Pimiento Cheese

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When I was a youngster, sandwiches were a quick go-to…who the heck am I kidding?  I’m eating one right now. Let me stress this one point: we did not eat conventional sandwiches all the time.  Yes, we loved turkey (especially the day after Thanksgiving), salami and cheddar on sourdough was a favorite, and my mom made the best tuna sandwiches, but we didn’t stop there.  How about Fried Spam? Or my dad’s onion sandwich where he would take the largest purple onion he could find, slice it about 3/4 of an inch thick, mayonnaise up some bread, chop a little cheese and PRESTO! Onion sammie!  One of my mom’s little gems was a cream cheese, black olive and walnut sandwich.  (I’ll wait while you re-read that.)  She LOVED it.  But there was one filling that was so weird, it pushed right over the bar into super delicious:  Pimiento Cheese.  I looked and looked for the much loved, much used recipe card for this one, but came up short.  So, I referenced my 75th Anniversary edition of The Joy of Cooking and did a little dance of anticipation and delight.Image 5  JOY stated that, “The 1936 edition declared it ‘a grand cheese spread for hot or cold sandwiches.'” Who am I to argue?

I like to use my food processor for this recipe.  I can grate the cheese and mix up the rest of the ingredients in a flash.  See the attachment to the right here?  It’s my food processor’s best friend.  I had 4 cups of grated cheese in less than a minute.

ImageGrate your Cheddar and Colby and set aside.  I don’t know about you, but when it comes to Cheddar Cheese, I am a medium Tillamook Cheddar kind of gal.  (But any brand will do.)

Next, put mayo, garlic, lemon juice, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper in processor.  Blend it up!  It will take just a few seconds.Image 2

As you can see, I had put the pimientos in with the other ingredients, but immediately removed them.  I blended up the rest of the ingredients, then added the cheese and the pimientos back in.  This way, I still got a few bits of unblended pimientos floating around.

Pay attention here!  Once you get the cheese back into the processor, put on the lid and pulse it a few times.  Check your progress.  Pulse a couple of times again and check.  As soon as you see that it has the consistency of cottage cheese (orange-pink cottage cheese), STOP blending because it’s done!

Serve immediately! … or don’t.  It’s really up to you.  Put it in the fridge, if you like.  But when I make this stuff, I can’t wait.  I have to eat some immediately. I like to put it on bread and make a sandwich out of it.  But I have been known to scoop it with crackers.  You could probably use apple slices, too.  Put it on top of a hamburger! Any kind of vehicle to get it into your mouth as soon as humanly possible.

Pimiento Cheese

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 4 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Side Dish


  • 1 (4 oz) jar chopped pimientos, drained
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 2 c. grated Cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
  • 2 c. grated Colby cheese (8 oz.)


  1. Grate cheese, set aside.
  2. Put mayo, garlic, lemon juice, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper in processor. Pulse until blended.
  3. Add drained pimientos and cheese to processor.
  4. Pulse a few times until the consistency of cottage cheese. This happens fast, so keep checking to make sure it’s not over-processed.
  5. Serve!

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1 comment

  1. Leslie Morgan February 4, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Yum sounds delicious! I can imagine this as a bagel filling!