Pimento cheese is such a Southern staple and crazy delicious.  And since it’s also crazy easy, it’s a perfect addition to a Kentucky Derby party!  This tangy and creamy spread is always a hit. They don’t call it the pâté of the South for nothing.

A platter of crackers, fresh vegetables and a bowl of Classic Pimento Cheese Spread. This is a perfect addition to your Kentucky Derby party!

There are as many pimento cheese recipes as there are Southern cooks.  Some are super spicy with cayenne and jalapenos.  Others use only mayonnaise or Greek yogurt and forego the cream cheese.  My Pimento Cheese recipe uses cream cheese for extra flavor and creaminess, and spices but not a lot of heat.  I love serving it with crackers, celery, and carrot sticks.  Heavenly!


Fortunately, you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already.  The other items can be found in almost any grocery store.

  • Cream cheese.  You’ll need an entire block at room temperature so it mixes with the other ingredients easily.
  • Mayonnaise.  Use a good quality mayo.  I like Helmann’s, some swear by Duke’s, so use your favorite brand.
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper for flavor.  If you don’t have white pepper, use black pepper.
  • Worchestershire sauce – just a bit.  It adds a ton of flavor.
  • Hot sauce for some spice.  Feel free to add more or less to suit your tastes.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese.  I like using extra sharp cheddar cheese, but again, use what you like best.  But whatever cheddar you use, shred it yourself with a box grater or food processor.  The bags of shredded cheese have a powdery coating to keep the cheese from clumping together and it will feel grainy in the recipe.  Not a pleasant mouthfeel.
  • Jarred pimento peppers – you can find these in the pickle section of your grocery, usually by the roasted red peppers.  They come in strips or chopped.  If you can’t find them, you could use jarred roasted red peppers in a pinch.


  • Crackers are always good with this spread.  As are crostini, melba toasts, etc.
  • Vegetables for dipping or stuffing.  Carrot sticks for dipping or stuff it into a celery stick or baby bell pepper.
  • Top your burgers with a spoon of pimento cheese and let it melt onto the meat.  Are you salivating yet?
  • Use it as a sandwich spread or as a filling for grilled cheese.
  • Mix it into your deviled eggs for an insane treat.

A platter of crackers, fresh vegetables and a bowl of Classic Pimento Cheese Spread. This is a perfect addition to your Kentucky Derby party!

Complete your Kentucky Derby party with a few of these recipes:

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A platter of crackers, fresh vegetables and a bowl of Classic Pimento Cheese Spread. This is a perfect addition to your Kentucky Derby party!



This Classic Pimento Cheese spread is a perfect addition to your Kentucky Derby party menu!  Rich, creamy, and a little spicy, this easy spread is ready in less than 30 minutes and sure to be a hit.



8 ounces cream cheese, cubed, room temperature

½ cup mayonnaise (I like Helmann’s)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce

2 ½ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (shredded from a block of cheddar, not pre-shredded)

4 ounces pimento peppers, well-drained and chopped


In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, Worchestershire sauce, and hot sauce. 

With a hand mixer combine all of the ingredients until very well mixed.

Use a wooden spoon to fold the pimento peppers and cheddar cheese into the cream cheese mixture.  If you like a creamier spread without the shreds of cheese, mix with the hand mixer.

Scrape the pimento cheese into a covered bowl and chill for at least one hour.

30 minutes before serving, remove the cheese from the refrigerator and allow it to rest (and soften).  

Serve with crackers, vegetables, crostini, or as a filling for sandwiches.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Starter - Appetizer
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: classic pimento cheese, appetizer recipes, Kentucky Derby recipes, party recipes, Southern food, cheese recipes

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