Sausage Balls made from pork sausage, cheese, and biscuit mix are savory, cheesy, and ready in under 30 minutes! The perfect party appetizer!
Appetizers are almost as important to the holidays as the main dish. You’ll love serving this recipe to your party guests along with Ultimate Spinach Artichoke Dip, Buffalo Chicken Dip, and Bacon Brown Sugar Smokies!
Sausage balls are the PERFECT appetizer to serve at a party because they’re quick and easy to put together, and bake for a total time of 20 minutes. They’re a lot like meatballs by comparison. You can use sweet sausage or hot sausage for this, depending on what you like. You might find the classic breakfast pork sausage and maple pork sausage to be more kid-friendly, because kids are not fans of spicy food.
This recipe is great if you use homemade biscuit mix from Buttermilk Biscuits, but in a pinch you can use Bisquick. Sticking with pork sausage is recommended, because turkey and beef come out more like meatballs than sausage balls. The pork sausage also adds more of a traditional sausage flavor than other meat.
These Sausage Balls are a versatile treat that can be served as a party appetizer, at a brunch buffet, or a pot luck. If you have leftover sausage, you can use it to make Biscuits and Gravy the next morning! Or try Sausage and Peppers Sloppy Joes. Any way you serve these, they are sure to be a hit.
How to Make Sausage Balls
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl mix the sausage with the baking mix well then add in the cheddar and mix well. You can also mix your ingredients together using a stand mixer to save time.
- Roll into 2 tablespoon sized balls (hint: use an ice cream scoop to help make all of the balls the same size, about 1-2 inch balls, so they cook more evenly in the oven).
- Place on baking sheet and cook for 20-22 minutes. If you’d like, line your baking sheet with parchment paper to make cleanup easier!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Sausage balls are savory and a little bit sweet or spicy (depending on your sausage), so they pair well with creamy dipping sauces like ranch dressing, queso, or honey mustard. You can also pair them with sweet dips like maple syrup or honey, or savory sauce like marinara. Basically, use anything that goes well with regular Italian sausage.
Sausage balls are the perfect appetizers to freeze and reheat when ready. Just put some parchment paper down on a baking sheet, then bake the balls at 350 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through.
Plan on making 2-3 sausage balls per person. This is a bite-sized appetizer, so you don’t need to have enough servings for a whole meal. That being said, these are definitely a popular item, so you can always make some extra.
Absolutely! If you would like to serve these meaty appetizers to guests who are on a low carb, keto diet or are gluten intolerant, simply swap out the Bisquick mix for a different alternative. You can use almond flour or flaxseed meal to keep this recipe low carb. For a gluten free option, substitute a gluten free baking mix or make your own using oat flour or rice flour.
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Key Ingredients in Suasage Balls
- Sausage: We use ground pork sausage for these appetizer meatballs. You can purchase ground sausage at the butchers counter or use breakfast sausage links and remove the insides from the casing.
- Biscuit Mix: An all purpose biscuit mix is the perfect binder for these delicious Sausage Balls. Bisquick is the most common brand, but you can use your favorite mix or make your own using the instructions below.
- Cheese: Sharp cheddar will have a bold enough flavor to taste great with the sausage in this recipe. Using a block of cheese and grating it yourself will ensure the best texture and flavor, as pre-shredded cheese often has additives to prevent it from clumping that can make your recipe taste gritty.
How to Make Bisquick at Home
Bisquick is a blend of all purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and shortening. Whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ⅓ cup shortening, and 1 teaspoon of salt. You can do this in the food processor to break the shortening up into the flour easier. Use Bisquick cup-for-cup for the biscuit mix in this recipe. You can also use this method to prepare pancakes, waffles, biscuits, or many other baked goods recipes!
Can Sausage Balls be Made Ahead?
Sausage Balls are easy to prep in advance and bake fresh before serving! Make the sausage balls and chill, covered in plastic wrap, up to 24 hours in advance. Then you can pop them in your preheated oven 20 minutes before company arrives and, voila! Your guests will think you were working in the kitchen all day even though you’ve had plenty of time to tend to other tasks before entertaining. Bake within one day for food safety. You can also bake the balls and freeze them in ziplock bags, then just pull them out when you need to serve a quick appetizer. Be careful not to leave them at room temperature for too long.
Variations on Sausage Balls
- Spicy: Use hot Italian ground sausage to give this party appetizer a kick. Or add crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, or your favorite hot sauce to the meat mixture to add as much or little heat as you’d prefer.
- Meat: Use ground chicken sausage instead of pork for a lighter version of Sausage Balls. You can also use a mixture of pork and chicken, or pork and beef, to change the flavor of the Sausage Balls.
- Cheese: You can use a mix of cream cheese and cheddar cheese if that’s what you have available, or add some grated parmesan cheese for flavor. Cream cheese will add a nice soft texture to the sausage, while cheddar adds that bite of flavor. You can also replace some of the cheddar with any of your favorite cheeses like gruyere, Pepper Jack, gouda, havarti, or Blue cheese crumbles.
- Dipping Sauce: Serve your Sausage Balls with homemade Marinara, Ranch Dressing, or Honey Mustard sauce for dipping.
