Barbecue Pimento Cheese

This image courtesy of Jennifer Davick

As a born-and-raised-Memphis girl, my blood runs part barbecue sauce, so any exploration of Southern foodways for me is likely to loop back around to barbecue. And with the finest barbecue to be had five minutes away in every direction, I have never seen the point of smoking my own pig. I do have my own house barbecue spice that I use on everything from pork chops to popcorn, and of course, pimento cheese.

Makes3 1/2 cups



Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party, Game Day

Recipe CourseAppetizer, Hors D'oeuvre

Dietary ConsiderationGluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian

Taste and TextureCheesy, Creamy, Savory, Smoky

Type of DishDip/spread


  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces sharp orange cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces naturally smoked orange cheddar cheese
  • 4 scallions, white and some green parts, finely diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, rinsed and drained


  1. Mix together all the spices in a small bowl until thoroughly blended.

  2. Grate the cheeses together into a large bowl and toss together to combine. Add the scallions and toss again; I find my clean, dry hands the best tool for doing this.

  3. Mix the mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of the spice mix in a small bowl and stir until completely incorporated. Stir the mayonnaise into the cheese mixture until everything is well blended and all the cheese is coated. Stir in the pimentos until they are evenly distributed throughout.

  4. Chill the pimento cheese, covered, in the fridge for at least 2 hours to let the flavors meld. The pimento cheese will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.


There will be some spice blend left over. Keep it in an airtight container and sprinkle it over hamburgers, steak, or my favorite, popcorn.

Pimento cheese of any kind is good melted on top of a pulled pork shoulder sandwich.


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