!
How long does pimento cheese spread last?
Pimento cheese spread can be kept in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to two weeks. This southern “cuisine” is a busy life’s dream!
And given how long this spread lasts, it also makes for a great gift. Put some spread into a mason jar, tie on a fancy ribbon, and give some to a friend!
Can I freeze pimento cheese spread?
Bad news here, folks. Pimento cheese spread should not be frozen. The oils in the mayonnaise in this cheese spread will separate if frozen. It can be eaten at room temperature, chilled, or heated.
Can you serve pimento cheese spread warm?
Yes! For a full tutorial on how to make a hot and bubbly pimento cheese mix, check out this link: Hot Pimento Cheese Dip.
How to customize pimento cheese spread
Honestly, there is no single “perfect” pimento cheese spread, but it is a recipe that can be adjusted to match each person’s specific taste.
- For instance, a spicier version could replace the mayonnaise with dijon mustard and add hot sauce, cayenne pepper, jalapenos, or all three.
- The cheddar cheese can be substituted with another cheese, such as Monterey jack. But keep in mind that not using the traditional yellow sharp cheddar cheese will result in a different appearance to the spread.
- Someone who does not care for mayonnaise may use cottage cheese, greek yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche – all determined by personal taste preferences
- Dill pickles, and garlic are all common ingredients added to enhance this dish’s taste.
Do you have to use fresh pimentos?
Don’t worry about searching endlessly for fresh pimentos! The jarred pimentos found in your grocery store are just fine for this recipe. Look near the olives!
Are pimentos spicy?
Pimento peppers are sweet – they register as the lowest rating on the Scoville “heat” scale. A similar pepper is the red bell pepper. Red bell peppers are a common substitution for pimento cheese spread when someone doesn’t care for pimentos. They can also help maintain the unique color of the spread because they are also red. The taste does get a bit tangier when red bell peppers are used.
Notes & tips for pimento spread
- To make this recipe, you’ll need a good food processor. I love the versatility this one by KitchenAid and used it in the recipe video.
How to make pimento cheese spread
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a food processor, add the following ingredients: cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, hot sauce, garlic powder, and salt + pepper to taste.
Step 2 – Blend all of the ingredients together until nice and creamy, about three to five minutes. If needed, turn off the mixer and scrape the sides of the mixing bowl, then blend again.
Step 3 – Serve and enjoy!
Pimento Cheese Spread
This zesty and flavorful homemade pimento cheese spread is a quick and easy addition to any appetizer, lunch, or dinner. Serve as a fun dip or a creamy spread.
food processor, add cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, hot sauce, ground mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Secure lid and blend for 3-5 minutes or until consistency is smooth.
- Serve pimento cheese spread immediately as a dip or spread. If you’d like a firmer consistency, refrigerate the spread for 1-2 hours, then serve.