This easy sausage cheese balls recipe is made without Bisquick or a baking mix. It's the perfect party appetizer, a must-have for a brunch buffet, or even makes for an easy make-ahead breakfast on the go.
We all have ideas of classic party appetizers we love and have to have at every gathering. For me, one of those is homemade sausage balls.
We'd make them at least once a year during the holidays when I was growing up. I always look forward to them being a bit crunchy on the outside but soft and tender on the inside.
My mom would make them with a baking mix back then. This time I wanted to make my sausage balls recipe without Bisquick though.
How To Make Sausage Cheese Balls From Scratch
I love baking and generally do so from scratch which means I usually don't have something like Bisquick on hand. Instead of making a special trip to the store or letting the rest of the box sit in the pantry for months going bad I make sausage cheese balls without Bisquick.
This doesn't require a lot of additional ingredients. In fact, you probably already have them all on hand and you know for sure the quality of ingredients you're using. Here's what I use.
- Breakfast sausage in a roll - I almost always use pork Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage. But, you can use whatever brand and flavor you prefer, even turkey sausage. If you like the spicier side using hot sausage is a great option. This accounts for a lot of the flavor of the sausage balls so pick something you know you like.
- Cheese - This is another major flavor enhancer that can otherwise make your sausage balls taste bland. I like using sharp or extra-sharp cheddar for maximum flavor.
- Flour - Since we're not using a baking mix we want to add flour to help bind everything together and have a texture lighter than traditional meatballs.
- Baking powder - Bisquick contains leavening agents to help bread rise so we need to add some baking powder for the same effect.
- Seasonings - Seasoned salt, ground black pepper, ground cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. These add flavor to a recipe that can sometimes otherwise be a bit bland.
- Butter - This adds a bit of flavor and fat for moist sausage balls.
Quick And Easy Sausage Ball Tips
If you've ever made sausage cheese balls before you probably know they can take what feels like forever to mix together. If you don't want to get an arm workout I have the best tip ever for quick sausage balls.
Mix them together in your stand mixer with the dough hook! Using the dough hook instead of the beater blade helps to mix them together more evenly, plus it's easier to clean.
If you don't have a stand mixer you should be able to use the beaters on a hand mixer, but again, they will be tougher to clean.
To quickly form the sausage balls and have them the same size to cook evenly at the same time, use a small cookie scoop and scoop like you wold with cookies.
Just give them a quick roll between your hands and bake. You can put on disposable gloves before rolling if you don't want to get all that ick on your hands.
How To Make Sausage Balls Ahead Of Time
If you're making a lot of appetizers for a party you may be wondering, can I make sausage balls ahead of time? Yes, you can!
There are a few options you can choose from to go about making them ahead.
First, if you're wanting to make the sausage balls 1 - 2 days before serving you can make the recipe up to the point of baking. Just cover the raw rolled sausage balls on the baking sheet and refrigerate.
Since the sausage balls will be cold they will likely take a few extra minutes to bake. I recommend using an instant thermometer to make sure they get up to 165°F as sausage is NOT something you want to serve under cooked.
The other option is to roll and bake the sausage balls, cool them, then cover them and refrigerate them. Then all you have to do is warm them up 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 and place on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and bake until warmed through.
Dips For Sausage Balls
These sausage balls are great on their own but here are some ideas if you want something to dip them into and take them over the top.
More Favorite Party Appetizers
Here are more of our favorite recipes that I love serving at parties.
- Deviled Eggs with Bacon
- Everything Bagel Mini Pigs In A Blanket
- Crispy Pineapple-Habanero Chicken Wings
- Loaded Tater Tots Recipe
- Chicken Parmesan Meatballs Recipe
Easy Sausage Cheese Balls Recipe
This easy sausage cheese balls recipe is made without Bisquick or a baking mix. It’s the perfect party appetizer, a must-have for a brunch buffet, or even makes for an easy make-ahead breakfast on the go.
- 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.
Saturday 29th of January 2022
I LOVE these sausage balls! Every sausage ball I have ever eaten has been dry until I found your recipe! Thank you so much! I have made these at least 4 times since I found this recipe. The only thing I changed was to add sea salt instead of season salt (didn't have any), I also added 2 more tbsps of butter, per your notes. Heading into the kitchen now to make more :)
Smart Savvy Living
Wednesday 2nd of February 2022
Hey Debra, it makes me so happy to know you enjoy my sausage balls recipe so much! Thank you for trying my recipe and taking the time to come back and share how it turned out.
Sunday 26th of December 2021
Delicious! This recipe came out beautifully!
Smart Savvy Living
Monday 27th of December 2021
Hi Marie, I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to come back and share how it turned out.
Tuesday 29th of December 2020
I’ve never made this without cooking to sausage first. This blows my mind. Lol. I am so excited to make this recipe!
Monday 15th of March 2021
@Smart Savvy Living, These are fabulous! The raw sausage cooks up really nice In the oven and they end up with a little bit of a crunch. My husband loves to eat them cold when he’s a bit “snacky” so I always keep extras in the refrigerator. One of his favorite keto munch ales for sure!
Smart Savvy Living
Tuesday 29th of December 2020
That's funny, Emily, as I have never made sausage balls by cooking the sausage first, ha. Hope you enjoy them!
Tuesday 24th of November 2020
Doubling using turkey sausage and serving with a side of warmed cranberry butter
Sunday 30th of August 2020
Was very good. I used hot sausage and pepper jack cheese was very good thanks
Smart Savvy Living
Monday 31st of August 2020
So glad you liked it, Danean! Hot sausage and pepper jack cheese sound like a great combo. Thanks for letting me know how it turned out.