One of the first dishes Southern cooks master is homemade pimento cheese. Every hostess may have her own special twist on the classic party dish, but this version will never let you down. Our best pimento cheese recipe gets a signature crunch from toasted pecans and a dash of heat from ground red pepper. Blended together with creamy mayonnaise and sharp Cheddar cheese, it’s a combination that keeps guests coming back for seconds. Pimiento cheese dip may be an easy appetizer for entertaining, but there’s just one way to mess up the recipe: pre-shredded cheese. In a dish this simple, texture is important. The time you take to pull out your box grater and shred by hand will pay off in taste.

Can’t wait for your next gathering to whip up a batch of Southern pimento cheese? Brighten up lunchtime with a hearty pimento cheese sandwich- we’ll take ours with garden-fresh tomato slices on the side!

How to Make It

Step 1

Make the mayo mixture. In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, diced pimiento, Worcestershire sauce, grated onion, and ground red pepper until blended.

Step 2

Toast the pecans. Toasting brings out the rich flavor of the nuts. Preheat your oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. (Stirring helps to ensure even browning.)

Step 3

Shred the cheese. Trust us – texture matters. Using the small side of a box grater, finely shred extra-sharp Cheddar cheese. Then use the large side of the grater to coarsely shred sharp Cheddar cheese. Fresh cheese makes a difference.

Step 4

Stir and enjoy. Add pecans and shredded cheeses to mayo mixture, stirring until blended. You can store it in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Serve with celery sticks and assorted crackers, or make a grilled pimento cheese sandwich in a skillet or panini press.