What are Sausage Balls?

Malcolm Tatum

Sausage balls are a simple and delicious finger food that is a great for holiday parties and other types of casual get togethers. Containing only three basic ingredients, sausage balls are easy to prepare and can be ready for serving in less than an hour. The simplicity of a basic sausage ball recipe can be enhanced with various herbs and spices if desired.

Sausage balls are a simple and delicious finger food that is a great for holiday parties and other types of casual get togethers.
Sausage balls are a simple and delicious finger food that is a great for holiday parties and other types of casual get togethers.

All the ingredients required for creating sausage balls are commonly found in kitchens all over the world. Ground pork sausage, grated cheese and self rising flour are all that is needed to create the basic dough. The dough is broken into small pieces and rolled into balls. The balls are placed on a baking sheet and baked until they have a slightly golden appearance. As a bite sized snack or treat, sausage balls provide a multilayered flavor that can help to satisfy a craving for meat, bread and dairy at one time.

There are a number of variations on the basic sausage ball recipe. Some people prefer to use a combination of mild sausage with sharp cheddar cheese. Recipes that opt for hot sausage and mild cheddar are also common. Still other recipes call for using a baking mix rather than self-rising flour.

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There are also some recipes for sausage balls that call for the use of something other than pork sausage. Other meats, such as turkey or ham that have been ground and seasoned to resemble various types of ground sausage, may be substituted if desired. There are even vegetarian versions of sausage balls that make use of textured vegetable protein in place of any type of meat. If the meat or meat substitute does not contain enough natural fat to work in the recipe, a small amount of a heart healthy oil will compensate.

To prepare the most popular version of sausage balls, use one pound of mild ground sausage. Grate twelve ounces of sharp cheddar cheese. Combine these two ingredients with two cups of flour or baking mix. Use the hands to knead the sausage, cheese and flour into a thick dough. Roll the dough into bite sized balls and place them in a baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly twenty minutes. This will be enough time for the sausage to cook thoroughly and for the cheese and flour to mingle for a tasty bread. When completed, the sausage balls will be crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. This basic recipe will produce between three and four dozen sausage balls, depending on how large the bite sized balls are rolled.

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Discussion Comments

I always use the Betty Crocker sausage ball recipe that comes in the famous checkerboard cookbook. My mom used to make it when I was a kid and I will always associate that recipe with the true flavor of sausage balls.

I have a friend that recently went gluten free and you would not believe how conscious she has to be of gluten in her diet. It shows up in so many unexpected places. I guess she had some problems at a holiday party and realized, of course, that she was not eating gluten free sausage balls.

They had flour or baking mix or something in them. If you are going to adopt that kind of diet it takes a lot of vigilance.


I like to make Bisquick sausage balls around the holidays. They are a quick and easy finger food and everybody loves them.

Lately I have started making turkey sausage balls to try and cut out some of the fat. People are very conscious of that these days and turkey sausage is surprisingly good. If you serve the balls with a good dipping sauce your guests might not even realize that they are eating healthy.

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