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Pimento Cheese Recipe

If you're from the South, this'll hit the spot. If you're not... Meet your new obsession.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 12 hours 35 minutes


for the cider mayo:
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup|60 ml cider vinegar
1 ½ cups|355 ml neutral vegetable oil

for the pimento cheese:
2 small to medium red bell peppers
¼ cup|60 ml cider vinegar
1 cup cider mayo
2 tablespoons finely grated red onion
1 tablespoon finely ground toasted black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons hot sauce (I use a combination of Tabasco and Texas Pete)
1 ¼ pounds|567 grams three-year-aged cheddar, finely grated (we use Hook's, from Wisconsin)
15 ounces|425 grams sharp white cheddar, finely grated
crostini, for serving


  1. In a food processor, purée the egg yolk, salt, mustard, and vinegar. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until thick and emulsified. Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  2. Make the pimento cheese: To roast the peppers, place them directly over a high gas flame. Using metal tongs to safely rotate the peppers, char the entire surface of each pepper. My final step in this process is to balance the pepper on its curvy stem end on the grate of the burner to char that part. This insures the best yield. (If you don't have a gas range, roast the peppers under an oven broiler set on high; rotate them with metal tongs so they char evenly.)
  3. Transfer peppers to a metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 15 minutes. Use a dish towel to gently rub off the skins of the peppers: don't run them under water, as this will wash away some of the flavor. Remove the stems and seeds, and finely dice the peppers. You should have about ¾ cup.
  4. To pickle the peppers, in a small bowl, combine the diced peppers and cider vinegar; refrigerate overnight. (Or, if you can't wait, let sit at room temperature at least 3 hours.)
  5. The next day, combine the peppers and their vinegar with the mayo, onion, pepper, salt, and hot sauce in a large bowl; mix well. Combine the cheeses in a separate bowl and mix well. Add the pepper mixture to the cheese and mix to combine. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving; it should be thick but still spreadable.
  6. Serve with crostini, or jar it up and refrigerate it for up to 7 days.

From How to Make Pimento Cheese, the Creamy, Spicy Comfort Food We All Need and Deserve

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