- Leftovers: Use any leftover sausage cheese balls to make a sausage and pasta dish for dinner the next day! You can also serve these over rice or mashed potatoes, or in a hero sandwich roll with tomato sauce.
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How to Store Sausage Balls
- Serve: Do not leave cooked meat at room temperature longer than 2 hours before refrigerating.
- Store: Cooked Sausage Balls will keep 3-4 days in the refrigerator, about the same as cooked sausage itself. Any more than that, and you’ll want to freeze them.
- Freeze: Cooked Sausage Balls will keep in the freezer for up to three months. Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet for one hour, then seal in a Ziploc freezer bag, making sure to squeeze all the air out.
- 1 pound ground pork sausage
- 2 cups biscuit baking mix
- 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese , shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl mix the sausage with the baking mix well then add in the cheddar and mix well.
- Roll into 2 tablespoon sized balls and place on baking sheet and cook for 20-22 minutes.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.
I love this recipe! I’ve made it every Christmas for the last few years. Delicious. Question: How do you think they would do if made them and then kept them in a crockpot on the warming setting? I need them for an event Saturday, during which they need to be available for about 4 hours. Or would they be fine at room temperature for that amount of time? Thanks!
Sorry we were unable to respond in a timely manner for your event. How did it go?
These were delicious! I used a hot breakfast sausage and took these to work Everyone loved them!
Omg! My kids just had chicken balls at a Chinese restaurant and ate so many. I never knew they would be so easy to make. We used ground chicken along with spices that they like. These were better than what they had at the restaurant. Putting them on a skewer makes them fun to eat also!
Absolutely a family favorite, will be cooking this again. Thank you
We were invited to a Saturday afternoon football get together with some friends and was asked to bring an appetizer. I remembered seeing this recipe so I went out to buy hot sausage to make this Sausage Ball recipe. I am glad I bought the hot sausage as the flavor was perfect. I also brought some marinara sauce for dipping the sausage balls. The Sausage Balls were a big hit and were gone in no time. Next time I think I need to double the recipe. Thank you
I made it with chicken sausage and they were a hit. Recipe was easy to follow and I had most of the ingredients on hand. Wasn’t sure what “mixed well” should look like, but I must have done it because it tasted delicious!
Over the top delicious and a keeper for sure! I followed the recipe as written, using a hot italian sausage along with an X-sharp cheddar cheese. After reading through the reviews, I followed Sabrina’s recommendation of using freshly grated cheese and 22 minutes later, perfection. I served with marinara, honey mustard and ranch dipping sauces. Thanks for another great recipe!
I find that they are a little dry if you use a quality sausage . I use a sausage with a good fat content.
Theses sausage meatballs were absolutely delicious! We had a last minute neighborhood potluck and didn’t know what to bring, but i happened to have all the ingredients on hand so I literally whipped them up in minutes. EVERYONE raved about these moist, flavorful meatballs and they all wanted the recipe! These are not only good for a potluck but would be great for dinner in a jif!
These are terrific! I made sausage balls just last weekend for a little get together and they were gone within a few minutes. Glad I had made a second batch. I did the same recipe you use.
I don’t know if you’ll see this, but have you ever mixed up everything in advance and baked them the next day?
Dumb question. Do you use cooked ground sausage or raw?
You’ll start with raw sausage for this recipe. Enjoy!
Came out really tasty. I think next time I’ll reduce the cheese a bit because the balls spread into each other. And divide baking into two batches to spread the balls apart
About how many balls dose this recipe make?
It makes about 20 sausage balls.
Some recipes say to shred your own cheese rather than using the packaged shredded cheese. What do you think?
I always prefer to shred my own cheese. It gives a better texture, in my opinion.
Just want to say that I am the “Southern Bell”, who does not use a recipe! My seasonings are and always will be by eyeball. Had that said… I used exact easy measurements, and I am in love with the recipe. I like to add different seasonings to taste. This recipe for a perfect sausage ball is on point! My pride has been lifted. I do things the way my grandma and generarions have done. This was super simple and gave the same results! Love it!! Thank you!!!
Thank you for trusting me enough to give it a try. I’m so glad to have won you over!
We’re wanting to possibly make these for a freezer meal prep party but wanting to stay within a certain budget. Would other types of pancake mix work or does it have to be Bisquick?
You can make your own homemade Pancake mix if you want to budget, here’s a recipe: Pancake Mix
Very stupid question…if I choose to use your buttermilk mix instead of Bisquick, do I use tall the ingredients in the recipe? Including the butter and buttermilk?
To make your own Baking mix, whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/3 cup shortening and 1 teaspoon salt. You can always mix it up in a food processor to for an easier way to get it all combined. Hope this helps! Enjoy!
I made these this morning with Bob Evans maple sausage. Really, really good. Might add a dash of cayenne pepper next time to spice things up a bit. Another excellent recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Mark! Thanks for coming back and letting me know!
These sound delicious! Dangerously good…
Oh my gosh we loved these!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
You’re welcome, Jessica!
So much great information and these sausage balls are the best!
thanks so much Toni!
Our family loves these easy little sausage balls! Love the tip to use a scoop to make them uniform!
Aren’t they the best! Yes, the scoop makes it all so much easier!
Love your recipes!! Could you please start including some wonderful air fryer recipes?
Yep, I’m going to be adding them in next year so stay tuned. 🙂