No Mayo Pimiento Cheese

Have you ever known anyone that was basically a walking contradiction?


That’s pretty much where I fall around here.

I live in the mountains of southwest Virginia, where everyone knows everyone else (and their mama, and their papa, and their brother’s cousin’s girlfriend…). And me? I barely know anyone.

I didn’t go to school with anyone here, and I rarely run into people I know at the Walmart in town or when we’re out to eat at one of the 3 restaurants nearby.


I don’t say our town name right because I don’t have the local accent. If you ask me if I know where something is around here….I probably won’t know the answer.

There are no overalls in my closet, but I do have boots and flannel shirts for the winter. I haven’t been to a mall in months, and I grew up 10 minutes away from 3 different malls. This is not normal for me.


I didn’t grow up in the country. But, boy, some things about my life are totally country now.

Canning is part of our life from May – September. The shelves in the basement (my first time ever having a basement!) are full of green beans, tomato sauce, salsa, pickles, and jam from our garden.

I now own a banjo – and can kinda’ play it! Still working on that.


I’m sad to say that there are some southern dishes I never tried until the past few years. Like pimiento cheese. I’m not sure why, but I was always a little scared of it. I mean, I guess I knew it was mostly cheese (duh) but I had no idea what it would actually taste like with the spots of red from the peppers and the gloppy mayo texture.

Instead of filling this batch with loads of mayo, I lightened it up (a ton!) by using way less binder and using plain yogurt instead of the mayo. The little bit of sugar and vinegar gives you that mayo taste without all the fat.

And….this is definitely a good snack to have around for football watching.


No Mayo Pimiento Cheese

Makes: about 1 cup


  • 1 and 1/2 cups colby jack (or cheddar) cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 oz. pimientos
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Shred the cheese and place in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the yogurt, pimientos, sugar, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Mix everything together.
  3. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
  4. Spread onto bread for a sandwich, dollop it on crackers, or plop it on a burger. It’s also good on a spoon.


  1. That looks so tasty. I hope you put some in your eggs! Also, there is a cheese store here that sells a grilled pimento cheese sandwich and it’s amazing… if you guys managed to save any leftovers.

  2. This sounds awesome! I haven’t had a pimento dip at all, so I don’t know what the mayo one tastes like anyway, haha. Can’t wait to try this!

  3. Yes, love making pimento with yogurt!! I use Greek yogurt and a bit of lemon juice in mine but really like your recipe alot with the garlic and onion flavors too!

  4. I’ve seen pimiento cheese on the internets before but always wondered what it was. Now I know, I think it’s definitely something I could get behind!

  5. i feel kind like susie homemaker with all the jamming and canning i’ve been doing, too! did tomatoes this past weekend :) i’ve never tried pimento cheese either, probably for some of the same reasons, but love how you’ve lightened it up!

  6. I am seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeriously going to make this, like an hour ago.

  7. Oh my. The only pimiento cheese I’ve ever had has come in a sealed container from the grocery store deli counter. The idea of homemade cheese dip with yogurt and spices is definitely much more appealing!

  8. I adore pimento cheese and this recipe sounds so good! I can relate to your feeling like a fish out of water as you can imagine. Keep on finding those common little things to hang on to that make you feel a part of things! Soon, you’ll be a “native” too. Love you, & can’t wait to try this. I don’t know what it is with me & peppers–I used to hate them but now I can’t get enough! It’s true your tastes change as you get older!

  9. I love this post! And I don’t think I’ve ever really had pimento cheese… This looks so delicious, I might need to change that ASAP!

  10. I am a huge fan of pimento cheese, but it’s so heavy. This is a great lighter alternative, I can’t wait to try it on one of my fall Sunday cooking binges. Thank you!

  11. Hey, Brandi – I’ve lived in that same town most of my life – but I don’t have overalls or a flannel shirt in my closet! So maybe you are getting closer to being a country girl than you thought! I really enjoy the posts (and the lightened up recipes)!

  12. Oh I could eat the heck out of this. And it’s lightened up, bonus!

    I love that you have embraced your ‘newer’ life in the country…banjo & all – LOVE it! Some might be envious that you can run in & out of Walmart without running into anyone, I grew up in a small town & still hide out at my parents house when I go home.

  13. I’m far from Southern but love Pimiento cheese! This looks light years healthier and super tasty. BTW I’ve been wondering: why do people not pronounce the 2nd “i” in “Pimiento?” A southern thing?

    • You know, I’m not sure about the spelling! I’ve always spelled it this way, but don’t say the “i” – and I’ve seen it spelled both ways!

  14. Believe it or not, also fantastic on burgers!!!!! and country towns are awesome!!!

  15. Hi Brandy. I got a link from Melissa and I’m so glad I did! We love pimento cheese around here. We put it on paninis and bake it to make a warm dip when it gets chilly. Since this is a health blog, I won’t tell you about adding bacon ;) when we have it cold we add some finely chopped green onion. I really love the little extra it adds. Congratulations on the Dr. Oz show!

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  17. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! My mother absolutely LOVES pimento cheese spread; however she recently found out that she is allergic to eggs – this will be the perfect replacement!! Thank you so much!!

  18. I love your post! I am a native Mississippian who knows exactly what you are talking about. For years after I moved I would still see someone I knew at Wal-mart when I went home to visit. ;) I moved to Texas, which was similar but in a more urban area of Texas. Now I live outside of Seattle which is a whole other world for me. ;) But I love it!

    I also love pimiento and cheese and miss lots of my favorite southern foods. I am excited to try this new recipe! So glad that I found this through pinterest!

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  22. I, too, live in the mountains of swva! I totally adore pimento cheese and can’t wait to try this lightened up version!!

  23. I make my pimiento cheese with chopped pecans. Gives it a really nice texture. This Southern born-and-bred babe is skeptical about the no-mayo, but I loooove pimiento cheese and have to find a way to cut out some of the fat so I will definitely try this!

  24. Hi! I’m a transplant to south eastern Kentucky (2001). Probably just over the border from you. I felt like you were describing my life! We lived in Lee County Virginia for a year before moving here. I LOVE pimento cheese. Thanks for this light version. Will be trying this ASAP.

  25. As a Southern woman (Mountains of East TN) pimento cheese is a fridge favorite… but is hard to fit into any clean eating regiment. This really is a great replacement! I used white pepper instead of black (personal pallet preference) and only a pintch of sugar/stevia blend so its not too sweet. It is super tasty and the greek yogurt really packs the protein in without the calories. Let it marry, and the flavor is really spot on. Great recipe! !!! Thank you so much.

  26. I too lived in a small SWVA town. Pop about 2500 people and I never could say the name of the town like they did, but then we had sme WV ladies visit our school and I asked if the knew anyone from this county there and they said I must have lived there because I pronounced it right. Can’ wait to try the Pimento cheese Its ine of my favorite things.

  27. I just happened upon your website via pinterest, intrigued by a no-mayo Pimiento Cheese recipe and was so happy to discover that we probably live in the same small town in the mountains of SW VA!! How neat!! Can’t wait to start diving into your blog and trying your recipes!

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