Jalapeno Pimento Cheese This version is super creamy from cream cheese with a little bit of crunch and heat from the jalapeno pepper.

Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese

Football party. After school snack. Lunch box favorite. This is Southern pimiento cheese with a little kick! Can’t stand the heat-it’s not really hot? Just omit the jalapenos. Want a little more? Leave in a few seeds. This version is a little extra creamy than my Pimiento Cheese with Fire Roasted Peppers because it has more cream cheese.

Pimiento Cheese with cream cheese and chopped jalapeno peppers in a red bowl and a little spread on a Ritz cracker with a green spreader

I didn’t grow up eating Pimiento Cheese spread, but once I tried it when I moved to Alabama in 1989, it was love at first bite! Now, I am a self-proclaimed pimiento cheese connoisseur. I like it with bacon, too…but then I like anything with bacon.

If you want to experiment and stray from the traditional Cheddar cheese, trade out mild cheddar with sharp, smoked, or white cheddar. If I’m watching my calories but craving the creamy goodness, I’ll make it with 2% cheddar, Neufchatel (lite cream cheese), and reduced-fat mayo made with olive oil.

Fire Roasted red bell peppers from a jar or roasted over a gas flame on my stovetop adds a little smoky flavor instead of the standard jar of pimiento peppers. I used fire roasted red peppers from a jar in my Pimiento Cheese with Fire Roasted Peppers. Like it crunchy? Just chop up some raw, red bell peppers.

I don’t recommend pre-shredded Cheddar cheese because it has potato starch (and often cellulose-derived from wood pulp-read about it here) added as anti-caking ingredients. That’s right! When you are making pimiento cheese, take a few extra minutes and shred your own cheese. It will “stick together” better, tastes better, and it’s cheaper than pre-shredded.

Mine is extra creamy because I add a little more cream cheese and use a little less mayo. Let me know your favorite way to make this iconic Southern treat!

More Recipes To Try

More yummy snacks and appetizers for your next party! Pimiento Cheese with Fire-Roasted Peppers3 Ingredient Cinnamon-Sugar Roasted Pecans, and Bacon-Wrapped Dove Jalapeno Poppers. Try them and leave a comment to let me know how you like them.

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Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese
After school snack. Lunch box favorite. Party cheese spread. Southern with a little kick! Can't stand the heat? Just omit the jalapenos. Want a little more? Leave in a few seeds. My pimiento cheese spread is extra creamy because I add a little cream cheese and cut back on the mayo.
  • 1/2 8-oz package cream cheese or 1 (3-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 8-oz blocks mild or sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pimiento from the jar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. You can also use an electric hand mixer. Spread on crackers for a snack or appetizer or between bread for a sandwich.

Recipe Notes

Tips: Not in the mood for an arm workout? Shred the two blocks of cheese in seconds using the shredding attachment of the food processor. To soften cream cheese quickly, microwave on HIGH for 20 seconds. Note: This spread makes an awesome grilled cheese sandwich!


Author: gritsandgouda

Hi! I’m Kathleen. I’m a food stylist, recipe developer, cookbook author, and event planner loving life in a charming town called Gardendale, Alabama, with my husband and two teenage children. I love to cook and laugh…not necessarily in that order.

2 thoughts

  1. Tried your Pimiento Cheese Spread recipe and I love it. The recipe I have always used calls for dried minced onions (possibly the only thing I ever use those for). The grated sweet onion is a much better option. Plus, I can sneak a sample sooner since I don’t have to wait for the dried onion to soften. Yay!

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