Recipe Image

Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls

  • 30 m
  • 1 h
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“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).”

Ingredients

    • 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened (generous ¼ 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
    • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
    • 1½ cups finely chopped toasted pecans (see Tip)

Directions

  • 1 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.
  • 2 Place pecans in a medium bowl. Roll the cheese mixture into 1-inch balls and coat each ball evenly with pecans.
  • 3 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.
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