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  • 2 cups finely shredded extra-sharp Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, divided
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon grated shallot or yellow onion
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained but liquid reserved
  • Ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch English-style dry mustard


  1. Combine half the Cheddar and half the Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Mix together lightly. Knead in 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise until mixture is creamy and very smooth.
  2. Work in remaining cheese, garlic, shallot, pimientos, 1 tablespoon of reserved pimiento liquid, a dash of cayenne and a small pinch of dry mustard. Knead just enough to mix well: it should still have plenty of texture. Add remaining mayonnaise, if necessary—-just enough to make it spreadable.
  3. Let stand 30 minutes. Serve cool or at room temperature
Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler

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The recipe was originally published as Classic Pimiento Cheese on

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