Are you ready for a true southern treat? We've got the easiest, dreamiest pimento cheese recipe you've ever tried + tips for serving up this delicacy! Let's go, y'all!

bowl of homemade pimento cheese, from Shelf Cooking

Southern food is all the rage right now, and pimento cheese is just one of the many reasons we love our friends in the south! If a trip to Charleston isn't in the cards for you, get ready, because we're about to show you how to make your very own pimento cheese at home.

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This recipe is to die for! You only need five ingredients, there's no baking required, and there are SO many drool-worthy ways to serve up this dish. It's the easiest thing you'll make this week, but oh-so-addictive. Don't say we didn't warn you!


pimento cheese with raw veggie sticks, from Shelf Cooking

If you put a bowl of pimento cheese and a spoon in front of us, we'd probably eat it all by itself. It's just that good! But one of the things we love so much about this cheesy spread is it's versatile with a capital “V.” Here are a few of our favorite ways to serve it:

  • With Crackers/Chips/Raw Veggies – Charcuterie, anyone?! Serve your homemade cheese spread with crackers, veggies, or chips. It's the perfect party appetizer.
  • On a Biscuit – Grab our 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe! We like to toss some fried chicken on the biscuit, then top it with the cheese. Best. Breakfast. Ever!
  • Grownup Grilled Ham & Cheese – Instead of a slice of American cheese, slather that ham and cheese with pimento! The way it melts in your mouth is pure magic.
  • In Sausage Balls – We're obsessed with this hack! The next time you make a batch of sausage balls, replace the shredded cheese with pimento cheese. The flavor is over the top, and the sausage balls are SO moist!
  • Burger Topping – Burgers feel extra fancy with some pimento cheese on top! If you're feeling really bold, throw a fried green tomato on top, too.
  • In an Omelet – Grab your favorite veggies and fold them into an omelet along with a bit of pimento cheese. Breakfast of champs!
  • Macaroni Cheese – Enough said, right? Why wouldn't you add some pimento cheese to the mix?! Try it. You'll love it.

Well, now we're starving! How GOOD do all those dishes sound?! Let's keep it going and take things up a notch. Next up: ingredients you can add to pimento cheese!


You really can't go wrong if you make this pimento cheese exactly as the recipe is written, but we're always in favor of trying new things. Here are a few mix-ins we suggest:

  • Cayenne Pepper – If you like spice, then turn up the heat with cayenne!
  • Bacon Bits – Do we even need to explain?! When in doubt, add the bacon.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – Adding a splash to your mayo will take the flavor up a notch.
  • Pickle Juice – We suggest the sweet kind! Whatever you do, never throw it out. There are SO many ways to use pickle juice. Add a little to your mayo before you start mixing.
  • Dill Pickle Chips – Speaking of pickles, if you're a pickle lover, go ahead a dice up a few. Sweet or sour, you decide! They'll give your pimento cheese a nice little crunch.

Add one or add them all! Or, make this recipe again and again and try something different each time. Now you have plenty of excuses to whip up some pimento cheese on the regular. You're welcome! Okay, on to a few quick recipe tips and tricks before we spill all the deets.


woman grating fresh garlic, from Shelf Cooking

Let's say you're missing an ingredient or two, but you really need your pimento cheese fix. Don't rush out to the store! Here's how you can use ingredients you already have to modify this pimento cheese recipe:

  • Mayonnaise Substitute – All out of mayo? Have some cream cheese that's close to expiration? You can make pimento cheese with cream cheese, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
  • Cheddar Cheese Substitute – Colby jack or white cheddar will work, too! Feel free to use the cheese you have on hand.
  • Onion Substitute – If you're out of yellow onions, sub in white or green onions, or use a little onion powder instead. You can also sub in garlic powder or freshly grated garlic for a slightly different flavor.
  • Pimento Substitute – Not everyone keeps a jar of pimentos on hand, so if you're in that boat, you slice and roast a few red peppers, then dice and add them to the mix.

We bet you already have at least one of these substitutes available, so the time has come


Okay, if you want to make a big batch of this pimento cheese, go right ahead. You can double the recipe if you'd like because it lasts for three weeks in the fridge! Just store it in an airtight container.

Can you freeze it? Great question! Sadly, this is one of those foods that just doesn't freeze very well. It tends to get crumbly, and the consistency just changes too much. So, if you have pimento cheese that's nearing its expiration, go ahead and use it up. Try one of the ideas above, or experiment with adding your cheese to a casserole.


Okay, cheese lovers! This recipe is for you. If it's your first time trying pimento cheese, you are in for a treat. If you've had it before, you're in for a treat, too. This is seriously the world's easiest recipe! We can't wait until you taste it.

4-Ingredient Pimento Cheese

Gather up just a few simple ingredients and get your mixing bowl ready. This tasty dish comes together in just 5 minutes!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 16 oz grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 oz jar of diced pimentos, drained
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely grated
  • salt & pepper, to taste


  • Start by grating your cheese. You can also use the pre-grated, bagged kind as a shortcut.
  • Peel, then slice and mince your onion.
  • Place all your ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, stir on medium until fully blended, or about 3 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, serve, and enjoy!

Pass the Ritz crackers! We'll be your taster testers. 😉

With this recipe, you're ready to make pimento cheese just like your southern grandma used to! Who needs a fancy restaurant or a big vacation to enjoy this taste of the south?! If you have five minutes to spare, you're in business!

Now, we have to know: What's your favorite way to eat pimento cheese?! Drop a comment below or join our Shelf Cooking Facebook group to start a conversation.

4-ingredient pimento cheese from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more easy, delicious recipes to try?

Enjoy, y'all!