I must apologize in advance for giving you what is sure to become a new appetizer addiction, but really, I had no choice.  And in fact, you should blame Josie, because she is the one that got me started on this stuff in the first place.  The first time I tried this was during our get-togther/surprise baby shower weekend in Richmond, VA.  I remember looking at the big dish full of dip as it came out of the oven thinking there was no way that the five of us would eat all of that…and then watching as the entire thing was completely devoured.  I definitely ate my fair share, and probably someone else’s too.

Within one week of being home, I was already craving this dip again.  I mean, seriously – it’s pretty much just melted cheese, which we already know I love.  But then, it has all sorts of fabulous things mixed into it like roasted red pepper, green onions, and jalapeño.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it now.  Anyway, one week was more than enough to be not eating it.  I decided to make it so Ben experience it.  (Yeah, I totally did it for him.)  This time I did a few things in preparation.  First, I made light meals for breakfast and lunch.  Second, I made sure we had both worked out that day.  Finally, I halved the recipe because I knew we would be powerless to the cheese gods.  Good thing too, because we demolished it in no time.  Ben agrees – this stuff is amazing.  And the next morning when I asked what he wanted for breakfast, you can guess what his response was.


½ cup mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt)
6 oz. cream cheese (reduced-fat is fine)
¾ cup roasted red bell pepper, diced (or 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and diced)
2 jalapeño peppers, ribbed, seeded and minced
2-3 scallions, chopped
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
8 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded*
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded*
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well with a spatula until evenly combine.  Spread the mixture in an even layer in a 2-quart casserole dish.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and bubbling.  Remove from the oven, garnish with additional cilantro, and serve warm with tortilla chips.

  • 02

    *Be sure to take the time to grate the cheese yourself rather than buying the pre-shredded type.  Pre-shredded cheese is coated with agents such as flour or cornstarch, and results in a sub-optimal gritty texture when melted. 

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Mmm love this quick and scrumptious looking dip! It sounds delightful!

  • Mmmm looks yummy! I think I might use this on sandwich too =)

  • Justeen @ Blissful Baking

    Mmm melty cheese is the best! I love that this dip has some spice from the jalapeno. When I make this dip), it will be for a party because I know there is no way that I would be able to control myself around it! :)

  • As always, this recipe looks absolutely delicious. I cannot wait to try it the next time I need a new appetizer. Yummy!

  • This has been on my list ever since I saw Tara’s tweet about it. Looks so flipping good!

  • Llsieg

    I saw the word pimento in the title and hesitated – I think that is gross – but when I read through the recipe, it sounds delicious! I think I will make sure there are lots of people to share it with though . . .

  • Emilie @ Emilie’s Enjoyables

    Yum Annie!! I have to bring an appetizer to a party in a few weeks and I think this looks perfect!

  • Well, you know MY thoughts on this dip so I’m just going to say that I agree with everything you’ve said (including the breakfast part). Miss you!!

  • This looks awesome!! Have you tried the dip with mayo vs greek yogurt? Is there a big difference? My hubby and I aren’t huge mayo fans but I know sometimes it is what makes a dip delicious. I also served your jalapeno popper dip last night for a dinner party and it was devoured. Thanks for making me look good! ;)

  • Carol

    My latest addiction is making a grilled cheese sandwich with pimento cheese. Similar concept but makes the sandwich over the top good. I believe I would love this dip just as much!

  • annieseats

    I used to have the same reaction myself. No longer!

  • Jana

    I am salivating! That looks like something I could really get in trouble with! Can’t wait to try!

  • This sounds amazing, Annie! I love the flavor combination!

  • Leah T

    Oh. my. goodness. I am from Seattle, WA and lived in Charleston, SC for 6 months last year. Couldn’t get enough of the pimento cheese while I was there and I can’t WAIT to try this!

  • Dixie

    This is a great recipe and the gorgeous photography only adds to my desire to make it and shove all of it in my mouth immediately. But, as a southerner, I should mention that if there aren’t any pimentos in the recipe, it’s not pimento cheese dip … it’s roasted red pepper cheese dip. Pimentos have feelings too – they’re the little red guys that go in green olives and you can usually find them sold separately in any grocery store. It’s a completely different texture and flavor than red pepper. Either way, this is a great recipe and it’s going straight into my snack file.

  • jabmorris

    We love chips and dip especially when it contains cheese. I will be making this real soon.

  • Yum! Looks and sounds delish!!!

  • Oh heavens. I think I’m pretty much powerless against this recipe. Looks like I’ll be going to the store tomorrow to buy ingredients.

    Did you roast your own peppers or use the jarred ones?

  • Oooh, I was expecting velveeta, but this looks soooo much better! Thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely give it a try when I’m not on a diet!

  • annieseats

    I roasted my own.

  • TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    I saw jarred pimentos the other night and was intrigued but passed them by. I won’t make that mistake again.

  • Sara{wherethecookiesare}

    Yes – I can imagine this is amazing. there is NOTHING in there I wouldn’t devour – as long as I used the Greek yogurt instead of the mayo!

  • Yum! This looks killer. I finally started my own food/baking blog over the week end and am so excited! I am looking forward to learning photography! :)

  • Tish

    Made this last night, Sooo good!:). I was planning to make the Jalapeno popper dip for a party but this will definitely take it’s place!

  • Mary

    Hi Annie,
    Thanks for the note about grating the cheese yourself. I knew that the shredded kind was coated with something, but never thought that might be why I get a grainy texture sometimes when I take a shortcut! It makes so much sense. Thank you!

