This low carb recipe for Southwest Pimento Cheese is the perfect appetizer to bring to any party. Or try mixing up a batch of this spicy keto-friendly spread to keep all for yourself. It is that good!
Let’s talk pimento cheese for a moment, shall we? I grew up in Maryland, where pimento cheese wasn’t a thing. I lived over 18 years of my life without tasting this deliciousness! Then I went to college in Virginia and discovered my new favorite food.
You see, I love cheese (which makes it cruelly ironic that I married a man who doesn’t like cheese…). And when I was little, I was the weird kid who not only loved olives, I’d pull the pimentos out to eat them first! So a spread that combines cheese AND pimentos? Hello! Just go ahead and get in my belly.
I really love these Flackers or these low carb crackers with this southwest pimento cheese spread! They hold up really well. My kids and guests tend to scarf up these crackers.
Creating My Recipe
I’m pretty picky about my pimento cheese. I don’t like the ones that are mayonnaisey. At all.
I began experimenting to create a mayonnaise-free version of this naturally low-carb spread long before adopting the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle. I discovered I could combine cream cheese, butter, and plain Greek yogurt and get the consistency and the richness I loved: no mayo required.
About 15 years ago I decided to add some jalapenos and green chiles to my recipe for a Cinco de Mayo party.
Southwest Pimento Cheese.
This new version of my pimento cheese recipe became my most requested. This was before Palmetto cheese was available in most grocery stores. So Bunco nights or cookouts or parties? I brought this Southwest Pimento Cheese. I can practically make it in my sleep!
Can I let you in on a secret? I always keep some of each batch at home for myself. LOL, I love it so much! Not only is it a great spread or dip for veggies, but it also makes THE BEST grilled cheese sandwiches.
Good grief. I’m drooling a little just looking at this picture!
I figured I’d share this recipe with you so you can enjoy making some low carb Mexican Pimento Cheese for yourself.
How to Make Southwest Pimento Cheese
[scroll to the bottom for a printable recipe]
This is what you’ll need:
- 8 ounces of cream cheese (you can substitute Neufchatel if you prefer)
- 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of mineral salt (you can always use regular salt if that’s what you have)
- 3 Tablespoons of red onion, finely grated
- 1 large or 2 medium jalapeno peppers with seeds and membranes removed, finely chopped
- 7 ounces of chopped green chiles, well drained
- 4 Tablespoons of chopped pimentos (roasted red peppers)
- 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces of medium cheddar cheese
This is how you make it:
This recipe is so easy to make! Soften the cream cheese and butter so they blend together easily. Mix them together with the Greek yogurt in a medium mixing bowl.
I let them get REALLY soft so I can mix it with a spoon. The butter is one of the most important ingredients. Not only does it add some flavor, but it also helps the pimento spread to get the consistency I like.
Next, add the garlic powder, cayenne, and salt. If your family doesn’t like things as spicy as mine, you may want to start with a little bit less cayenne. You can always add more, but it’s hard to take it away once you’ve mixed it in!
Make sure you drain the excess juice off the chiles and pimentos. You don’t want your spread to end up runny! If your family likes spicy food, you can even add some of the jalapeno’s seeds and membranes.
Funny story: the first time I ever made guacamole I didn’t realize how much heat is in jalapeno seeds and membranes! I chopped up the whole jalapeno… My husband was very sweet and ate it without complaining. But I couldn’t eat it at all!
After you’ve mixed in the veggies, it’s time to add the cheeses.
Now, this is important!
You want to use both finely grated AND coarsely grated cheese.
This finely grated sharp cheese gets mixed in first. It breaks down as you mix it in to get the cheddary goodness all through the spread.
But next, you gently mix in coarsely grated cheddar cheese. This cheese holds its shape and gives your keto southwest pimento cheese a nice texture.
Just pop the spread in the refrigerator for a few hours to let it firm up a bit and let the flavors meld together.
My favorite way to eat this low carb Mexican pimento cheese is with raw veggies! Especially bell peppers and celery.
Go ahead and make it for your next get together, and let me know how everyone loved it in the comments and with a star rating.
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Southwest Pimento Cheese | THM-S
- 8 ounce cream cheese, softened can substitute Neufchatel cheese
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened if you use salted butter, reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt can substitute iodized salt
- 3 Tablespoons red onion, finely grated
- 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 7 ounce chopped green chiles, drained
- 4 Tablespoons pimento (roasted red pepper), chopped
- 8 ounce sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
- 8 ounces medium cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
- Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and nonfat Greek yogurt. Blend in cayenne, garlic powder, and mineral salt. Stir in onion, jalapenos, green chiles and pimento until well-combined. Mix in finely shredded cheese, then gently mix in the coarsely shredded cheese.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.