How many calories are in a 1 4 cup of pimento cheese?

Quick Answer

A 1/4 cup serving of pimento cheese contains around 220 calories. The exact calorie count can vary depending on the specific ingredients and recipe used to make the pimento cheese. But in general, a 1/4 cup serving contains a significant amount of calories.

Calorie Count Factors

The calorie content of pimento cheese depends on the amounts and types of ingredients used:

  • Cheese: Pimento cheese is made with cheddar, Colby, or a blend of cheeses. Cheese is high in fat and calories. Using a fuller-fat cheese will result in more calories.
  • Mayonnaise: Traditional pimento cheese recipes call for mayonnaise, which contains oils and eggs. Mayonnaise is very high in calories and fat.
  • Pimentos: Chopped pimentos add flavor and vitamins but contribute relatively few calories.
  • Seasonings: Ingredients like salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, etc. add lots of flavor without substantially increasing calorie counts.
  • Fillers: Some pimento cheese recipes add breadcrumbs, crushed crackers or nuts to thicken the texture. These can add calories, protein, carbs and fiber.

The specific amounts of each ingredient in a recipe impact the nutrition profile. More cheese and mayonnaise result in higher calorie and fat contents.

Calorie Count of Common Ingredients

Here is the calorie count for 1/4 cup of the main ingredients found in pimento cheese:

  • Cheddar cheese: 110 calories
  • Mayonnaise: 200 calories
  • Pimentos: 10 calories

So just 1/4 cup each of cheddar cheese and mayonnaise would contain 310 calories total. Add in some pimentos and seasonings and a 1/4 cup serving ends up in the 220-calorie range.

Calorie Density

Pimento cheese is very calorie dense. This means it contains a high concentration of calories per gram.

Cheese and mayonnaise, the main ingredients, are both very energy dense foods. They pack lots of fat and calories into small serving sizes.

Just a two-tablespoon (1/4 cup) serving of pimento cheese provides nearly 10% of the daily recommended calorie intake for an average adult.

Full Nutrition Facts

Here are the full nutrition facts for a 1/4 cup serving of homemade pimento cheese made with cheddar, mayo and pimentos:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 220
Fat 20g
Saturated fat 5g
Trans fat 1g
Cholesterol 45mg
Sodium 360mg
Carbohydrates 2g
Fiber 0g
Sugar 2g
Protein 9g

As you can see, nearly all the calories come from fat, with minimal carbs, fiber and sugar. There are also significant amounts of cholesterol and sodium.

Calories in Different Serving Sizes

The calorie count will go up or down depending on how much pimento cheese you eat:

Serving Size Calories
1 tablespoon 55 calories
1/4 cup 220 calories
1/2 cup 440 calories
3/4 cup 660 calories
1 cup 880 calories

To keep calories under control, stick with smaller 1-2 tablespoon servings. Measure out a 1/4 cup portion to stay under 250 calories per serving.

High Calorie Sandwiches

Pimento cheese is often used in sandwiches, either as a spread or in dips. This can significantly increase the calories, carbs, fat and sodium when paired with bread or crackers.

For example, a basic sandwich with 2 slices of white bread and 2 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of pimento cheese comes to around 400 calories.

Here are calories for common high-calorie pimento cheese sandwiches:

  • Pimento cheese on white bread: 400 calories
  • Pimento cheese on toasted wheat bread: 380 calories
  • Pimento cheese on a bagel: 350 calories
  • Pimento cheese with crackers: 320 calories for 6 crackers

Opt for whole grain breads and limit yourself to 1-2 tablespoons of spread to keep sandwich calories under control.

Low Calorie Serving Tips

Pimento cheese is very high in calories and fat. But you can still enjoy it in moderation on a weight loss diet by following these low-calorie serving tips:

  • Measure 1-2 tablespoon portions
  • Use low-fat mayo or Greek yogurt
  • Combine with veggies like tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers
  • Spread on whole grain crackers or celery
  • Layer into a vegetable salad
  • Top a baked potato

Making your own with part-skim cheeses and lighter mayo or yogurt is an easy way to lighten up the calorie count.

High Protein and Low Fat

In addition to being high in calories and fat, traditional pimento cheese recipes also tend to be low in protein.

By substituting Greek yogurt for some or all of the mayo, you can pump up the protein and lower the fat content.

For example, a 2 tablespoon serving of regular pimento cheese would have around 4g protein and 16g fat.

By using non-fat Greek yogurt, you could double the protein to 8g and cut the fat nearly in half to 10g. This saves around 100 calories too.

Weight Loss Diet Recommendations

Pimento cheese is very high in calories and fat, so portion control is key if you’re trying to lose weight. Here are some recommendations:

  • Limit to 1-2 tablespoon servings
  • Enjoy as an occasional treat, not daily
  • Avoid pairing with high carb crackers and breads
  • Load up sandwiches and pitas with extra veggies
  • Use reduced-fat versions of cheese and mayo
  • Substitute Greek yogurt for some or all mayo

Focus on other low-calorie proteins, produce, whole grains, and healthy fats for regular meals and snacks. Work in small infrequent amounts of pimento cheese instead of making it a diet staple.

Health Risks

Regularly consuming pimento cheese made with full-fat dairy and mayonnaise may increase risk for:

  • Obesity: Due to high calorie density promoting overeating and weight gain over time.
  • Heart disease: Related to excessive intake of saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • High cholesterol: From high saturated fat intake.
  • High blood pressure: Linked to excess sodium consumption.
  • Constipation: From low fiber content.

Be mindful of limiting portion sizes and frequency to minimize negative health impacts.


Pimento cheese is a high-calorie food, with a 1/4 cup serving containing around 220 calories. Exact counts can vary based on specific ingredients used. But in general, the high amounts of cheese and mayonnaise make pimento cheese very energy dense. Be mindful of portion sizes, use reduced-fat ingredients when possible, and enjoy pimento cheese in moderation along with an overall balanced diet. Limiting salty high-carb sandwich fixings and substituting Greek yogurt for some mayo can also help decrease calories.

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