Homemade pimento cheese is a Southern staple, affectionately referred to as the caviar of the South and the pate of the South!
Traditional pimento cheese spread is made with full-fat mayo, shredded cheddar cheese, and pimento peppers. In this recipe, I've used extra sharp cheddar cheese, fresh jalapenos, cream cheese, and seasoning. The jalapeno peppers provide a little kick of heat in this jalapeno pimento cheese dip which is easily adjusted to suit your preference.
Enjoy this easy appetizer with tortilla chips, pork rinds, sliced bell peppers, and other finger foods!
Cheddar cheese - I’ve used extra-sharp cheddar cheese that’s freshly grated. Freshly grated cheese has more flavor than pre-shredded cheese.
Cream cheese - Allow the cream cheese to reach room temperature to mix smoothly with the other ingredients.
Pimento peppers - I’ve used canned pimento peppers for convenience that have been well drained and chopped into smaller cubes. You can roast fresh pimento peppers in the oven or over a gas stove. You can also use roasted red peppers as a good substitute, although they are less spicy than pimento peppers.
Mayonnaise - I’ve used regular mayonnaise, but a reduced-fat mayonnaise can also be used.
Garlic powder - This mixes easily into the spread without adding unwanted garlic bits. You could also use onion powder for an extra depth of flavor.
Jalapeno pepper - 1 small jalapeno pepper is all that’s required. Deseed the pepper, remove the ribs, and mince it.
Ground black pepper - To taste.
Green onions - For garnish. You can leave this off if you prefer.
For the full list of ingredients, please scroll down where you'll find the recipe card.
Combine cheese, pimento peppers, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper.
Beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer until well combined and creamy.
Taste for seasoning and serve right away or let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. It helps the flavors to blend better. Serve with scallions and more slices of jalapenos.
- If you’ve forgotten to let the cream cheese sit at room temperature before mixing with the other ingredients or you are rushed for time, heat it in the microwave, unwrapped and cubed, for 15-30 seconds. You want it pliable, not melted!
- For an added kick of heat, mix cayenne pepper or chili powder into the spread, add extra jalapeno peppers, or add a drizzle of Sriracha or Franks Red Hot Sauce.
- This dip is best at room temperature before consumption as it becomes creamy, which is ideal for dipping into.
- Leftover jalapeno pimento cheese can be used on sandwiches or added to other recipes such as baked pimento sausage cheese balls, pimento cheeseburger, or pimento cheese sandwiches.
- While it is possible to freeze pimento cheese for up to 3 months, this is likely to affect the texture of the spread. Once frozen, I suggest using leftover thawed pimento cheese in other recipes rather than a standalone dip or spread.
Freezing and Storing Instructions
Keep the pimento cheese refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Crema cheese will harden once cooled, so let thaw at room temperature and give it a good stir before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Palmetto cheese is just the trademark for a brand of pimento cheese that has been sold in certain food specialty stores in the United States. In terms of ingredients and taste, it’s the same thing.
Pimento cheese is made with shredded cheddar cheese. While the traditional spread only calls for cheddar cheese, I’ve also included cream cheese in this recipe.
Pimento cheese is fondly referred to as “Carolina caviar” or “Southern pate.”
Pimento cheese includes pimento peppers which is a mild chili pepper. It adds a lovely mild spicy flavor to the spread but doesn’t make the spread spicy hot at all.
Other recipes, like mine, also include jalapeno peppers, as well as other ingredients that can contribute to the level of spice in the spread.
You can if you want but most enjoy this spread with crackers or snack foods such as sliced fresh vegetables. Down South, pimento cheese is often enjoyed on white sandwich bread as a tea-time snack.
Thank you so much for reading about how to make Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Recipe. Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have! I love reading your feedback.
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Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Recipe
- 2 cups extra-sharp Cheddar cheese grated
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 4 ounces pimento peppers well drained and chopped into smaller cubes
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 small jalapeño pepper ribs and seeds removed, and minced
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- green onions for garnish
- Pinch of salt to taste
- Combine cheese, pimento peppers, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper.
- Beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer until well lcombined and creamy.
- Taste for seasoning and serve right away or let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. It helps the flavors to blend better. Serve with scallions and more slices jalapenos.
This recipe has been inspired from here.