If you’re looking for a dish that’s easy to make and doesn’t skimp on flavor, then sausage balls are the perfect dish for you. We’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to make sausage balls so you can learn everything you need to know.
For almost half a century, this dish has proven to be a classic. These savory treats are easy to cook and make for the perfect sides or appetizers, made with as little as four ingredients. Curious to know how exactly to make sausage balls? Read on to make these mouthwatering snacks.
What are Sausage Balls?
Sausage balls are a classic dish primarily made from ground pork sausage, cheddar cheese, milk, and Bisquick™ baking mix. In most recipes, you can be sure to find the below list of ingredients, which are essential to the formation and texture behind sausage balls.
- Ground beef
- Cheddar Cheese
With a list of rich and savory ingredients, there are many ways to prepare, cook, and enjoy this dish. Based on the ingredients you choose, you may find yourself cooking different types of sausage balls for various occasions. There are two common types of sausage balls and the typical occasions to enjoy them.
- Breakfast Sausage Balls: The breakfast sausage ball is a side dish made up of breakfast items such as sausage, eggs, and cheese. Enjoy all your breakfast favorites rolled into one deliciously crispy ball.
- Appetizer Sausage Balls: Served at parties and gatherings, sausage balls make for the perfect hors d’oeuvres. Made with the signature ground pork, the dish also features cheese, eggs, onions, bread crumbs, and other fillings rolled into a ball and baked in the oven.
The History of the Sausage Ball
Sausage balls have been a popular dish for over 50 years. So what is the history behind this delicious dish? It turns out that the origin of these tasty snacks connects to the history of baking mix.
In 1931, General Mills introduced their baking mix Bisquick™ under the Betty Crocker brand. The company created the very first sausage ball recipe as one of many delicious ways to use their mix.
Sausage balls went on to become one of the most requested recipes, because of its popularity during both world wars. At the time, this dish was an affordable, and easy meal to make. Having the Betty Crocker seal of approval only continued to immortalize the legacy of this tasty dish as the recipe is still featured on their website.
Classic Sausage Balls Recipes
Making sausage balls doesn’t demand too much work, which makes them a perfect quick-fix dish. Cooking them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can typically cook this dish in about 30 minutes or less. You can make them in bulk to enjoy now, or store them for later by refrigeration or freezer. Following the classic Betty Crocker recipe, here’s how to make their famous Sausage Cheese Balls.
- 3 cups Original Bisquick™ mix
- 1 pound uncooked bulk pork sausage
- 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
- 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
- Barbecue sauce or chili sauce, if desired
- Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the 15x10x1-inch pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients except barbecue sauce, using your hands or spoon. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in the pan.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until brown. Immediately remove from the pan. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.
How Can I Prepare the Meat for Sausage Balls?
One of the best parts about preparing the meat for sausage balls is adding your favorite spices and flavors to get the meat to your desired taste. And while the recipe usually calls for pork sausage, ground meat of any kind can easily be substituted.
When preparing the meat for your sausage balls, you can mix it with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, all-purpose flour, milk, and eggs. You can also purchase pre-seasoned sausage as this can save you some time preparing the meat.
What Spices to Add to Sausage Balls?
With many reasons to cook a dish like this, you can choose to mirror the flavors after the season, celebration, or theme. Below are some classic and common spices that you probably have in your pantry right now.
- Ground cumin
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Parsley Flakes
What Can I Dip Sausage Balls In?
The second best part about enjoying a plate of sausage balls, is having a sweet or spicy dip to enjoy them with. Whether you’ve decided to bake or deep fry your sausage balls, there’s an endless list of great dips that you could choose from. Here are some classic dips that will make your taste buds very happy.
- Barbecue sauce
To tweak the sauces to be even more flavorful, consider adding a little hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the ketchup to make it spicy. For a sweet sauce, add a bit of your favorite type of honey or maple syrup to the mustard. You can also add some Worcestershire sauce to help give it a little kick. The rich flavor of the sausage is enhanced with a bit of Worcestershire sauce in the mixture. These classic flavors of dip round out this dish to perfection.
How Long Does it Take to Make Sausage Balls?
Usually, it takes about 30 minutes to make sausage balls and this includes prep and baking times of this dish. However, figuring out how long to bake sausage balls in the oven depends on each individual recipe.
Even if baking times take a bit longer, this is still the perfect dish to make even for a busy person. Sausage balls are perfect if you want to enjoy a hearty meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.
How to Keep Sausage Balls Warm for a Party
Sausage balls are a great dish for feeding a large crowd. The only issue is, how do you make sure they’re still warm and fresh before a party? Before serving, it is best to place the sausage balls in a slow cooker, uncovered, on low. This will keep the sausage balls warm without overcooking.
How to Store Leftover Sausage Balls?
Storing sausage balls work best if you use a sealable container because they can dry out pretty quickly and lose their moisture. But the great news is you have options to store this dish depending on when you choose to enjoy it.
Do Sausage Balls Need to Be Refrigerated?
Whether you’re making sausage balls at home or have purchased some from the store, you’ll want to store them in either the fridge or the freezer. When refrigerating your sausage balls, you’ll want to make sure to store them in an airtight container and consume within 3-4 days as this will ensure that the sausage balls will remain fresh.
Can You Freeze Cooked Bisquick™ Sausage Balls?
The answer is yes. When you store your sausage balls in the freezer, make sure to use an airtight container or a freezer bag that has been vacuum-sealed. Once they’ve been properly sealed, you can store this dish for up to 3 months in the freezer.
How Long Are Sausage Balls Good For?
The shelf life of sausage balls really depends on your preference and the way you store them. Following this ultimate guide, the main objective is to ensure that the dish is both fresh and free from any bacteria or contamination.
Serving this dish at an event, it can be stored at room temperature for a few hours. With a plan to consume this dish over the course of the following days, it’s best to keep the sausage balls in the fridge. And, if you find yourself with too many sausage balls, the best way to keep the dish fresh is to freeze them for up to 3 months.
Sausage balls are an easy, one-pot dish that’s ideal for a lazy Sunday brunch, a weeknight dinner, or the next Superbowl party. Now that you’ve learned how to make sausage balls, you can create this dish just the way you like it. Keep it classic with the Bisquick™ recipe, or begin to create a legacy of your own with a new signature recipe.
And the best place to store these recipes, and share them with others, is Morsel. Easily upload your recipes with photos and stories to accompany them, and continue to relive these tasty memories.
Aida Solomon is a digital marketing specialist who’s passionate about bringing her creative ideas to life. As an avid homecook, Aida loves to explore the way food has the power of bridging the world together. When she’s offline, she loves to travel through new recipes, and run long distances — paying homage to her Ethiopian roots.