These savory cheesy sausage balls are made with 6 simple ingredients (including spices), and come together quickly. They’re the perfect party appetizer that can be made ahead of time and even frozen!
This is one of my Appetizer recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
The holidays may be over, but now we’re coming up on a football fan’s favorite time of year… the playoffs, and the Big Game!
Having easy appetizer ideas on hand is super handy; especially if you host parties, or get invited to plenty of gatherings.
We also love making multiple appetizers and a vegetable or salad, and having a fun appetizer dinner!
If you’ve never heard of sausage balls, it might be a regional thing. They’re pretty popular in the South and parts of the Midwest.
There are two main reasons for the popularity; the taste (so savory!), and the simplicity! This recipe for sausage balls has just 6 ingredients, two of which are seasonings.
How to make sausage balls?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Mix. You can mix the sausage balls up with a mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer), or with your hands. I usually use my hands, but wear disposable gloves to keep the mess down a bit.
- Scoop. You’re looking for roughly 1 Tbsp sized balls.
- Bake. Make sure you leave a little space in between each sausage ball on the baking sheet, so the hot air can circulate in the oven and cook them evenly.
Using a “cookie” scoop is the best way to make uniform looking meatballs. I like to use this scoop, since it holds 1 Tbsp. Once you scoop them, just a quick roll in between your palms should give you a great looking meatball. If you find the meat is sticking to your hands, wet them or spray them lightly with cooking spray before handling the meat.
Variations of this recipe
- Sausage – for a different spin, try using Italian, hot, sage, or even maple flavored pork sausage!
- Cream cheese – this recipe has only been tested with a brick of full-fat cream cheese. Please use any other kind at your own discretion, as it’s untested.
- Cheeses – we love using a sharp cheddar for this recipe, but please feel free to use other ages of cheddar, using Colby, Pepper-Jack, Monterey Jack, etc.
- Seasonings – you can jazz up the flavor by using additional spices such as seasoning salt, ranch seasoning, cajun seasoning, and more!
- Baking mix – if you prefer a more dense and thick sausage ball with more of a doughy center, please feel free to add an extra 1/4 cup of bisquick.
Usually this is because there’s too much baking mix and not enough sausage. The fat content in the sausage should ensure that the balls stay plenty moist, if the ratio is right. This recipe also uses cream cheese, so they didn’t end up dry during any of my testing.
Absolutely! I love adding the baked sausage balls to a crockpot and keeping them on warm. Depending on your crockpot, you can also keep them on low (all slow cookers cook a little differently, so test this out on your own).
Making sausage balls ahead of time
One of the best things about this recipe, is that sausage balls can be mixed up and rolled into balls ahead of time!
Once they’re scooped and rolled into balls, just add them to a baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 1-2 days.
Alternately, you can add the unbaked balls to an airtight container, although I recommend a piece of wax or parchment paper in between, so they don’t stick together.
You can freeze unbaked sausage balls for up to 4-6 months.
Add the unbaked balls to a wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet, then place in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until frozen solid.
Transfer frozen balls to an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for 4-6 months.
Thaw at room temperature for about 20 minutes before baking, possibly adding an additional minute or two of baking time.
Leftover sausage balls should be refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoyed within 4-5 days.
Cookie scoops are the most versatile kitchen tool… you can use them for cookies, meatballs, ice cream, and more! This scoop is the exact size you’ll need for these meatballs!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 lb. bulk pork sausage
- 8 oz block cream cheese softened
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/4 cups Bisquick baking mix
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
- To a large mixing bowl, add sausage, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, and Bisquick baking mix.
- Mix together until well combined. I like to use my hands for this, but a stand mixer is my second favorite method (I find using the dough hook works best).
Scoop and roll
- Use a small cookie scoop (I use the 1 Tbsp size) to scoop out evenly sized portions, then use your hands to roll into round balls. Add sausage balls to prepared baking sheet, repeating until there's no sausage mixture left.
- If you don't have a cookie scoop, you can use a Tbsp measuring spoon. This just helps ensure all the sausage balls are even in size, and they'll all have the same cooking time.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F.
- Serve warm, with desired dipping sauce. Honey mustard, spicy ranch, bbq sauce, etc.
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- Recipe makes approximately 32 sausage balls.
- This recipe has only been tested using Bisquick Original Pancake and Baking Mix. Not to say that others won’t work, just that I haven’t tested them myself 🙂
Dip options for sausage balls:
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.