A twist on classic pimento cheese made with cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise and a couple jalapeños.
This pimento cheese has become my secret snack, well secret between me and my three year old. Sometimes we just need a scoop on a cracker before preparing a meal or getting in the school pick-up line. Savory, filling and flavorful, it always seems to hit the spot.
Classic Southern Spread
There seem to be two preferences for pimento cheese – one that is super creamy loaded with mayo and cream cheese and the other that barely has enough for the cheddar cheese to stick together. I developed my recipe for Jalapeño Pimento Cheese to be in the middle, slightly creamy but with enough texture to still hold up in a sandwich.
Of course, I like to add a little kick to just about everything, so this calls for two fresh jalapeños. The peppers are finely chopped with the seeds removed. They add a little more crunch, flavor and the color contrast between the green jalapeño peppers, red pimentos and yellow cheese is quite appealing.
- Cream Cheese - A half of a block of softened cream cheese. I usually keep the Walmart brand on hand.
- Mayonnaise – Use a high-quality mayonnaise, Duke’s is the staple in my kitchen.
- Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper
- Cheddar Cheese – You can use sharp, extra-sharp, mild or a blend of cheddar cheese. The recipe uses a little over 8 oz. of cheese. Be sure to buy a block of cheese and grate it yourself.
- Pimentos – One 4 oz. jar of pimentos drained well.
- Jalapeños – I added about two fresh small diced peppers to this pimento cheese recipe.
How To Make
You can mix up this recipe by hand or use a stand mixer. I like to use a stand mixer for ease.
- Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, and spices.
- Add grated cheese and mix just until incorporated.
- Fold in diced pimentos and jalapenos.
- Transfer to serving container and enjoy! If you are making this in advance transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge.
Tips on Making Jalapeño Pimento Cheese
- Skip the bagged shredded cheese and grate your own. Bagged shredded cheese is coated with an anti-caking agent and it just doesn’t turn out as well in this recipe.
- Drain the pimentos well, I like to pour them through a fine mesh strainer and let them sit a minute. You can even dab them with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
- When you add the pimentos, don’t overmix! You don’t want them to become crushed. I like to fold them in by hand to be sure.
- Some recipes call for salt. I think cheddar cheese is salty enough on its own so I don’t add any. You can add salt and pepper to your taste preference though. Just keep in mind the saltiness of the crackers you will be serving with the spread.
- Use white cheddar. That is what HEB uses in their jalapeno pimento cheese.
- Swap the jalapeño for some finely minced serrano.
- Add a smoky element, by using chipotle or smoked paprika in place of the cayenne pepper.
- Leave out the jalapeño for a classic pimento cheese spread.
Storage & Serving
Store this pimento cheese in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Serve with crackers, as a sandwich, or with veggies such as cucumbers and celery.
For my go-to savory snack, I like to slice a cucumber and top each slice with a scoop of pimento cheese.
Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
- 4 oz. Cream Cheese softened
- ⅓ c. Mayonnaise
- ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp. Onion Powder
- ⅛ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- 3 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 4 oz. Jar of Diced Pimentos drained
- 3 Tbsp. Jalapenos seeded and minced
- In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper until mixed.
- Add shredded cheese and mix for a few seconds until incorporated. Fold in pimentos and diced jalapenos.
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