The best easy sausage balls without Bisquick recipe is made with seasoned flour instead of a baking mix.
Whether you forgot to buy a baking mix or rather not use it you'll likely not miss the Bisquick or want to use it after trying this easy recipe.
They're the perfect appetizer, a must-have for a brunch buffet, or even make for an easy make-ahead breakfast or snack on the go.
Like many, I grew up eating Bisquick sausage balls during the holidays.
Bisquick isn't something I normally use in my own baking, though.
So, I wanted to experiment with making them without using the baking mix but still keeping that flavorful crispy exterior with a soft tender inside.
Made from scratch, these sausage cheese balls use simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and refrigerator.
- All-purpose flour - I usually use King Arthur's All-Purpose flour.
- Baking powder
- Seasoned salt - I love Lawry's seasoned salt. You can use regular salt but seasoned will give a bit extra flavor.
- Black pepper
- Ground cayenne pepper - Unless you love spicy food, be careful adding this if you're using hot sausage.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Sharp cheddar cheese - I like to shred my own cheese for these as pre-shredded cheese is coated in starch and may make for a drier sausage ball
- Sausage - I usually use Jimmy Dean's or Gunnoe's regular/mild country breakfast sausage. This accounts for a lot of the flavor for delicious sausage balls so pick something you know you like.
- Butter - This may seem like an unusual ingredient but I do find sausage to be a lot leaner these days than when I was growing up. The butter helps add a bit more fat and moisture so the sausage balls aren't dry.
See the recipe card below for exact quantities.
1. Preheat your oven and prepare a half-sheet baking pan. You can grease it but I prefer to just use a sheet of parchment paper or a silpat.
2. Place flour, baking powder, salt, peppers, garlic and onion powders in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together.
3. Add in the shredded cheese and give a stir.
4. Mix in the pork sausage and butter until thoroughly combined.
5. Scoop the sausage mixture into evenly sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
6. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until the balls reach 165°F.
Hint: If for some reason your sausage ball mixture appears dry you can add another tablespoon of melted butter or milk if preferred.
- Cayenne - The amount of cayenne doesn't really add much heat spice as it does flavor, but you can use paprika instead if desired.
- Cheese - Cheddar definitely adds extra flavor to these sausage cheese balls but if it's not a variety you like you can use something else like Colby Jack or whatever your favorite cheese is.
- Sausage - Pork breakfast sausage is the classic variety of sausage used but other sausage varieties like turkey should also work. Just keep in mind how lean it is.
- Spicy Sausage Balls - Add extra cayenne, or a few drops of hot sauce, or use hot sausage, or pepper jack cheese - or all of the above!
Here are the equipment items I use to make cheesy sausage balls quickly and easily.
- A half-sheet baking pan - I really like the ones from both USA Pan and Made In Cookware.
- Parchment paper - King Arthur Flour makes convenient half-sheet-sized pre-cut sheets that can usually be used more than once. Silpats are also a good reusable option.
- Measuring spoons
- Dry measuring cups
- Mixing bowl if making by hand
- I prefer to use my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer or you can use a hand mixer
- A scoop helps to make them all the same size to cook evenly at the same time and less time rolling. Use a small cookie scoop and scoop like you would with cookie dough.
- Gloves are useful for not getting your hands messy when rolling the balls
- A pair of tongs is useful for removing them from the baking sheet and/or serving
While these are so good we almost never have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I find they are best warmed in a 350°F oven until warmed through so they stay a bit crispy on the outside. You can cover them with foil if they start getting too brown.
They can be microwaved too but I find the texture isn't as good.
While you can certainly make these by hand I find it much easier, not to mention less messy, by mixing with a stand or hand mixer.
I do prefer to use the dough hook on the stand mixer but if you don't have one or are using a hand mixer you can use the regular beaters. They will just be a bit tougher to clean.
They come together so much faster while being evenly mixed.
Why do my sausage balls fall apart?
They are likely too dry due to using pre-shredded cheese (it's coated in starch which can make the balls drier) or your sausage is on the leaner side. Add another tablespoon or two of butter or you can use milk instead. Also, make sure you're using one pound of sausage. The size of products seems to be shrinking these days so you may only be buying 14 oz vs 16 oz like you're used to.
Why are my sausage balls hard?
Again, they are probably too dry. See the question above for help.
How do you keep sausage balls from burning on the bottom?
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat to provide an additional barrier. You may want to check your oven temperature as it may be running too hot. You can also rotate the sausage balls halfway through cooking.
Can I make sausage balls ahead of time?
Yes, these are perfect to make ahead for game days and parties. There are a couple of options. To make 1 to 2 days before serving, make the recipe up to the point of baking.
Cover the raw rolled sausage balls on the baking sheet or put them in a container and immediately refrigerate.
Since they will be cold, they'll likely take a few extra minutes to bake. I recommend using an instant thermometer to ensure they get to 165°F as sausage is something you do NOT want to serve undercooked.
Alternatively, you can make and bake the sausage balls, then cover and refrigerate them. Reheat in the oven covered with foil so they don't get too brown.
If you need an option to make them more than two days ahead you can roll and bake the balls, cool them, flash freeze on a freezer-safe pan, and then place into a freezer-safe bag or container for up to one month.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, place on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and bake until warmed through.
Looking for more appetizer recipes? Try these:
Here are some dip recipes you may like with this sausage ball recipe:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 8 oz sharp cheddar, grated
- 1 lb pork breakfast sausage
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with rim with a silpat, parchment paper, or foil.
- Whisk together 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon seasoned salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon onion powder together in stand mixer bowl. Place on stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment.
- Add in 8oz of shredded cheese and stir in using the hook at low speed. Turn off the mixer and add in 1 pound of breakfast sausage and 3 tablespoons of melted butter and mix on low, gradually increasing the speed to medium to medium-high until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Scoop the mixture into about 32 equal portions, rolling each between your palms into a ball shape. Place each ball about 1-inch apart on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the sausage balls reach 165°F internally. Place on serving platter and serve immediately. Leftovers can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven to slightly crisp up or they can be microwaved.
I normally use regular pork breakfast sausage for this recipe but if you'd like the sausage balls on the spicer side you can use spicy breakfast sausage or any flavor that you prefer.
A couple of readers have said the sausage balls ended up slightly drier than they'd like. I usually use Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage and have not had this issue, but if you know that your sausage is on the leaner side you may want to add another tablespoon or 2 of butter.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 2 - 3 sausage balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 667mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 15g
Nutrition information may not be accurate. Nutrition information is calculated automatically by and provided by Nutritionix. Exact nutrition information depends on the specific ingredients, brands, and amounts you use.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods - 2 hours maximum; 1 hour max if above 90°F