Make Authentic Southern Pimento Cheese Spread

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  • 16-oz block of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4-oz jar of diced or sliced pimentos
  • mayonnaise (preferably without sugar added)
  • black pepper
  • knife
  • food processor
  • small spatula

Cut one-pound block of cheese into half-inch cubes. Assemble food processor bowl with an S-shaped blade. Add 4-ounce jar of pimentos, two liberal tablespoons of mayonnaise, and about half the cheese to food processor bowl. If using a metal spoon to measure mayonnaise, be sure not to bang on a glass jar or blender edge to remove excess, as you can chip the glass into your food. Though some recipes recommend draining the pimentos, it is unnecessary.

Blend the mixture until it reduces in volume, then add two more tablespoons of mayonnaise and remaining cheese. Blend to desired smoothness. Transfer mixture to storage container, scraping the food processor bowl with the spatula. Add two more tablespoons of mayonnaise and black pepper to taste. Stir and refrigerate until use.

Once refrigerated, the mixture will stiffen somewhat. Depending on the desired consistency and your intended use, it may be necessary to add some additional mayonnaise after a few hours.

If you are in a region where it’s available, Duke’s mayonnaise will give the best results. Outside the Southeast, you can sometimes find mayonnaise with no sugar in health food or natural grocery stores like Trader Joe’s.

It’s also possible to make pimento cheese without a food processor by using shredded or grated cheese, but the consistency will be somewhat different. With shredded cheese, diced rather than sliced pimentos are recommended.

For an interesting variation with some kick, add pickled jalapeno peppers to taste to the food processor while blending.


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