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This easy pimento cheese dip recipe combines two types of cheddar in a creamy base, and whips up in just 15 minutes for a crowd-pleasing appetizer! It’s naturally low carb and keto friendly with just 2g net carbs per 1/4-cup serving. Serve it with crackers or chips, or keep it low carb with veggies like green bell pepper, celery, and broccoli for dipping.

easy pimento cheese recipe

The first time I ever had pimento cheese was at Publix when I first moved to Florida for law school years ago.

It was a somewhat gloopy-looking combination of a couple different colors of shredded cheese mixed in with a white-ish sauce, studded with bright red flecks of pepper.

Even though pimento cheese isn’t the prettiest thing, I was hooked after just one bite!

I’ve made several homemade pimento cheese dip recipes throughout the years, but this version that I came up with is without a doubt my favorite.

I use a combination of mayo and cream cheese, two kinds of cheddar, piquillo peppers (feel free to use pimentos if you prefer), a little bit of garlic powder, Frank’s RedHot sauce, and fresh lemon juice for flavor.

Try it and see if it becomes a favorite for your family as well! Store-bought pimento cheese will become a thing of the past.

overhead view of savory keto biscotti served with pimento cheese spread

What Goes Into Pimento Cheese?

In its most basic form nowadays, pimento cheese is just shredded cheddar, mayo, and pimentos. Several recipes build on that flavor profile, adding things like garlic, onion, or jalapeno.

I’ve also seen things like lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce added.

Some recipes make it an entirely from-scratch affair, calling for homemade mayonnaise and freshly roasted peppers.

According to Serious Eats, when pimento cheese first became a thing back in the early 1900’s it was mainly cream cheese and pimentos.

And get this; it’s from New York, not the south (shout-out to my home state for such a delicious invention)! Supposedly, after WWII the south took it and made it their own, and in the process, made it a southern institution.

best pimento cheese topped with piquillo peppers and scallion

Best Easy Pimento Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas. For the full recipe (including ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

  • Cream cheese – you want it slightly softened for this
  • Mayo – for rich flavor and creamy texture
  • Garlic powder – for savory depth of flavor
  • Frank’s RedHot sauce – this adds a touch of spicy heat to round out the flavor; you can find Frank’s RedHot sauce on Amazon, and use less if using another brand of hot sauce because Frank’s is generally not all that spicy
  • Lemon juice – this cuts through the richness of this cheesy dish; use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor
  • Black pepper – for a touch of peppery flavor
  • Yellow cheddar and white cheddar – for the best flavor, get blocks of cheese and shred them yourself
  • Roasted piquillo peppers – you can find roasted piquillo peppers on Amazon, or use chopped pimentos
  • Scallion – for mild onion flavor

Instructions

  1. Use a handheld electric mixer to together the cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder, hot sauce, lemon juice, and black pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in the cheddar and the peppers.
  3. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the scallion on top. Serve.

Storage

Store homemade pimento cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for about 7 to 10 days.

How to Use Pimento Cheese Dip

  • Slather it on a next-level burger
  • Melt it into an omelet
  • Make the best mac and cheese of your life
  • Or for that matter, make it into the best grilled cheese of your life
  • Make adorable little biscuit sandwiches (insider tip: also add bacon and pickled jalapenos)
  • Spread pimento cheese onto slices of fresh sourdough bread and broil to melt the cheesy dip and slightly toast the bread (it’s almost like a southern version of Welsh Rarebit!)
  • Heat it up in a shallow dish in the oven and serve it with sliced baguette, crackers, or tortilla chips because pimento cheese is also a fabulous hot dip
  • Serve it as part of a cheese platter or charcuterie board
pimento cheese dip with bell peppers and ritz crackers for dipping

Low Carb Serving Suggestion

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Pimento cheese is naturally low carb with just 2 grams net carbs per 1/4-cup serving. To keep the carbs down, serve it with Savory Keto Biscotti for a keto appetizer or snack.

front view of pimento cheese spread in glass jar

Pimento Cheese Recipe FAQs

What is a Pimento and What Does it Taste Like?

A pimento, also called a cherry pepper, is a type of chili pepper. Most pimentos are sweet, but they range in heat with some being moderately spicy.

Pimentos have a more intense flavor and aroma than red bell peppers.

What Are Piquillo Peppers?

Piquillo peppers are a type of chili pepper with little to no heat. I find roasted piquillo peppers to be very sweet and delicious, with a subtle complexity and richness from smoking.

According to Wikipedia, piquillo peppers are traditionally grown in Northern Spain. They’re hand-picked, fire-roasted, peeled, de-seeded, and then packed. Piquillo peppers are about 7 centimeters long and have a beak-like shape.

They have a slightly “meatier” bite to them than other types of roasted peppers.

What is the Difference Between Pimento and Roasted Red Bell Peppers?

Pimento peppers and red bell peppers are different varieties of peppers.

Most pimentos are sweet, but some can be moderately spicy; however, all red bell peppers are sweet.

Pimentos have a more intense flavor and aroma than red bell peppers.

Also, pimentos and red bell peppers are shaped differently, with pimentos having a heart-like shape and a point at the bottom.

Can I Use Pimentos, Roasted Red Bell Peppers, and Piquillo Peppers Interchangeably?

When making this pimento cheese recipe, yes, you can use pimentos, roasted red bell pepper, or piquillo peppers. Each will have slightly different flavor nuances, but overall the dish won’t suffer because of it.

Piquillo peppers are my personal favorite in this pimento cheese recipe because I love their slightly more intense flavor and richer texture.

More Delicious Appetizer Recipes to Try

close up top view of pimento cheese in jar for serving

Let’s Connect

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Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media.

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Easy Pimento Cheese Dip Recipe

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
This easy pimento cheese dip recipe combines two types of cheddar in a creamy base, and whips up in just 15 minutes for a crowd-pleasing appetizer! It's naturally low carb and keto friendly with just 2g net carbs per 1/4-cup serving. Serve it with crackers or chips, or keep it low carb with veggies like green bell pepper, celery, and broccoli for dipping.

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Ingredients
 

  • 4 ounces cream cheese slightly softened
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Frank’s RedHot sauce use less if using another brand
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces shredded yellow cheddar
  • 4 ounces shredded white cheddar
  • 4 ounces roasted piquillo peppers chopped (about 1/2 cup chopped, or use chopped pimentos)
  • 1 scallion green and white parts, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Use a handheld electric mixer to together the cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder,hot sauce, lemon juice, and black pepper in a large bowl.
  • Stir in the cheddar and the peppers.
  • Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the scallion on top. Serve.

Video

Notes

  • Net Carbs: 2g per 1/4-cup serving
  • Nutritional Information: Nutrition information is given for 1 serving of the pimento cheese dip only, and does not include dippers.
  • Make Ahead: Store homemade pimento cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for about 7 to 10 days.
  • Low Carb Serving Suggestions: Pimento cheese is delicious served with Savory Keto Biscotti, Low Carb Crackers, or low carb vegetables like broccoli, green bell pepper, or celery for dipping.
  • Other Serving Suggestions: Crackers, chips, or sliced baguette.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 649IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Pimento Cheese, Easy Pimento Cheese, Pimento Cheese, Pimento Cheese Dip, Pimento Cheese Recipe

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pimento cheese recipe pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on June 8, 2018. I updated it with more information on December 14, 2020.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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