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! *Substitute almond flour for a keto or GF option!
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.
Some like to enjoy them for breakfast while others love to serve them during the holidays, specifically Christmas, as a fun bite-sized holiday appetizer. Either way, they are a deliciously EASY recipe everyone will go crazy over!
No Pancake Mix!
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 pancake with sausage! So that ingredient alone makes these the best sausage balls...in my humble opinion.
You should bake your sausage balls at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Do NOT overbake as it will dry out your meat. You want to aim for an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
Dipping sauce options
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.
"Can you microwave sausage balls?" No I don't recommend that. They will turn out rubbery and dry.
"Can I use almond flour instead of regular flour?" Yes! Just know that the texture will be a little different.
"Can I make these in advance?" Yes of course! If you want to make these a day or two ahead of time, I recommend rolling them out and storing them flat in the fridge.
"Can I freeze these?" Yes! If you want to make these more than 3 days in advance or weeks in advance, 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.
"Should I brown my sausage first?" No, you want the sausage to cook in the oven so everything holds together nicely.
"Can I use self-rising flour instead of the flour + baking soda?" Yes!
"Do I NEED to use a food processor?" No. You can use your hands if you wish. It will just take more time and a little muscle. 🙂
"Can I make my sausage balls spicier?" Yes! You can start off with hot sausage and then add extra cayenne pepper to your mix for a super spicy ball!
Other sausage appetizers you will love:
Sausage Balls Without Bisquick Mix
- 1 lb. uncooked ground sausage (spicy or mild)
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 10 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp milk
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (*less if you don't like spice)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-3 scallions, finely chopped (*reserve some for garnishing)
- Preheat oven to 400° 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.
- Use a 1 oz. ice cream scooper to neatly and evenly scoop out your sausage mixture. Use your hands to roll them into round balls. Place on a nonstick baking sheet.
- The bottom of your balls will bake flat 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 11-12 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!