Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls
These bite-size pimiento cheese balls from Jamie and Bobby Deen are a huge hit with kids (of all ages). They’re the perfect appetizer to bring to a summer picnic. Jamie and Bobby share a passion for great home-cooked food with a Southern flair with their celebrity-chef mom, Paula Deen. These brothers are following in their mom’s footsteps with their own TV shows, books and website. Our favorite part of what they’re up to: healthy makeovers of some of Paula’s recipes! Recipe adapted from The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up, by Jamie & Bobby Deen and Melissa Clark (Ballantine Books, 2011).
From EatingWell: May/June 2011
Yield: About 3 1/2 dozen balls
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened (generous 1/4 cup)
- 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
- 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons drained chopped pimientos
- 1 teaspoon grated onion
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped toasted pecans (see Tip)
- Process cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add Cheddar, Monterey Jack, mayonnaise, pimientos, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
- Place pecans in a medium bowl. Roll the cheese mixture into 1-inch balls and coat each ball evenly with pecans.
- Serve the cheese balls at room temperature or chilled.
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1 up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate the finished balls for up to 3 days.
- Tip: To toast whole nuts, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.
Nutrition Per cheese ball:
64 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 11 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 0 g fiber; 81 mg sodium; 19 mg potassium.
0 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 fat