These sharp and spicy sausage balls without Bisquick are made totally from scratch and will disappear off of your party trays during the holidays!
What Are Sausage Balls?
Sausage balls are a ubiquitously popular appetizer - especially in the South - and are often seen gracing the appetizer trays during the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The most often used recipe starts with Bisquick baking mix, cheddar cheese, and ground sausage. The ingredients are mixed together, formed into balls, and baked.
The result is a batch of spicy and addicting poppable savory treats that you just can't stop eating. My version of sausage balls is made without Bisquick but they are still just as simple and easy as the 3-ingredient original. Give them a try - I know you'll love them!
What Ingredients Do I Need?
- All-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and butter: These ingredients make up the substitution for Bisquick, which is a commonly used baking mix to make sausage balls easier. But I like this version from scratch because it removes the need to buy a special product.
- Pepper and Onion Powder: These spices add extra zip to the cheese and sausage mixture.
- Sage Sausage: I love the flavor and aroma of sage sausage - it just makes me think of the holidays! This tasty sausage also makes amazing sausage balls. If you don't have sage sausage, add 1 tablespoon of rubbed sage to the recipe.
- Sharp Cheddar: Buy a solid block of sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese and grate your own. The pre-shredded cheese in the bag will not stick together as well as freshly-shredded due to the cellulose coating added to the bagged product. Sharp varieties of cheddar are best for imparting bold flavor into your sausage balls. You could even use half sharp cheddar and half pepper jack - yum!
- Milk: You only need ¼ cup of milk (use any kind) to help moisten the mixture and help everything come together nicely.
Tips For Success
- Don't Use Pre-Shredded Cheese: The shredded cheese you buy in the bag is mighty convenient, but it will not work well for making sausage balls. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating that keeps the cheese from sticking together in the bag, but that coating will also make it difficult for your sausage ball mixture to hold together.
- If You Only Have Regular Sausage: I like to use sage sausage because I love the extra flavor and the smell and taste of sage makes me think of the holidays. If you can only find regular, add 1 tablespoon of rubbed sage to the recipe.
- Don't Overbake: True for basically any recipe ever, but especially important for sausage balls. Leaving the balls in the oven for too long can cause them to be dry and hard. They should look moist and lightly golden on top and brown on the bottom (But not too dark). During the cook time, I sacrifice one by slicing into it to check doneness.
- Use Your Hands: If you've ever made a meatloaf, you've likely discovered that getting in there with your (clean) hands is the best way to get everything mixed together. These sausage balls are no different. Mixing them with your hands will make quick work of forming the balls.
Do You Have To Cook Them Right Away?
Need to make these the night before? No problem. Form the mixture into balls and place the unbaked sausage balls onto the baking sheet tightly wrapped with plastic. They'll keep in the refrigerator for up to a day. Just unwrap and pop them into the oven when you're ready to serve your fresh, hot appetizers.
Can You Freeze Sausage Balls?
Yes, you can!
To Freeze: Place the unbaked sausage balls onto a baking sheet and place into the freezer for one hour. This will flash freeze them so that they do not stick together. After the hour is up, place the balls into a freezer safe zip top bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To Bake Frozen Sausage Balls: Take them out of the freezer and let them sit on the counter while your oven preheats (use recipe directions). Then place the balls onto a lightly-sprayed baking sheet and bake as usual.Print
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