JALAPENO PIMENTO CHEESE

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Jalapeno pimento cheese is an easy dip recipe ideal for entertaining. Serve this southern cheese spread with seeded flatbread crackers, pita chips, or sliced and buttered grilled baguette. Prep this easy recipe in 15 minutes!

PIN JALAPENO PIMENTO CHEESE

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese spread in a glass jar served on a charcuterie board with crackers.

Spread homemade pimento cheese on flour tortillas to make pinwheel sandwiches. Enjoy it between slices of Wonder Bread. Use it as topping for burgers or baked potatoes. Try it as a tasty filling for deviled eggs.

Ceramic appetizer platter with southern cheese dip, metal cheese spreader and crackers.

INGREDIENTS

Many southerners are firm about the type of mayo for pimento cheese. If you see Duke’s Mayonnaise at the market, definitely grab a container. If not, use another high-quality mayo like Best Foods or Hellmans.

Here’s what you’ll need for this easy southern recipe:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Duke’s Mayonnaise (or Best Foods Mayonnaise)
  • Sharp (or medium) cheddar cheese
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Jar of diced pimentos
  • Fresh jalapeno

KITCHEN SMARTS: For pimento cheese dip that’s not clumpy, buy cheddar cheese in a block. It’s best to shred it by hand with a metal grater.

Pre-shredded cheese is coated with additives like potato starch to keep the shredded pieces separated. That’s why it tastes a bit gummy.

Ingredients for homemade jalapeno pimento cheese. This overhead image is taken on a bright-white surface.

EASY INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

Missing an essential ingredient to make this jalapeno pimento cheese recipe? Don’t put on your shoes to head to the market. Instead, head to your pantry to check for these easy ingredient swaps.

  • MAYONNAISE: Any brand will do. But if you don’t have mayo, try Miracle Whip instead.
  • CREAM CHEESE: Substitute with plain Greek yogurt. Then thicken the pimento cheese spread with some extra cheddar cheese.
  • JAR OF DICED PIMENTOS: Substitute this ingredient with a jar of roasted bell peppers (drained and diced), or red bell pepper that’s finely minced.
  • FRESH JALAPENO: Use serrano pepper. It’s my chili pepper of choice when making a bowl of this southern pimento cheese for a get-together with friends in Mexico. Serranos are up to 5 times hotter than jalapenos. Or for a bit of heat, add red pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce to the mixture. Another option: cayenne pepper or chipotle powder to taste.
Southern Pimento Cheese dip in a glass bowl with metal spreader on a wooden board.

HOMEMADE PIMENTO CHEESE RECIPE

For a creamy jalapeno pimento cheese spread, we’re using a food processor. But if you don’t have this tool, no worries. Combine the ingredients in a stand mixer, or in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

Cheddar cheese, metal grater, knife and jalapeno on wooden board for pimento cheese recipe.

RECIPE PREP: Shred the cheese. Cut off the stem of the jalapeno. Slice the pepper in half. Remove and discard the seeds and veins. Finely mince the jalapeno. Wash your hands to remove any lingering oils from the chili.

  • STEP 1: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Pulse until smooth.
  • STEP 2: Add garlic powder, and onion powder, and smoked paprika. Pulse briefly to combine.
  • STEP 3: Add shredded cheddar cheese. Pulse until it reaches the desired consistency. Some prefer it chunky. Others prefer it creamy and smooth.
  • STEP 4: Add drained pimentos and minced jalapenos. We want these last 2 ingredients to retain their texture. Either remove the steel blade and fold them into the mixture with a spatula, or pulse briefly to combine. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.

SERVING TEMPERATURE: When making sandwiches or tortilla roll-ups, use freshly-made pimento cheese spread at room temperature. If enjoying the mixture as jalapeno pimento cheese dip, refrigerate before serving.

How to make pimento cheese with jalapenos, shown in 4 step-by-step images.

RECIPE FAQ & EXPERT TIPS

Have a few questions about jalapeno pimento cheese? Below you’ll find the answers to the mostly commonly asked questions about this easy recipe.

BEST RECIPE ADD-INS FOR PIMENTO CHEESE?

Try these 3 cheeses in equal parts: sharp cheddar, white sharp cheddar, and gouda or pepper Jack. Use these shredded cheeses in combination with a block of cream cheese, or without it. You can also add a drizzle of pickle juice, apple cider vinegar, or Worcestershire sauce.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS SOUTHERN CHEESE DIP?

