How to Make Authentic Southern Pimento Cheese

Whether you call it pimento cheese, menta cheese or "PC," pimento cheese is a Southern delicacy. Pimento cheese made its debut in 1909 in "The Up-to-Date Sandwich Book" as a spread for sandwiches. A mixture of cheese, pimentos and mayonnaise, pimento cheese is simple enough to make that even the culinarily challenged can do it. Knowing a few authentic pimento cheese recipes will help you choose the right one for your next sandwich, cracker spread or even just to enjoy with a spoon.

Things You'll Need

  • Basic Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups bagged shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • Food processor

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 4 oz. jar pimentos

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • White Cheddar Recipe:

  • 10 oz. sharp white cheddar block

  • Box grater

  • Food processor

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • One garlic clove

  • 1/2 cup pimentos

  • 1 tbsp. pimento juice

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Hot sauce (optional)

  • Spicy Recipe:

  • 1/2 lb. block Colby cheese

  • 1/2 lb. pepper jack cheese

  • Box grater

  • 1/2 medium red onion

  • Three cloves garlic

  • Large bowl

  • 4 oz. jar pimentos

  • 1 cup mayonaise

  • 1 tbsp. pimento juice

  • 1 tsp. hot smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp. ground celery seed

  • Salt

  • Pepper

Basic Recipe

Step 1

Place 1 1/2 cups bagged shredded sharp cheddar cheese in the food processor.

Step 2

Add 1/2 cup mayonnaise and one 4 oz. jar of drained pimentos to the food processor bowl.

Step 3

Mix the ingredients in the food processor using the pulse button. Taste the mixture and add kosher salt and pepper to taste.

White Cheddar

Step 1

Grate 10 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese using a box grater. Transfer the cheese to the bowl of a food processor.

Step 2

Add 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 chopped garlic clove and 1/2 cup chopped pimentos, including 1 tbsp. of the pimento juice from the jar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add a few drops of hot sauce, to taste.

Step 3

Pulse the mixture until it becomes smoother, with just a few lumps, similar to cottage cheese.

Spicy

Step 1

Shred 1/2 lb. block Colby cheese and 1/2 lb. pepper jack cheese using a box grater.

Step 2

Dice 1/2 of a medium red onion. Mince three cloves garlic.

Step 3

Place the cheese, onion and garlic in a large bowl. Mix in a 4 oz. jar of diced pimentos, drained, 1 tbsp. pimento juice and 1 cup mayonnaise. Stir to combine.

Step 4

Stir in 1 tsp. hot smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp. ground celery seed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip

Spread the pimento cheese on two slices of bread to make a sandwich. You can grill the sandwich to make a grilled pimento cheese. Other options are to serve it on crackers or on a piece of celery or any other vegetable. Store the pimento cheese in an airtight plastic storage container for up to a week.

References & Resources