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Sausage Balls

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Sausage Balls are savory, cheesy, and dippable, perfect as an appetizer or as part of a game-day spread! Make them with store-bought or homemade Bisquick mix.

Several sausage balls arranged on a white plate next to a bowl of ranch

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – I am not into football – at all. But what I am into is snacks and I can whip up a pretty darn good game day spread!

From ham and cheese sliders and buffalo chicken dip to baked potato dip and sausage cheeseballs, our game day grub is always delicious.

If you’ve never had sausage cheese balls, you’re in for a treat.

Plus, they couldn’t be easier to make. All it takes is a few simple ingredients and a stint in the oven, and you’ve got the perfect nibble for game day, brunch, or your next holiday gathering.

Ingredients for sausage balls arranged on a marble countertop

HOW DO YOU MAKE SAUSAGE BALLS?

First, bring the pork sausage out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature while you preheat the oven and prepare the pan. This will make it so much easier to mix with the other ingredients.

Prepare the pan by lining a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then placing a wire rack on top, such as one you’d use for cooling cookies. Spray with nonstick spray.

Ingredients for sausage balls in a ceramic mixing bowl

The wire rack will allow excess grease to drip into the pan below. This is also the method I use for baking bacon in the oven.

For this sausage balls recipe you’ll need baking mix. My Homemade Bisquick Mix is perfect in this recipe!

Shred the sharp cheddar cheese using the medium holes of a grater. I prefer to shred the cheese myself for the best flavor and texture, but you can always use bagged shredded cheese.

Mix for sausage balls in a mixing bowl with a cookie scoop, about to be shaped

Mix together the sausage, baking mix, jalapeños, garlic powder, shredded cheese, and pecans. You want everything evenly mixed, similarly to if you were making meatloaf or burgers.

If you like, you can use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment to combine ingredients. Be careful to not turn it on too high; low speed works perfectly.

Shaped sausage balls on a wire rack set on top of a foil-lined sheet pan

Once everything is mixed, use a medium cookie scoop or a tablespoon to scoop the mixture. Roll it in your hands to form a ball, then place each sausage ball onto the prepared baking sheet.

The sausage balls bake for 18-22 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they are nicely browned and have a crisp outer layer.

You can also use an instant read kitchen thermometer to check for doneness. Sausage balls will be fully cooked at 160°F.

Baked sausage balls on a wire rack over a foil-lined pan

RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS

I like to change up my sausage balls a little bit every time I make them.

Depending on my mood and the guests I am serving, I might grab the hot pork sausage instead of mild. You can also try making sausage cheese balls with chicken sausage.

White bowl filled with sausage cheese balls. A bowl of ranch dip is in the background

I love the jalapeños for a slight kick, but try your favorite pepper! Serrano pepper will kick things up even more.

Swap in your favorite cheese for the cheddar, such as monterey jack, pepper jack, or even a smoked gouda.

Want even more heat? Add a pinch of ground cayenne pepper or hot paprika or even a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

Hand dipping a sausage ball in ranch dressing

HOW TO SERVE SAUSAGE BALLS

I like to serve bisquick sausage balls with a bowl of homemade ranch dip. Whether it’s a dinner appetizer or part of a party spread along with spinach artichoke bites and cheese straws, everyone loves them.

They’re best when they’re fresh out of the oven, but they are still delicious at room temperature.

Overhead view of several sausage balls arranged on a white plate next to a bowl of ranch dip

In fact, they’re good straight out of the fridge! 

If you have leftovers, simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy whenever the craving hits.

Give these sausage balls a try and see for yourself how delicious they are!

Overhead view of sausage balls piled high in a shallow white bowl
Several sausage balls arranged on a white plate next to a bowl of ranch

Sausage Balls

Yield: 38 sausage balls
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes

Sausage Balls are savory, cheesy, and dippable, perfect as an appetizer or as part of a game-day spread! Make them with store-bought or homemade Bisquick mix.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) ground pork sausage
  • 2 cups baking mix or Homemade Bisquick Mix
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeños, optional
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or pecan chips

Instructions

  1. Allow the ground sausage to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire baking rack onto the lined pan. Spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray. This step will allow the grease to drip off onto the pan below.
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Use clean hands to evenly combine the mixture. Do not worry about there being too much baking mix; it will incorporate as you mix everything together. You can speed up this process by using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. 
  4. Use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons) to portion the mixture. Roll each portion into a ball and place onto the prepared baking rack. 
  5. Bake the sausage balls for 18-22 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce, such as homemade ranch dip.

Notes

    For a mild version, use mild pork sausage. For a spicier version, use medium or hot pork sausage.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 38 Serving Size 1 sausage ball
Amount Per Serving Calories 43Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 1mgSodium 95mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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DIANA J CRISCUOLO

Tuesday 7th of December 2021

Can they be assembled ahead of time and frozen and then baked when needed?

Jamie

Wednesday 15th of December 2021

Hi Diana- I haven't tried that, but I think they'd be totally fine. -Jamie

Jean Seixas Milner

Sunday 25th of March 2018

These sound delicious. I can't wait to try them...

Jamie

Thursday 29th of March 2018

I hope you enjoy them! :)

Katherine

Tuesday 2nd of May 2017

My family made these a lot growing up and they are delicious. Never tried them with the pecans though! :)

Jamie

Tuesday 2nd of May 2017

Hi, Katherine! I agree, they're delicious. And the pecans are good!

loretta

Saturday 15th of April 2017

Could you tell me what baking mix is, please. Thank you

Jamie

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

Loretta- Bisquick is a common baking mix. You can also make your own using the link in the post. I hope this helps. -Jamie

Linda

Friday 14th of April 2017

Mmmmm.....these sound delicious I've never heard of or seen the dried jalapeƱo flakes! How have I lived!!!!!

Jamie

Friday 14th of April 2017

They're amazing, Linda! Thanks for your kind words!

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