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Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, Exclusive: Baked Pimiento Hush Puppies

By Paula Deen

What do you get when you combine sweet cornmeal, spicy cayenne, and rich Cheddar cheese with tangy pimientos? Why, you get the formula for the perfect hush puppy. And because I bake these up in mini muffin pans instead of frying them in the deep fryer, they are so much healthier and just about mess free. I serve hush puppies with almost anything, from eggs to fish to barbecue. Or you can just enjoy them on their own—maybe even slathered with a little more pimiento cheese on top.


  • 2/3 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 jar (4 ounces) sliced pimientos, drained and chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 °F. Lightly grease a 12 cup and a 6 cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne (if using). In another medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Add the buttermilk mixture to the cornmeal mixture and fold to combine. Fold in the onion, Cheddar, and pimient0
  3. Drop the batter by the tablespoonful evenly into the muffin cups. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the hush puppies are firm to the touch and the edges are golden brown. Serve the hush puppies warm.
  4. Drop rounded ½ teaspoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the wafer edges are golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The wafers will keep crisp in an airtight container for about 2 weeks


Makes 18 Hush Puppies


More about Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Recipes All Lightened Up

Paula Deen has lost over 40 pounds and has maintained her weight loss for over two years by swapping out ingredients to reduce fat and calories. Paula’s key to weight loss is moderation and accountability, and one day a week she still enjoys good old southern cooking with biscuits and all. One does not have to give up taste when reducing calories, and these recipes are a testament to that. Paula shares 250 of her favorite recipes lightened up. This brand-new, New York Times best selling cookbook presents lightened up versions of fifty of her classic southern recipes and presents new recipes that cut the calories but not the delicious taste.

The New-York Times Best-Selling cookbook, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, is now available now at Amazon, Costco, Barnes & Noble, Target, and your local bookstores!

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.