Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Old Fashioned Sausage Cheese Balls

Classic old fashioned sausage cheese balls made with baking mix, breakfast sausage & cheese.

Old Fashioned Sausage Cheese Balls

Old fashioned sausage cheese balls have been around for many years, and though some folks like to slam them for being unsophisticated, they have always been a good ole stand-by for any gathering or party that I've ever attended. They appeared on the tables of every single shower or wedding that Mama and her sisters ever catered. So easy to make, tasty and everybody loves them! And super simple ingredients too - in their purist form, simply baking mix (I prefer Pioneer brand buttermilk version), cheese and sausage. I've add a few seasonings, and it's always sharp cheese and Jimmy Dean hot sausage for me!

As always, in most cases, I do recommend that you grate your own cheese and this is one. Preshredded bagged cheeses are handy for topping pizza and covering casseroles, but they do contain stabilizers and fillers in them to keep the cheese from clumping back together after the shredding process. On the other hand, a block of cheese is, well, just a block of cheese! No fillers. No stabilizers. I rarely buy the bag cheese when I can buy it by the block and when I have a massive amount to shred I pull out the food processor, but mostly I use my box grater. Hey, between that and my cast iron, who needs the gym?!

These sausage cheese balls are just mildly spicy in my opinion, but if you don't want them spicy, simply substitute regular sausage and eliminate the cayenne pepper. On the other hand, if you like them spicy, go ahead and throw in some hot pepper sauce and some dried red pepper flakes. Either way, make lots - they go very fast. Here's how to make them.

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Recipe: Old Fashioned Sausage Cheese Balls

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 25 min | Yield: About 100 balls

  • 3 cups of baking mix
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning, or to taste, optional
  • Pinch of dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
  • 4 cups of shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese (about 16 ounces total)
  • Palmful (about 1/4 cup) of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound of hot bulk pork sausage, uncooked
  • About 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk, more or less

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease; set aside. Whisk together the baking mix, salt, pepper, cayenne or Cajun seasoning, sage and parsley. Add the cheeses and mix well, then stir in the sausage and 1/4 cup of the milk, adding only enough milk as needed to bring mixture together, but not be soupy. Shape into small balls, about the size of a walnut, about an inch. I use a cookie scoop just to make it easier. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spaced apart about an inch.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until well browned, switching trays around in the oven halfway through if needed. Remove from oven and drain on several layers of paper towels. Can be served warm or at room temperature, as is or with a spicy orange dipping sauce or your own favorite.

Cook's Notes: I prefer to use Pioneer Buttermilk Baking Mix, hot Jimmy Dean sausage, and Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning. Split the cheeses up, using 2 cups each of sharp and extra sharp cheddar, or sub in your favorite. May also substitute part cream cheese or prepared pimento cheese spread for some of the cheese. May also make ahead and refrigerate, or flash freeze in a single layer, then store in a freezer bag. Bake directly from the freezer at 350  degrees F, about 30 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through.

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Posted by on December 30, 2008

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  1. This looks good! Would love to try it but not familiar with the Pioneer Buttermilk Baking Mix... not sure we can get this in Canada. Would Bisquick be ok as a subsititute?
    thanks, dg

    1. Bisquick is the ingredient in the original recipe...it's all I've ever used.

  2. My recipe is similar. I line my pan with a paper bag to absorb the oil.

  3. Yes dg, absolutely! Any baking mix will work - Pioneer brand is just my preference.

  4. Sharon Houston, TXAugust 30, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    My kids like these so much (OK, young adults) but we use the HOT Sausage and I put red pepper flakes in the mix, a dash or two of hot sauce and some pepper jack cheese... It sounds really spicey but it is NOT (I have a wimpy mouth) and they have just a zing to them! :)

  5. Hi Sharon! Well, I'm sure I don't have a wimpy mouth - I also love to use the hot version - but I like the idea of adding in the hot sauce, pepper jack & pepper flakes. I think you have more of a tolerance for spicy than you think LOL!! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  6. How far ahead can you make sausage balls and them still taste good? ann

  7. Hi Ann! They are best fresh, however, you can make them ahead and freeze them. Mama used to do that for events she catered. Scoop them out on a tray sprayed with non-stick spray, freeze until solid, then bag them up. Bake day you want them straight from the freezer at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until heated through. Use a warming tray or chafing dish to keep them warm.

  8. Will the Pioneer pancake and waffle mix work?

    1. You know, I'm not sure. The ingredients are very similar. I think that the pancake mix has a little corn flour in addition to the regular flour to make them more fluffy, but I'm not sure what other ingredients differ between the two. I'd think that the pancake mix has more sweetness too. I've never tried them with the pancake mix but if you do give it a try, let us know the results!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. How many will the recipe make?

    1. Hey Robin! It really depends on what size that you make them. If you make them small you can get as much as 6 to 8 dozen, but most people make them larger than that. I usually roll mine to get about half of that.

  11. Mary Hawkins - AlabamaSeptember 6, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Add an 8 oz pkg of cream cheese to this recipe and it makes them moist and not dried out.

    1. Thanks Mary! I've used part cream cheese with shredded cheese but haven't done that in addition to all the cheese. Great tip, thank you!

  12. Sausage balls often taste bland, but these definitely pack a flavor punch. I love the Cajun seasoning, sage, parsley, black pepper, and Parmesan for unique zest. In other recipes, I add water as a moistener, but, after trying these, I definitely prefer milk. I filed this as my standard sausage ball recipe from now on. I will freeze leftovers for the holidays—if we don’t eat them all. Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe!

    1. You're welcome Susan and thanks so much for the sweet comment!

  13. I have been making these for years and the original recipe is 1# reg and 1# hot breakfast sausage, 3 c bisquick and 4 c shredded cheese. That's it! Easy peasey and everyone finishes them everytime!


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