These bite size Cheddar Sausage Balls are a classic Southern appetizer. Made with biscuit mix, country sausage and lots of cheese, there's no wrong time to serve these bite size nuggets. Most often I serve them at the holidays but they work great for brunch gatherings and tailgating, too.
Easy Cheddar Sausage Balls Recipe
The classic recipe uses only biscuit mix like Bisquick, breakfast sausage and cheddar cheese leaving plenty of room to personalize them with seasonings and flavor twists. They're well worth the effort and incredibly tasty, you won't be sorry for being persistent. Once you make this easy appetizer, you'll be hooked.
How to Make Southern Cheddar Sausage Balls
- What's the best kind of sausage to use for sausage balls? Do yourself a favor and choose a quality breakfast pork sausage to make these sausage balls. I used Jimmy Dean brand and find that it's not terribly greasy which can cause the sausage balls to shrink while baking. You can use mild or hot, go with your preference.
- Is biscuit mix the same thing as Bisquick? Yes, it is. Feel free to use your favorite brand to make this sausage balls recipe.
- While the ingredients are super simple if you've never made sausage balls before you may think they're too dry as the dry ingredients take some work to incorporate them together evenly. The mixture is supposed to be still so keep working with it until it comes together.
- After forming the sausage mixture into balls, they can be frozen and baked when you need them. Place them onto a sheet pan and freeze solid, then place them into a plastic freezer bag or container for storing.
- You can bake frozen sausage balls straight from the freezer but you'll need to add 5-10 minutes to the baking time. It's also perfectly fine to let them sit on the prepared pan for 10-15 minutes at room temperature to thaw slightly.
- Should I use freshly grated cheddar cheese for sausage balls? For the best end result, I highly recommend that you grate the cheese yourself to ensure it's freshness. While shredded cheese in a bag is convenient it's more dry than freshly grated cheddar.
- After baking the sausage balls, serve them hot with additional mustard for dipping. I recommend sweet-hot mustard, honey or Dijon mustard.
Other Sausage Appetizer Recipes to Add to the Menu
Sausage balls are the sort of two-bite snacks that are holiday staples here in the South. They're ideal for tailgating, brunch, tea time or any occasion when small bites are on the menu. Other recipes using sausage that you may like to try:
- Dijon Sausage Rolls made with puff pastry.
- Kicked Up Creole Sausage Balls for Mardis Gras and holiday parties.
- Sausage Cream Cheese Bites for weekend brunch.
- Cheesy Dijon Sausage Cups made with wonton wrappers.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Cheddar Sausage Balls
- 2 cup biscuit mix i.e. Bisquick
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 green onion finely chopped
- 1 lb pork breakfast sausage
- 3 cup shredded fresh sharp cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup water
- Dijon or honey mustard for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium size mixing bowl sift together the biscuit mix, garlic salt, dry mustard, paprika.
- Add the green onion, sausage, shredded cheddar cheese and water. Using your hands, mix until all of the ingredients are fully moistened and evenly distributed.
- Roll into approximately 1-inch balls and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
- Serve immediately with mustard for dipping.
These turned out really well! Moist - and perfect for Super Bowl Sunday!
I would like to make these a dn take to a potluck. How can I keep them warm during transport -at least thirty minutes. Would they get soggy if I used a crock pot?
Ah, that's a challenge. It's certainly worth a try, they indeed may soften a bit but, if you preheat the crockpot to warm, it may just work. I might recommend you put doubled paper towels over the opening before securing the lid in case any condensation forms.
If you wrap them in paper towels then place in a tea towel THEN into a crock pot set ONLY to WARM or KEEP WARM temp, they're great.
I add 8 oz cream cheese and instead of water I use half and half. Makes them fluffly-er for reheats. Also for a little kick i use 1 1/2 sharp cheddar and 1 1/2 pepper jack. Just a suggestion. Both are equally great...
Can I make ahead and freeze these to cook at a later date?
Yes you can. Bake them, cool and freeze. Then thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven just before serving.
I have made these before and they tend to be so dry. Any suggestions?
Most recipes don't call for water or milk and this one does. They aren't dry at all.
Would fresh loose sausage work or not quite as tasty as breakfast sausage? Thx!
Fresh loose sausage hot or mild, your preference will work. Even Italian sausage works.
I love your take on classic sausage balls! Do you think it would work to refrigerate the sausage balls for ~18 hours and then bake?
I've made these in advance just make sure the mixture is stored airtight.
Yum - thank you and Happy Holidays.
Same to you Liz!