Smile and Say, Pimento Cheese

Photo courtesy of Heidi Billotto

Pimento Cheese, the classic mix of cheddar, mayonnaise, and pimentos, is front and center each spring as the Masters© Golf Tournament tees off another season. Slathered between two slices of white bread, it is the sandwich of choice at Augusta National food concessions. Why not give the recipe a swing?

Basic Pimento Cheese

  • 1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • ½  to ¾ cup mayonnaise 
  • 2 (8oz jars) pimentos, drained; or 1 cup of chopped roasted peppers

Combine all ingredients; blend by hand, with a mixer, or food processor. Add seasonings as you like. Use any combination of black or red pepper; sweet, hot, or smoked paprika; onion or garlic salt; Worcestershire or Tabasco sauce.

Be a Player

We can’t improve your golf swing, but with a few simple steps we can help you become a pro at Pimento Cheese.

  • Don’t overdo the mayo. Only add enough to bind.
  • Sweeter taste? Use Miracle Whip or Durkees, instead of mayo.
  • Creamier texture? Add American or cream cheese to the cheddar. 
  • Less creamy version? Use grated or crumbled aged cheeses; blend by hand instead of by machine. Bonus: aged cheeses (like cheddar or Swiss) have little to no lactose, so the perfect option if you have lactose intolerance.
  • Up the game, with a mix of cheeses in addition to cheddar like Pepper Jack, Muenster, feta, or blue.
  • Peppers add the punch. Roast your own under the broiler or on the grill. Use tongs to turn peppers as they begin to char. Add jalapenos or habaneros for heat and flavor.

For more ways to perfect your pimento cheese, check out this recipe from The Dairy Alliance.

Heidi Billotto, a Charlotte-based culinary expert, writes about food, restaurants, and food-centric travel for regional magazines, newspapers, blogs & websites. In addition, Heidi conducts private in-home or office cooking classes for corporate team building & social gatherings. Follow her culinary adventures at   

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