Chipotle Pepper Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento cheese gets a spicy kick with the addition of smoked cheddar cheese and chipotle peppers in adobo. 

Dish of spicy pimento cheese topped with chopped bacon and green onions surrounded by pretzels and crackers.

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Known as the “caviar of the South,” pimento cheese is a southern staple. While this is not a traditional pimento cheese recipe, it’s definitely my favorite variation of all the pimento cheese recipes I’ve tried. I can’t take credit for its creation. The first time I had this tasty combination of smoky cheddar and spicy chipotle peppers was as an appetizer at Parlor Market, a popular restaurant in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. Sadly, the restaurant no longer exists. Oh well, at least I have their homemade pimento cheese recipe to remember them by.

What are chipotle peppers in adobo?

Chipotle peppers are smoked and dried jalapenos usually canned whole in a spicy sauce made from puréed chiles, tomatoes, vinegar, onions, garlic and various spices. You can find them in the international aisle in most grocery stores next to the Latin American foods. Chipotle peppers in adobo have a spicy, smoky flavor that adds a ton of flavor to this spread.

Since the recipe only calls for 4 peppers, you will have leftover chipotle peppers. Don’t throw them away! Save them for Honey Chipotle Chicken Drumsticks.

Ingredients and tools you will need

This spicy pimiento cheese spread requires only seven ingredients and can be prepared in a matter of minutes. To make this zesty take on a classic southern spread, you will need:

  • 1 pound smoked cheddar, grated – I usually have to search the gourmet food section to find smoked cheddar. If you can’t find smoked cheese, extra-sharp cheddar cheese can be substituted. Be aware that pre-shredded cheese is treated with potato flour to prevent the shreds from sticking together. I personally feel the cheese doesn’t incorporate into the spread as well and it’s worth the extra five minutes to shred your own cheese with a box grater.
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups mayonnaise
  • 3-4 whole chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped – Three adds a little spice. Use more if you like more heat.
  • 1 green onion, white and green parts, chopped – cut the root tip off the onion and discard, then chop up everything else.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped pimento peppers – side note — when I make this I don’t use pimentos. But I’ve had so many people complain that I can’t call it pimento cheese without pimentos. So here you go folks. You have my permission to take it or leave it. 
  • Electric hand mixer or stand mixer, optional – you can achieve a smoother consistency using an electric mixer. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. If you don’t have a mixer, you can stir everything together by hand. I’ve also heard of people whipping this up in a food processor.
Collage of ingredients needed to make hot pimento cheese spread.

How to make Chipotle Pepper Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir everything together until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated throughout. You can eat the pimento cheese mixture at this point, but for the best flavor, cover the bowl and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. This is a great recipe for dipping Ritz crackers, pretzel chips, or even pork rinds for a yummy low carb treat!

Storage instructions

Spicy pimento cheese will keep at room temperature for up to two hours. After that, it should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within five days. Sorry, this recipe does not freeze well.

If you need a few ideas to use up any leftover spicy pimento cheese, my favorite way is in these Pimento Cheese Stuffed Potato Bites. This spicy pimento cheese recipe also pairs well with celery sticks, fresh red bell peppers or other fresh vegetables, slathered between two pieces of white bread, or as a dip for fried green tomatoes.

Frequently asked questions

Can I leave out the chipotle peppers?

If you don’t like a really spicy end product, consider reducing the number of chipotle peppers to one or two. If you just don’t like chipotle peppers, maybe consider a more traditional recipe such as Masters Pimento Cheese.

Can this be served warm?

Yes, you can transfer the dip to a casserole dish and bake it in a 350-degree F oven for 10 – 15 minutes until it’s warm and gooey.

Pair of hands spreading spicy pimento cheese onto a cracker.
Dish of spicy pimento cheese topped with chopped bacon and green onions surrounded by pretzels and crackers.

Chipotle Pepper Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento cheese gets a zesty upgrade with the addition of smoked cheddar cheese and chipotle peppers in adobo. 
4.38 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 129kcal
Author: Lisa B.


  • 1 pound smoked cheddar grated
  • 1 pound bacon cooked, crumbled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 cups mayonnaise
  • 4 whole chipotle peppers in adobo chopped
  • 1 green onion white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon diced pimentos


  • Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
  • For best results, cover the pimento cheese and chill for two hours before serving.



Spicy pimento cheese should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within five days. Sorry, this recipe does not freeze well.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.7g | Protein: 3.4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3.9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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  1. Thank you for this terrific blog. I learned that same letter in the alphabet but never knew anyone else did and I was 44 years old before I discovered that people actually make pimento cheese. I’d never eat that plastic container stuff my brother loved. I must admit that the folks who introduced me to real Pimento cheese are ole miss alum. Maybe it’s a MS thing! Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the great post! Also I went to Babalu for the first time about a week ago and had maybe the best salad I’ve ever eaten.

  3. 1. I love learning about regional foods.

    2. A long time ago, I was vegan, and I was in love with this pimento cashew spread (might sound gross but was ridiculously addictive) and I’m just now realizing that it may have been based on pimento cheese.

  4. FABULOUS!!!! I will absolutely be trying this. Love me some pimennacheese! 🙂

  5. I grew up hating pimento cheese. Most of the commercial stuff is just mayo with enough cheese to change the color and just enough pimento not to have the USDA on your butt. The first time I tried homemade I was changed. The keys are lots of cheddar (the sharper the better) and a touch of heat. I use Vermont white cheddar and finely diced jalapeno but this recipe looks quite tastarific as well.

  6. Funny I was the same way and my local grocery store was the one to change my mind. They take the deli cheese ends that they cannot slice any further and make pimento cheese with it. However theirs does not have bacon… I will have to try this!

  7. I’ve never had pimento cheese but I’ve heard that homemade is like….SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND times better. I feel like you’ve just proven that right.

4.38 from 8 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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