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).

Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
about 3 1/2 dozen balls


  • 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

  • teaspoon garlic powder

  • Pinch of salt

  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper

  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped toasted pecans (see Tip)


  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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

66 Calories
6g Fat
1g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 42
Calories 66
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 3g 6%
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Vitamin A 145IU 3%
Vitamin C 1mg 1%
Folate 2mcg 0%
Sodium 84mg 4%
Calcium 83mg 6%
Iron 0mg 1%
Magnesium 5mg 1%
Potassium 19mg 0%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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