Ask Marilyn – “Pimento Cheese”

by Marilyn Markel in Learn

Have questions about a recipe, cooking techniques, cooking tools or ingredients? Hosting your first dinner party or holiday gathering and need some ideas or tips?

Marilyn, our Cooking School Manager, is here to answer all of your cooking questions. We will protect your anonymity so feel free to ask anything, even the questions you never dared to ask about cooking. From novice to pro, this advice column is for food people, by food people.

Ask the questions you want answered!

Email with subject, “Ask Marilyn”

Reader Question:

What is traditional southern pimento cheese?
- Suzanne

Marilyn’s Answer:

It’s my experience that pimento cheese is very familial and personal.  How your family traditionally made pimento cheese is typically how you like to make it!  Some people like olives, some like sweet pickle relish, some like it on a saltine, while some eat it on a Ritz cracker.  For southerners it seems very personal, and we have an enormous attachment to “our” pimento cheese.  We will try other people’s recipes and enjoy it, but nothing says comfort like that family recipe!  In our reoccurring advanced Biscuit II class we make a pimento cheese biscuit with pimento cheese on it.  It’s awesome! Check out the recipe below.  

Southern Pimento Cheese

½ lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz pimentos, drained and diced
2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
¼ cup mayonnnaise
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients.
2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Pimento Cheese Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour (Southern Biscuit, or similar)
2 tsp white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup shortening
⅔ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
2 Tbsp chopped pimento peppers
⅔ cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender. Add the grated cheese, green bell pepper, and pimento, and mix with a fork. Stir in milk and mix well.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 times. Roll out and cut with small biscuit cutter.
4. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until browned.