  • dalee041790

    agree RE: the pimentos – which are actually small, red, roasted sweet peppers

  • WOW! I think this is amazing and would rock the table at a March Madness game day party.

  • Mgredmond

    Thank you for an another outstanding recipe. I consider your recipes on par with Cook’s Illusrated. I know your recipes are tested & twicked. Like CI, I can serve your recipes without a “recipe pre-test” batch. Thank you!

  • Kristin

    I made this dip on Saturday night and it was devoured!! So many great compliments! I thought it was going to be really spicy but it had a perfect amount of heat that it was enjoyed by everyone! You are always my go-to site for everything!!! Thank you for all your time so make this wonderful site!

  • guest

    I tried this dip over the weekend and was not impressed. Not sure why, but I had a layer of grease on the top of it that was not appetizing at all. Any suggestiosn to get rid of the grease? I would be willing to try it again….

  • annieseats

    It’s melted cheese, so it’s bound to be a little greasy. It was barely noticeable for me, however. Maybe try a different brand of cheese.

  • mama2sixbelow10

    I agree Dixie!! Pimento is cherry peppers (ones I’ve seen are almost as big as bell peppers but more heart shaped), and roasting doesn’t make a difference. This is NOT to be confused with red bell pepper. Cherry peppers are sweeter than bell peppers. Best way to stay true to the Pimento aspect of this recipe is to buy the small glass jar of Pimento found in most all grocery stores (maybe 4oz little jar? usually with a yellow lid…). Saves a good bit of prep work this way, too!

  • annieseats

    I think that’s why it’s called “tex-mex” – uses roasted red pepper rather than actual pimiento. Anyway, I’ve never been one to subscribe to the idea that there is only one right way to do things :)

  • Erin

    I made this tonight and it was a huge hit. This will definitely become a regular for all types of gatherings. Thanks for sharing!

  • Barbara

    This is really good. I made it Saturday night. It now goes in my”keeper” file. It mixed up quickly and roasting the red pepper didn’t add extra work at all. In reading the posts below about extra grease on top – I would say use a good quality cheese and grate yourself as you said. You can blot the top gently with a paper towel if you find the grease too much. I have men at my house (husband and sons) and they thought it was great.

  • Yeah, I think this one could be dangerous. I love pimento cheese. Brilliant idea to make a warm version!

  • Siobhan

    I made this on the other night as a treat for my family–told my golf crazed husband that it was in honor of the Masters tournament. The family LOVED it, the bowl was licked clean. Thanks for making me look good! :)

  • Madonna

    Not only was this fabulous; I couldn’t stop myself from munching on the unbaked leftovers. Will probably make a cold version of this for Mexican nights. Thanks again for another awesome recipe!

  • Jake

    I made this for my Cinco de Mayo party this weekend. I was a fan, and really liked it cold. I will leave the cilantro out next time…wasn’t a fan in this particular dish..

  • Beth

    I know you generally mark when you’ve had success freezing a recipe, but I am wondering if you can guess how this one might freeze. I have almost all of the ingredients in my fridge and some of them need to be used, but can’t rationalize this as a good “weeknight dinner” – any thoughts? Thanks!

    (My macaroni and cheese freezes well precooked, so I’m hoping it’s like that.)

  • annieseats

    I’m guessing it would be fine but I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if it works out for you. Enjoy!

  • 3smittygirl3

    Made this the other night and had some with tortilla chips… It was very good! But now I’m having the leftovers for lunch over some pasta… It’s amazing! You should try it – if you ever have leftovers! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • Lisa

    I made this today and it was excellent!! I love a good Queso dip and have been looking foor one to match my fave mexican restaurant and this is the best I’ve had so far!! thanks!

  • Maree Plane

    Hi Melanie

    I like the sound of this recipe, but what is pimento cheese? what sort of cheese is it?

    I’m an Aussie and have never heard of this cheese, is it like any other cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan????????????

    Maree Plane

  • annieseats

    The recipe for the pimento cheese is included here. You make it by mixing the ingredients as listed and described in the instructions. Hope that helps!

  • Melissa B

    This is in the oven right now! My husband and i decided on appetizer for dinner tonight ;) looks soo good! I have never tried pimento cheese and now that i know what it is, i’m kicking myself for not figuring it out sooner!

  • Beth

    Done! It’s fine to freeze, but definitely best fresh. The taste and texture were fine, but it wasn’t as pretty. (Four women sharing a movie night had no complaints and cleaned the pan completely.)

  • Theresa

    I made this for a Final Four game and loved it. I’m making it again for today but halving the recipe. I used the greek yoghurt and reduced-fat cream cheese, and it was great. Not greasy, though a couple of stirs every now and then helped. I did add a few dashes of hot sauce since I like my cheese dip with a little heat.

  • Michelle

    Oh my word….amazing. I finally got around to making this for a halloween party and it was devoured shortly after I arrived. I used a jar of the pimento’s since I didn’t have time to roast a pepper and it was truly delicious and I will be adding this to my thanksgiving appetizer list. Thanks!!

  • I’ve been saving this recipe for awhile and finally made it for our superbowl party yesterday. IT WAS AWESOME!

  • Ann Grismore

    This! Oh my gosh, this recipe is beyond amazing! I made this today for the first time as a trial run for Super Bowl Sunday and we could not stop eating it. SO! GOOD! Even my spice-averse husband and niece raved about this and we finished the entire dish over the course of the afternoon. My only change was to use 6 ounce of the new greek yogurt/cream cheese blend I had recently picked up along with the mayonnaise. Fantastic! I served with Tostitos-brand Cantina chips and margaritas for the adults. Another home run, Annie! Thank you! :)