The Secret To The South’s Most Beloved Recipe

Atlanta Eats | Mom Thyme


Whether eaten at the Masters, all those upcoming Kentucky Derby parties, or, football tailgates all over the Southeast, pimiento cheese is a beloved Southern classic that we can’t get enough of!  But, did you know that it’s as easy to make as it is delicious? If the real secret to your “secret recipe” for pimiento cheese is the fact that it comes from Costco, just keep on reading, because I’ve got a fantastic recipe for pimiento cheese that you’re going to love!

This is my favorite recipe for pimiento cheese because it’s simple, straightforward, and highlights the main ingredients that should be in pimiento cheese: sharp cheddar, pimientos, and mayonnaise. I’ve found that there are LOTS of recipes out there that get all willy-nilly as far as ingredients and it seems to me that, instead of pimiento cheese, what you’re really making is a glorified cheeseball! Instead, I want my pimiento cheese to taste like my Grandmother Spree’s – cheesy, creamy, and with just that slight bite to it that makes it ADDICTIVELY DELICIOUS (unfortunately, I don’t have her exact recipe, but this one is pretty darn close!). 

Now, I do have a few tips before you get started with the recipe. First of all, your pimiento cheese will taste exponentially better if you buy your cheese in blocks and grate it yourself (either by hand or in your food processor). Secondly, if you like your pimiento cheese a tad bit spicier, just throw in some chopped jalapeno, extra cayenne pepper, or, a few dashes of hot sauce. And finally, this pimiento cheese is best when you allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight to let the flavors fully develop. Super simple and super delicious, below is your new “secret recipe” for this beloved Southern classic. Enjoy!

Southern Pimiento Cheese

Makes 3 cups 

8 ounces extra-sharp Vermont white Cheddar

8 ounces extra-sharp aged New York (orange) Cheddar

1 (7-oz) jar pimientos, drained and finely chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Finely grate cheeses into a large bowl. Stir in pimientos, cayenne, and mayonnaise, mash mixture with a fork until relatively smooth. (There should be small pieces of pimiento throughout the mixture.)

Cover; chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Serve pimiento cheese with crackers, celery sticks, or, as a filling for sandwiches. 

NOTE: I like to use Cabot cheeses for this recipe, you can find these in the cheese aisle of any grocery store. Also, I prefer to use Duke’s or Hellman’s mayonnaise for this recipe.


Recipe adapted from www.epicurious.com.


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