Serve with buttered slices of grilled baguette, country ham, and bread-and-butter pickles. Or serve with carrot sticks, celery sticks or zucchini sticks, and Ritz crackers, saltine crackers or Ruffles potato chips.

IS JALAPENO PIMENTO CHEESE SPICY?

The heat of a pepper resides primarily in the seeds and veins. For this recipe we remove both. This results in a deeply flavorful dip that’s not spicy hot. But if you’re still unsure, start by adding just a teaspoon of diced jalapeno and do a taste test. You can always add more.

WHEN TO SERVE THIS RECIPE?

Serve pimento cheese at potlucks and tailgate parties. For picnics and tea parties, serve pimento cheese spread on white bread. Slice the crust off the sandwiches and cut them in triangles. It’s a southern favorite!

HOW LONG DOES PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD LAST?

If transferred to an air-tight container and refrigerated, it will retain a good texture for up to 5 days.

BEST GARNISHES FOR THIS RECIPE?

Top the cheese dip with fresh jalapeno slices. Other options: sliced green onions, finely-diced red onion, chopped green olives or chives.

Homemade Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Dip served in a glass jar on a small appetizer platter with crackers.

MORE PARTY APPETIZERS TO MAKE ASAP!

If you’re a fan of this tasty southern cheese dip, AKA southern pâté, you’ll enjoy these easy recipes too! Add them to your game-day recipe arsenal. So you can find them later, pin them to Pinterest or print out the recipes.

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Jalapeno Pimento Cheese dip in a glass bowl with metal spreader on a wooden board.

JALAPENO PIMENTO CHEESE


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 12 Servings 1x

Description

Jalapeno pimento cheese is deeply comforting. Make this delicious southern recipe in 15 minutes. Enjoy it as a decadent sandwich spread, or serve it as a tasty dip. It’s irresistible!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 8-oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise (or Best Foods Mayo)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 cups sharp (or medium) cheddar cheese
  • 1 4-oz jar diced pimentos, drained
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (or for more heat, 1 serrano pepper)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT: For creamy jalapeno pimento cheese, we’re using a food processor. But if you don’t have this tool, no worries. Combine the ingredients in a stand mixer, or in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

RECIPE PREP: Shred the cheese. Cut off jalapeno stem. Slice the pepper in half. Remove and discard the seeds and veins. Finely mince the jalapeno. Wash your hands to remove oils from the chili. 

HOW TO MAKE PIMENTO CHEESE

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Pulse until smooth. 
  2. Add garlic powder, and onion powder, and smoked paprika. Pulse briefly to combine.
  3. Add shredded cheddar cheese. Pulse until it reaches the desired consistency. Some prefer it chunky. Others prefer it creamy and smooth.
  4. Add drained pimentos and minced jalapenos. We want these last 2 ingredients to retain their texture. Either remove the steel blade and fold them into the mixture with a spatula, or pulse briefly to combine. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. 

Notes

SERVING TEMPERATURE: When making sandwiches or tortilla roll-ups, use freshly-made pimento cheese spread at room temperature. If enjoying the mixture as jalapeno pimento cheese dip, refrigerate before serving.

HOW LONG DOES PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD LAST? If transferred to an air-tight container and refrigerated, it will retain a good texture for up to 5 days. 

  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American, Southern

Keywords: Jalapeno Pimento Cheese, Pimento Cheese, Pimento Cheese Spread, Pimento Cheese Dip

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PIMENTO CHEESE RECIPE > JOIN the conversation

Do you have sweet childhood memories surrounding pimento cheese dip? Did your grandma make it for picnics and parties? What’s your favorite way to enjoy this iconic southern recipe? Share your thoughts below.

7 thoughts on “JALAPENO PIMENTO CHEESE”

  1. I loved the touch of spice in this recipe. It was great for the grilled cheese sandwiches we enjoyed for lunch. Delicious!

    Reply
  2. I’m from Ohio and I hadn’t had Pimento cheese until I moved to Virginia! Now I’m completely obsessed. This jalapeno recipe is perfect. So delicious. We loved the spicy kick!

    Reply
  3. Yummy! My hubby and daughter are going to absolutely love this dip! Can’t wait to make this for little get togethers!

    Reply
  4. Oooh, I’ve never tried pimento cheese but have heard about it — your recipe looks so easy that I want to give it a try!

    Reply
  5. Yummy! Absolutely like I remember from visiting family in the south. This has authentic flavor and I totally agree. Duke’s Mayo makes it the best!

    Reply

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