Classic Pimiento Cheese

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 2 1/2 cups

If you've never had homemade pimiento cheese, you're in for a delightful old-fashioned treat.

Classic Pimiento Cheese
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn

Serve with buttery crackers or stuffed in celery stalks for an easy appetizer.


2 cups finely shredded extra-sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1/3 cup mayonnaise, divided
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon grated shallot or yellow onion
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained but liquid reserved
Ground cayenne pepper
1 pinch English-style dry mustard


  1. Combine half the Cheddar and half the Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Mix together lightly. Knead in 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise until mixture is creamy and very smooth.
  2. Work in remaining cheese, garlic, shallot, pimientos, 1 tablespoon of reserved pimiento liquid, a dash of cayenne and a small pinch of dry mustard. Knead just enough to mix well: it should still have plenty of texture. Add remaining mayonnaise, if necessary—-just enough to make it spreadable.
  3. Let stand 30 minutes. Serve cool or at room temperature

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler