Homemade Pimento Cheese

Looking for a healthier homemade pimento cheese recipe? Or just not a huge fan of mayonnaise? This lightened up recipe uses lots of lemon and Greek yogurt for a delicious party dip!

bowl of pimento cheese with greek yogurt and a silver spoon

Healthier Homemade Pimento Cheese

This is an age-old post that deserved to be front a center before a holiday weekend! I just served this delicious dip to my girlfriends and it got us all chatting about what exactly is inside of pimento cheese.

“What are those red things” someone asked. Those are pimentos aka peppers. 

This recipe goes back over a decade to my friend Kelsey

Remember my friend Kelsey from when I lived in Charlotte?


She was one of my best friends when we were both getting our RD at Winthrop. She was my study partner, yoga buddy and the author of Bites + Bowls, a fantastic food site that has gone to blog heaven.

My very favorite recipe of Kelsey’s was her pimento cheese. She is a master at creation, and I still make this recipe over and over. 

Mayo Is Swapped Out For Greek Yogurt

Instead of mayonnaise, this version uses Greek yogurt as the creamy binder. It’s a lighter and more refreshing version of the Southern classic. Yet just as cheesy good! If you want to add a bit of mayo as well, all will be well. (Spoiler alert: I did!) 

Hand-grating the cheese is so worth the effort.

I used to buy bags of pre-shredded cheese because I was willing to pay for the convenience. But what I didn’t realize is how much less flavorful it is. This recipe commands freshly grated cheese. Just do it.

You can use a box grater (hard to do, easy to clean) or your food processor (easy to do, hard to clean). Your choice!

The red things are pimentos aka pimientos 

I used to be grossed out by pimento cheese when I was little. Do you remember platters of sandwiches packed with a strange yellow filling served between crustless slices of Wonder bread? I think it was the pimentos that had me a little weirded out.

But one day I realized pimento cheese was actually CHEESE and I have loved it ever since.

How To Make It

1. Drain and chop pimentos

Drain you pimentos well and chop, if necessary.

2. Add seasonings

Next add your seasonings – salt, pepper, a hint of cayenne pepper, and a little garlic powder if you like. Then a big squeeze of lemon juice. 

3. Mix in yogurt and stir

Lastly add a quarter cup of thick Greek yogurt and incorporate until it forms a dip.

More ingredient ideas:

You could also add pickled jalapeños, smoked paprika, or spiced pecans.

How To Serve

Serve with crackers, veggies, pretzels, on a sandwich, on a burger, or as grilled cheese!

More dips:

Homemade Pimento Cheese

This lightened up version of pimento cheese has all the sharp cheddar and pepper flavor without the glop.

Keyword cheese, greek yogurt, lemon, pimentos


  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese about 2.5 cups grated. Must be fresh – do not use pre-grated cheese!!
  • 4 ounce jar of pimentos
  • Big pinch kosher salt
  • 10 grinds pepper
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper
  • Big pinch smoked paprika
  • Big pinch garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Dukes Mayonnaise Optional


  • Grate your cheese by hand or in a food processor.

  • Drain pimentos well and chop, if necessary. Add to mixture.

  • Add seasonings.

  • Add lemon juice.

  • Mix well.

  • Add yogurt and mash until cheese comes together into a dip and serve!