This recipe for Sausage Balls is made without Bisquick. Instead, they are made with flour and baking powder. These are the perfect breakfast, brunch or holiday appetizer that is guaranteed to be a hit at your next party!
If you have never had sausage and cheese balls, they are the perfect finger food ANY time of day and ANY time of year! They remind me of meaty, cheesy biscuits.
Many people have memories eating them Christmas morning so I encourage you to continue these memories with your children and/or family!
They go so well with breakfast or can be a yummy holiday appetizer, specifically on Christmas. Either way, they are flavorful, cheesy, moist and never dense!
- ground pork/sausage - you can choose spicy sausage if you really like heat or mild.
- flour - flour helps to hold the balls together. You can swap with gluten free flour, wheat, self-rising or almond flour. If using almond flour, the texture will be a bit different.
- baking powder- this helps the sausage balls expand a bit and keeps them light.
- cheddar cheese, freshly shredded - skip the bagged cheddar cheese. Freshly grated makes a difference!
- cream cheese - this adds some creaminess to your balls that I love.
- maple syrup - this adds sweetness and pairs perfectly with sausage.
- milk - to add moisture,
- garlic/onion/cayenne/salt - to season your meat. You can add any seasoning you prefer.
No Pancake Mix Needed!
The old fashioned, or traditional, version of this recipe uses a box of good ol' Bisquick mix!
But the thing is, many of us do not have that on hand OR many of us are not a fan of the mystery ingredients in those pancake mixes. So this recipe is a delicious alternative to using a boxed pancake mix.
Most pancake mixes, including Bisquick, are made with the following ingredients:
- leavening agent (baking powder/soda)
So for my sausage balls, I started with all of the above ingredients (except for the shortening) all of which work just as well as a boxed mix. Since sausage is greasy on it's own, not adding any additional fat will help cut down on the greasiness.
In addition to those, I used uncooked sausage. You can use spicy/hot sausage if you like that better. Jimmy Dean has a great sausage selection.
To make these super creamy, I also added cream cheese and cheddar cheese to my mix which helps your balls stay moist and juicy.
Lastly, I added MAPLE SYRUP! I am a sucker for sweet and savory especially when the savory ingredient is spicy.
And I think we all can agree that sausage goes VERY well with maple syrup. Hellooo pancakes with sausage! So that ingredient alone makes these the best sausage balls...in my humble opinion.
Dipping Sauce Ideas
Sausage goes well with so many different ingredients, both savory AND sweet. My go-to sauce is simple. Ketchup!
Warmed maple syrup would be a delicious option for breakfast!
If you want other dipping sauce options that would go well with sausage balls, any of these would be delicious:
- Use a mini ice cream scooper to scoop out your sausage mix so that each ball is uniform in size. This also helps them to cook evenly.
- Use a food processor to easily mix your dough otherwise it will be tough to mix everything together. If you don't have a food processor, get one!! They are amazing and save lots of time. Here is a mini one I love!
- You should not be using pre-cooked sausage. The results will not be the same and your balls wont hold together.
- To prevent your sausage balls from being flat on one side, I recommend popping them in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. Then rotate them so they come out round.
- Use a sweet sausage for ever more sweetness.
- Add more cayenne pepper if you like heat.
No I don't recommend that. They will turn out rubbery and dry.
Yes! Just know that the texture will be a little different.
No need to! You want them to stick together and pre-cooking your sausage will not allow for that.
Do you can use your hands but it will be tough work!
Other sausage appetizers you will love:
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Sausage Balls Without Bisquick Mix
- ½ lb. uncooked ground sausage (spicy or mild) (*you can also use plain ground pork)
- ⅓ cup flour
- ½ tbsp baking powder
- 5 ounces cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1½ tbsp milk
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (*more if you like heat)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1-2 scallions, finely chopped (*reserve some for garnishing)
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Add all your ingredients to a food processor and puree until well blended. Add your scallions last and pulse 1-2 times to incorporate.*If you don't grate your cheese ahead of time, it will be difficult to blend.*If you don't have a strong food processor, you can mix by hand!
- Use a mini ice cream scooper to neatly and evenly scoop out ½ ounce. Use your hands to roll them into round balls. Place on a nonstick baking sheet or parchment paper.
- The bottom of your sausage balls will bake flatter so if this bothers you, place them in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm them up a bit. Then remove and re-roll them in between the palms of your hands to round them out again.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Do not overbake!
- Serve hot with scallions as a garnish and ketchup or maple syrup for dipping!
- This recipe does not use as much flour as other traditional sausage ball recipes. I believe they turn out more moist this way.
- If the size of your balls are larger than ½ ounce. the bake time will increase and the yield will decrease.
- If you want to make these in advance and freeze them, roll them out and lay them FLAT on a baking sheet. Then flash freeze them for about an hour. This will allow you to add them together in a container or bag without sticking together! Freeze for 6-8 weeks.
- *Read the post above for more tips and frequently answered questions!