Lightened-Up Southern Pimento Cheese

/, Food, Lunch, Side Dishes, Snacks & Appetizers/Lightened-Up Southern Pimento Cheese

Lightened-Up Southern Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese is one of my favorite treats!  I make my version a light pimento cheese using greek yogurt instead of mayo.

Light Pimento Cheese recipe / Running in a Skirt

Hi everyone,

I’ve had a long standing love affair with Pimento Cheese.  My very southern grandmother Bea would keep the creamy spread in her fridge and make grilled cheese sandwiches with it.  After grilling she’d pull open the slices to reveal the creamy melted cheese and put huge slice of Tennessee tomato in the middle.  When I stopped eating meat in High School, she decided this was the perfect meal for me and she made it often.  You can imagine my cheese loving heart had no complaints about that!

Yes, it takes just as good as it sounds.

My Bea kept a pre-packaged version of Pimento Cheese but as I got older I figured out how easy it was to make my own!  A bit later as I was starting to learn to eat healthier I started to swap out the traditional recipes mayonnaise with greek yogurt.  The result is my tried and true Light Pimento Cheese recipe.  I’ve been making this recipe for years.

Light Pimento Cheese recipe / Running in a Skirt

For those of you not from the south or unfamiliar with this delicacy, it’s basically shredded sharp cheddar cheese with added pimento peppers from the jar.   It’s traditionally made creamy by none other than Duke’s mayonnaise… but as I mentioned I wanted to make my version a big better for you.


Light Pimento Cheese recipe / Running in a Skirt

After some experimentation I’ve figured the best ratio is half plain greek yogurt and half olive oil based mayo.  The proportions keep the traditional full flavor while still adds the nutrition of the greek yogurt.  Honestly you’d probably never realize a swap was made.

You can also sub out all the mayo for greek yogurt but expect the taste to be slightly different.  Either way is still good!

Light Pimento Cheese recipe / Running in a Skirt

Serve my light Pimento Cheese at a party with vegetables and crackers like shown or use it to make a sandwich.  It’s also a brilliant topping on a homemade veggie burger.


Light Pimento Cheese recipe / Running in a Skirt

Or you can keep is super southern and copy my grandmother’s grilled cheese and tomato idea.  It’s downright delicious!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Light Pimento Cheese recipe / Running in a Skirt

Light Pimento Cheese Recipe

This homemade light pimento cheese recipe uses a healthy swap but still tastes delicious.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -8
Calories 149 kcal


  • 2 cups shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain 0% greek yogurt *
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil based mayonnaise *
  • 4 ounce jar chopped pimentos, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.


*You can also sub out all of the mayo for greek yogurt but the taste will be slightly different.


Calories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 16gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 533mgPotassium: 82mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 870IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 251mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Light Pimento Cheese
Tried this recipe?Mention @Julie_Wunder or tag #RunninginaSkirt!

 Like this Light Pimento Cheese recipe?  Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board!

Light Pimento Cheese recipe / Running in a Skirt


This 2013 recipe got a makeover in September 2017!  This is what it used to look like.

Skinny Homemade Pimento Cheese pin


Thanks for stopping by today! Tomorrow I’m sharing the first part of my series on my trip to Alaska. 

Your turn!

Do you know about the wonders of pimento cheese?


I’m linking up my Light Pimento Cheese recipe with: Meatless Monday, Meatless Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, and the Weekend Potluck. Thanks so much ladies for the link up parties!

By | 2020-06-23T14:40:00-04:00 September 14th, 2017|All Vegetarian, Food, Lunch, Side Dishes, Snacks & Appetizers|35 Comments


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  3. […] Lightened Up Pimento Cheese from Running in a Skirt is a great recipe for those of you who are trying not to completely go overboard on game day. I know. Itโ€™s hard. […]

  4. […] the shock of the change wore off, my Grandmother Bea decided that egg salad and pimento cheese would be the perfect things for me to eat.ย  So when I visited her she made a big batch of each so […]

  5. Miz Helen September 16, 2017 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    We are a Pimento Cheese family and always have a homemade Pimento Cheese Spread in the refrigerator. Your recipe looks awesome and I will sure give it a try for a lighter spread. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday,we are so happy to have you join us. Have a wonderful week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  6. Marina @ Happy Healing September 14, 2017 at 11:13 am - Reply

    AH this looks sooo yummy! Thanks for sharing – definitely need to try this!

