Pimento cheese

As is very aptly put by the folks over at Food52, you’ll find a million different ways that are “the only way to make pimento cheese” — some add cream cheese, others Worcestershire sauce, minced onions, pickles, celery salt. This is a simple starting point, and makes the pimento cheese I know and love, but feel free to experiment from here.


  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (I used half white and half regular)
  • 1 7-oz jar pimiento peppers, drained and diced (if you can’t find them, roasting a sweet bell pepper will work in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like heat)
  • pinch ground black pepper


  1. Mix together cheese, diced pimientos, and mayonnaise. Season with salt, sugar, cayenne, and black pepper (you might want to add these to taste, though the above amounts are what I prefer) and mix again.
  2. Let chill in the fridge for a few hours, ideally overnight, to give the flavors time to combine. This is so key — I thought it was good the day I made it, but mindblowingly so the next day.
  3. Serve! As a dip for crackers, celery, in plain ol’ white bread or in a grilled cheese (what?! Yes.) Or, as here, sandwiched in some choux pastry. The cheese will keep up to a week in the fridge.