This pimento cheese is creamy, spicy and has a kick from jalapeños! It's ready in just 10 minutes and perfect on sandwiches or with crackers and veggies.
- Made with 8 ingredients in just 10 minutes!
- Lightly spicy from diced jalapeño and hot sauce
- Made slightly healthier with Greek yogurt in addition to mayonnaise
- Perfect on sandwiches or as a dip with chips or veggies!
One of my favorite things about living in Georgia is pimento cheese. I lived in Oregon for a couple of years and missed it sorely because I couldn't find it anywhere. It's definitely a Southern thing.
There's a specific jalapeño pimento cheese that I always buy at the grocery store (if you know, you know) but when I was living in Oregon I learned to make it at home.
It's just so easy and it allows for a lot more customization! I still make homemade pimento cheese all the time now that I'm back in the South.
What you'll need
- Cheddar cheese: I love using thick cut "farm style" sharp cheddar. Regular shredded cheddar also works. I think sharp cheddar is just the right amount of sharpness, but mild or very sharp also work. I don't recommend shredding your own cheese because it has the tendency to clump up in spreads.
- Mayonnaise: Duke's is my go-to, but really any mayonnaise will work.
- Greek yogurt adds a bit of tang and lightens up the recipe. Choose plain, whole Greek yogurt. You can use an equal amount of sour cream if desired.
- Pimentos are just a certain variety of diced and canned red peppers. You can usually find jarred pimentos with the artichokes, olives and other jarred condiments.
- Jalapeno: I add just one finely diced medium jalapeno because we're also adding hot sauce. You can add more if you prefer, but be warned: this pimento cheese gets spicy quickly!
- Hot sauce like Tapatio, tabasco or Cholula work best here.
Step by step instructions
Pimento cheese is very easy to make. Here's what you need to do:
- Stir together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, onion and garlic powder.
- Fold in the shredded cheddar cheese, diced jalapeños and drained pimento peppers.
I like to chill pimento cheese for at least an hour before serving because it allows it to thicken up.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- How to lighten up: You can use olive oil mayonnaise in place of regular mayo and choose low-fat cheddar cheese. Try using 100% Greek yogurt in place of mayo for a tangy but lighter option.
- Spiciness: Because we're using jalapeno and hot sauce, this recipe leans on the spicy side. Omit hot sauce or decrease jalapeno for a less spicy result.
- Cream cheese vs sour cream vs Greek yogurt: Mayonnaise is always necessary in pimento cheese, but otherwise things get a little iffy. I use Greek yogurt because I like the tang and texture yogurt provides. More traditional recipes will use cream cheese and sometimes sour cream.
- Sauciness: This recipe errs on the saucier side. You can decrease Greek yogurt to 2 tablespoons for a thicker result.
Keep refrigerated in a closed container for up to a week.
Enjoy with crackers, potato chips, spread onto a sandwich, as a burger topping or in grilled cheese. It also goes well with celery, carrots and any other fresh veggie.
Definitely! Just omit the jalapeño and hot sauce for plain pimento cheese.
Definitely! Just double all of the ingredients and follow the same process.
Looking for more southern favorites?
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Jalapeño Pimento Cheese
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounces) see note #1
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup plain whole Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce adjust for spiciness
- 1 medium jalapeño finely diced
- 4 ounce jar of pimentos drained
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce.
- Fold in the cheddar cheese, jalapeño and drained pimentos until evenly combined. Taste for spiciness and salt. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Refrigerate for an hour to chill completely or enjoy immediately. It will thicken up as it chills.
- Cheese: Mild, sharp and very sharp work. I like to use thick-cut shredded cheese but regular shredded works just as well. I don't recommend grating your own cheese as it tends to clump up.
- Make regular pimento cheese by omitting the hot sauce and jalapeños.
- Leftovers: Keep refrigerated in a closed container for up to a week.
- Sauciness: This recipe errs on the saucier side. Decrease Greek yogurt to 2 tablespoons for a thicker pimento cheese.
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Note: This recipe was originally shared August 2018. It was updated April 2021 with new photos and a video. The recipe remains the same.
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