If you’re reading this in the South, you already know what’s about to go down in this kitchen. In our house, it’s hardly a game day or a gathering unless there’s a big bowl of creamy pimento cheese on the table. I figured it was high time that I shared my recipe with you.
Pimento cheese is a favorite Southern dip recipe that’s ultra-creamy, extra cheesy, dippable, and spreadable. It’s right up there with Spinach and Artichoke Dip as a must-have appetizer. If you’ve never tried it, prepare to be obsessed!
Why You’ll Love This Easy Dip Idea
I can almost guarantee that this classic dip will become a staple in your household. Here’s why you’ll love it:
Loads of flavor. This mouthwatering cheese dip is a little sweet, a little tangy, and it can even be a little spicy depending on how you like it.
Super easy. Combine the ingredients, and then let your dip sit in the fridge until you’re ready to dig in. That’s it!
Perfect for game day. No football party of ours is complete without homemade pimento cheese spread over everything from crackers to veggies. It’s perfect for dipping and topping.
What Is Pimento Cheese?
Pimento cheese is a classic Southern appetizer that sees cheddar cheese and pimento peppers turned into a creamy dip (that doubles as a sandwich spread). In some states, it’s known as Southern pâté. Spread it over everything from crostini to crackers, and use it as a cheesy dip for veggies, and more.
Are Pimento Peppers Hot?
Pimento peppers are one of the mildest types of chili peppers, with a flavor that’s often sweet rather than spicy. In fact, pimentos are also known as cherry peppers due to their sweetness and bright red color.
If you like your dip spicy, take the heat up a notch with jarred hot red peppers in place of the mild roasted red peppers used in this recipe. You could also add in finely diced jalapeños.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Below is a quick overview of the short list of ingredients you’ll need to make this famous Southern pimento pepper dip. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the full recipe details.
Cheddar Cheese: Make sure to use freshly grated cheddar and not the kind that comes pre-shredded. I love making this recipe with sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese.
Cream Cheese: Let the cream cheese come to room temperature beforehand, so that it’s easier to mix.
Pimento Peppers: I love the convenience of jarred pimentos or roasted red peppers. Pat them dry and dice them up finely.
Mayonnaise: Adding mayo makes the consistency of the dip even more rich and creamy.
Seasoning: Everyone has a different way of seasoning their pimento cheese! I use a combination of cayenne pepper for kick, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
How to Make Pimento Cheese
It couldn’t be easier to make homemade pimento cheese. Simply toss all the ingredients into a bowl and give it a good stir. Once your dip is combined, pop it into the fridge for at least 2 hours. Chilling the cheese dip allows the flavors to come together before serving.
Can I Prepare This Recipe Ahead of Time?
Yes! As mentioned, you want to give this recipe enough time in the fridge. This makes pimento cheese very make-ahead friendly. Prepare the dip as directed a day or two in advance, and then keep it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.
Tips for Success
Here are some additional tips for the best pimento cheese:
Grate the cheese freshly by hand. Skip the bags of cheese when making pimento cheese, as pre-shredded cheddar comes with a waxy coating that impacts the dip’s flavor and texture.
If you’re sensitive to spice, omit the cayenne pepper in the recipe. Feel free to adjust the other seasonings to taste, also.
Speed things up with your hand mixer. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll use my electric hand mixer to combine the dip ingredients. Whatever you do, avoid the food processor as you still want the texture of this dip to stay nice and fluffy.
Whenever I have a batch in the fridge, I’ll smear this red pepper dip over my morning bagel. This recipe also makes a great spread on a pimento grilled cheese sandwich and a delicious, flavorful burger topping. Plus, it’s delicious to add to more cheesy recipes like my Stovetop Mac and Cheese!
This easy appetizer recipe keeps well, so you can enjoy leftovers for days afterward! Here’s how to store your pimento cheese:
Fridge: This cheddar and red pepper dip can be stored airtight in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing cheese-based dips as they tend to turn grainy after they’re thawed. Lucky for you, this recipe is a breeze to whip up and keep in the fridge!
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