Football party. After school snack. Lunch box favorite. Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese is the perfect spread for any occasion. This is Southern pimiento cheese with a little kick! Can't stand the heat? Just omit the jalapenos or make sure to remove all the seeds and membrane from the jalapenos. Want a little more? Leave in a few seeds.
Why is this Pimiento Cheese creamy?
This version is creamier than my Pimiento Cheese with Fire Roasted Peppers because it has more cream cheese.
Pimiento vs. Pimento
Why do I spell it pimiento instead of pimento? It goes back to my days in the Oxmoor House (Southern Living, Cooking Light cookbook division of what used to be Southern Progress, then Time Inc. Food Studios and most recently Meredith) test kitchen.
Our editing style spelled it pimiento because that is the original way Merriam Webster Dictionary spelled it. It is Spanish for pepper. Since the dictionary had a second spelling of the word, pimento, and it refers to the tree from which allspice is made, our editing style went with the first spelling. I looked and it is spelled both ways on jars of the sweet pepper. Out of habit and years of editing recipes for Oxmoor House, I still spell it pimiento.
What other cheese can I use to make Pimiento Cheese spread?
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.
What are fire-roasted peppers?
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.
Can I use pre-shredded cheese?
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.
Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese is extra creamy because I add a little more cream cheese and use a little less mayo than my Pimiento Cheese with Fire-Roasted Peppers.
Let me know your favorite way to make this iconic Southern treat!
Watch me make Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese on ABC 33/40's Talk of Alabama
More snack and party recipes you may love:
Try them and leave a comment to let me know how you like them.
Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese
- 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
- Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl until all ingredients are incorporated.
- You can also use an electric hand mixer. Spread on crackers for a snack or appetizer or between bread for a sandwich.