This Homemade Pimento Cheese spread is one of those foods I always have on hand. Many of my friends are surprised to learn that I adore it. Maybe, like them, you’ve seen neon-orange tubs of the stuff for sale at the store. Maybe, like them, you’ve even tried it once and weren’t too impressed.
Unfortunately, I can’t have you all over to try my homemade pimento cheese as I’ve done with my friends. I’ve managed to convert them into enjoying it and even asking if I have any the instant they come over.
Now you can make it yourself and fall in love, too.
Homemade Pimento Cheese Recipe
Low-Carb, Gluten-Free and Keto-Friendly
The thing about Homemade Pimento Cheese is that it’s so versatile. It’s excellent on healthy celery sticks, so you can feel a bit better about the fact that you’re snacking on a mixture of cheddar, cream cheese, and mayonnaise.
On the other hand, if you’re eating low-carb, following the keto diet, or avoiding gluten, this will become your new favorite dip or spread!
Try this homemade pimento cheese recipe spread on crackers — it’s great with easy Homemade Wheat Thins!. You can use it as a dip for veggies, a filling for omelets, or a bagel topping, too.
Tired of deviled eggs? Replace the yolks with a dollop of this Homemade Pimento Cheese. Nom!
And as a grilled cheese sandwich? Oh, baby. Words fail.
Orange or White Cheddar?
Most homemade pimento cheese recipes call for a mixture of white and orange cheddar. I’ll let you in on a secret: orange and white cheddar cheese are the same things.
Orange cheddar cheese is merely white cheddar cheese to which they’ve added annatto as a coloring agent.
Roast Your Own Peppers — or Not
Whether I use fresh or jarred pimentos depends on the time of year. I grow a lot of peppers in my garden in the summer then turn the green ones into vinegar peppers while adding the red ones to homemade giardiniera.
So, if I’ve got freshly-picked peppers, I’ll roast them myself. It’s easy enough to do, especially if you make the peppers ahead of time while you’re cooking something else.
If you want to roast your own red peppers, I’ll start with that recipe then share my homemade pimento cheese recipe with you. Tinker with it as you will — that’s what makes Homemade Pimento Cheese so individual: everyone prefers a different flavor profile.
How to Roast Red Peppers
1. Wash and dry the peppers, leaving the stems intact.
2. Put them on a baking sheet in a 450° F / 230° C / gas mark 8 oven. Turn every 15 minutes.
3. When the skin has blackened all over, remove the peppers and immediately put them in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Let them cool — about 15 minutes — and the steam will loosen the skin.
4. Slip the skin off, pull out the stem, remove the seeds and slice what’s left.
You’ll notice when slicing them that the peppers give off a lot of liquid. You can use that to thin the homemade pimento cheese to your liking or try adding it to a Bloody Mary. Yum!
How to Make Homemade Pimento Cheese
Homemade Pimento Cheese
- 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup mayonnaise NOT Miracle Whip!
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon hot sauce optional
- 4 ounces pimentos minced
- Grate the cheddar cheese.
- Whip the cream cheese until fluffy. Add mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and hot sauce (if using).
- Fold the cheese and pimentos into the mayo mixture. Chill 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
If you’re wondering how long homemade pimento cheese lasts, the answer is up to a week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Keep in mind, however, that since it contains mayonnaise, you should not leave it sitting at room temperature for more than two hours. If you don’t plan to consume the entire recipe in that time, it’s a good idea to just scoop out what you plan to use and leave the rest in the refrigerator until needed.