  7. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups September 14, 2017 at 8:04 am - Reply

    I haven’t had pimiento cheese in ages. This looks perfect to make for my next book club though. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real September 14, 2017 at 8:02 am - Reply

    I love having grilled cheese and this would definitely make it a little healthier! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Lean Lena February 9, 2015 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    That looks super yummy! I have never had pimento cheese ever in my life ๐Ÿ™‚ I will have to try this!
    Thanks so much for linking up with Tasty Tuesday ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Tina Muir February 9, 2015 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Looks like we were both thinking about comfort foods today. This sounds delicious Julie! Yum! You should be proud of where you come from, and good for you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for joining us, I always love seeing your smiling face online ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Farrah February 6, 2015 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried pimento cheese! :O I’m not generally a fan of mayo, but this looks like it’d be awesome as a dip for vegetable chips! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • JulieWunder February 7, 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

      Yes! It’s not very mayo-y at all. It is one of my favorites.

  12. Cassandra @PoweredByBling February 6, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I have always loved pimento cheese, but never made it myself. I’m going to try this recipe for some pre-made snacks next week.

    • JulieWunder February 7, 2015 at 9:28 am - Reply

      This one is soooo good! Way better than those containers in the deli isle.

  13. Heather @Fit n Cookies February 4, 2015 at 7:28 am - Reply

    Mmm! I only ever had this for the first time last year. I missed out for so many years! I love this is lightened up, but I have never seen pimentos in the store. I”ll have to look for them.

  14. Jessie February 4, 2015 at 1:25 am - Reply

    I’ve actually never tried Southern Pimento Cheese before. Kind of shocking considering a good portion of my family lives in the South.

  15. Emilie February 3, 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    I have never had pimento cheese! It looks really good so I’m saving this to make for my boyfriend & sister’s combined birthday party next month! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Elaine Orr February 3, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Sounds sooo good and the mater makes it better I bet. I look forward to your post everyday and am excited about this one. Glad you are well and happy. Lived near you at the Forest when you were just getting started and girl look at you now. You go girl

  17. Jessica February 3, 2015 at 10:42 am - Reply

    YUM! I def try this at my next party!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Jaime February 3, 2015 at 10:31 am - Reply

    I had to smile at your reference to skinny and southern. ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to try this recipe!

  19. Chaitali February 3, 2015 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Yum, this sounds great! I love pimento cheese but never made it at home because I assumed it had to be pretty unhealthy. Nice to know that’s not true.

  20. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie February 3, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    I have been waiting for this recipe!! : ) I cannot wait to try it. I love some good pimento cheese!

  21. I’ve never had anything like this! Looks intriguing

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2015 at 8:41 am - Reply

      Hahaaa!!!! I forget just how southern pimento cheese is. Pimentos are basically peppers. They are found with the jarred stuff like roasted red peppers. In my store it is near the canned vegetables.
      They are already chopped and add a lot of flavor.
      Unless you HATE mayo, I think you will like it… especially since I made this one with only half mayo.

  22. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes February 3, 2015 at 7:35 am - Reply

    I’m not sure I even know what a pimento is?!

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2015 at 8:43 am - Reply

      They are basically peppers in a jar. They had a lot of flavor to the cheese mix. They are near the jarred stuff like roasted red peppers. In my store it is near the canned vegetables. Southern grocery stores sell a premixed version of this in the deli, but the homemade is in a different class.
      As I told Deborah, unless you hate mayo…. you will like this ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Paula February 3, 2015 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Cant wait to try this one of my favorite sandwiches!!
    Thanks fir sharing your recipes & adventures!
    Still miss you on the news & weather on WLOS
    but so glad you are still here im WNC!
    Blessings to you

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2015 at 8:44 am - Reply

      Thanks Paula! I am so glad I am here too ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it here. God bless!

  24. Susie @ SuzLyfe February 3, 2015 at 6:47 am - Reply

    AND I love you. When we were in Charleston we went to Husk’s bar and got their pimento cheese crostinis. DIE.

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2015 at 8:45 am - Reply

      I knew my former Atlanta girl would be all about this!!! Husk is amazing!

  25. Blane Sherer February 3, 2015 at 5:11 am - Reply

    I have always enjoyed my mom’s homemade pimento cheese.I have never particularly liked any store bought brand or any restaurant version of pimento cheese. Your’s seems like it would be worth a try.

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