Pimiento cheese dip is a beloved Southern dish known for its creamy and tangy flavor, typically made with cheddar cheese, pimientos, mayonnaise and various seasonings. This recipe is a twist on the traditional version as it does not contain mayonnaise.
My family loves the gooey goodness of this warm pimiento cheese dip. It’s easy and we especially like that it can be made in advance and reheated!
Warm Pimiento Cheese Dip Recipe
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 package cream cheese softened
- 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh is better if possible, otherwise bottled lemon juice works
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 jar pimientos drained and cut in small pieces
- 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded Traditionally, orange cheddar, not white, is used for pimiento dip, but it's your choice!
- 6 oz colby jack or Pepper jack cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 425° F. and lightly coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking oil spray
- Stir the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
- Gently fold in the pimientos, Cheddar cheese and Jack cheese.
- Once combined, transfer the cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake until bubbling and the top is a light golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.
- Serve with your choice of crackers, chips or vegetables and enjoy! (Note - Great the next day too if there happens to be any leftover. It's tasty cold and some people prefer it that way, but you can always heat it up in the microwave if you like it that way better.)
For Those who like larger print, here is the recipe again:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 jar pimientos, drained and cut in small pieces
6 oz sharp cheese, shredded
6 oz Colby Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. and lightly coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking oil spray. Stir the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Gently fold in the pimientos, cheddar cheese and jack cheese.
Once combined, transfer the cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake until bubbling and the top is a light golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Serve with your choice of crackers, chips or vegetables and enjoy! (Note – Great the next day too if there are leftovers! It’s tasty cold and some people prefer it that way, but you can always heat in the microwave if you prefer it warm.)
If I have scallions, I often chop two or three and add them to the mix when adding the pimientos and cheeses. When I want to give the recipe a little extra kick, I add a dash of Worcester sauce too. Finally, for a lower fat recipe, use low-fat sour cream and cream cheese and the recipe will still taste great! Low-fat versions of the cheddar and jack cheeses are not recommended as they do not melt as well as the full-fat cheeses.
Little-Known Facts About Pimiento Cheese Dip
Pimiento cheese dip is beloved in the south. Here are some interesting little-known facts to share at your next cocktail party!
Origin and History
Pimiento cheese dip’s exact origin is debated, but it is believed to have emerged in the Southern United States in the early 20th century. It gained popularity as a simple and flavorful spread that could be used in sandwiches, as a dip, or even as a topping for burgers.
The pimientos used in the dip are actually sweet red peppers that have been pickled. The name “pimiento” comes from the Spanish word for pepper. These peppers are what give the dip its distinctive color and subtle sweetness.
Evolution of Ingredients
While the classic ingredients of cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and pimientos remain consistent, regional variations have led to the inclusion of other ingredients such as cream cheese, grated onion, garlic, hot sauce, and even pickles, adding depth and complexity to the flavor.
Although it’s most commonly associated with being a dip, pimiento cheese has evolved to be used in a variety of dishes. It’s often spread on sandwiches, burgers, and crackers, stuffed into jalapeño peppers, or even melted into grits and macaroni and cheese.
Pimiento cheese has a special place in Southern culture and cuisine. It’s often found at gatherings, picnics, and potlucks, and is considered a comfort food that brings people together.
While homemade pimiento cheese is popular, commercial varieties are also available. Many supermarkets carry pre-packaged pimiento cheese spreads in various flavors and textures, catering to different preferences.
National Pimiento Cheese Day
Pimiento cheese has its own dedicated day of celebration in the United States. National Pimiento Cheese Day is observed on April 9th each year.
Pimiento cheese dip has gained attention in recent years as an ingredient in cooking competitions. Chefs and home cooks alike have incorporated it into dishes to add a unique twist.
Creative chefs have come up with innovative twists on the classic recipe, such as using different types of cheese (like blue cheese or pepper jack), incorporating smoked ingredients for a smoky flavor, or adding fruits like apples or grapes for a sweet contrast.