Good old-fashioned Bisquick Sausage Balls are quick and easy bites of heaven ready in less than 30 minutes. Made with just 3 simple ingredients!
These Bisquick Sausage Balls are a requirement for all holiday gatherings at all homes in the South. We tailgate with them too!
Every Southern family has its own recipe and method for these, but we prefer ours with a bit more meat than biscuit mix. That’s probably our Northern influence — meat, meat, and more meat!
If you’re looking for more easy handheld breakfast ideas, try my Mini Blueberry Muffins with a deliciously crunchy streusel topping!
This recipe is made for meat and cheese lovers!
How to Make Sausage Balls
Make sure your sausage is at room temperature before you start, but don’t leave it out overnight! Preheat your oven and start mixing and forming your balls while the oven comes to temperature.
Mix your sausage and baking mix until the baking mix is completely incorporated. You won’t believe your eyes when it disappears into the sausage! This will bind the balls together without giving it an overly bready texture.
Once combined, add the cheese and mix it throughout your raw sausage. Roll the sausage mixture into 1-inch balls and place on parchment paper on a baking sheet with sides to catch the drippings as the sausage cooks!
Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees F and allow the balls to rest before serving or storing.
Use Raw Sausage
Do not cook the sausage, it needs to be raw. Read that twice — the sausage needs to be raw.
Cooked sausage will not come together easily with the ingredients and will leave dry pockets of baking mix everywhere.
Let the sausage come to room temperature for easier mixing. This will take a minimum of 15 minutes. I also have better luck with the cheaper sausages on the market because of the higher fat content.
Any kind of sausage that is raw can be substituted, including spicy breakfast sausage or Italian sausage!
If I were using Italian sausage, I would change my cheese to mozzarella though and serve with a marinara sauce rather than sour cream.
I use pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
One, it is less work. Two, it seems to hold up better when mixing it all together.
Leave the cheese in the refrigerator until it’s time to mix it in! Cold cheese will hold its shape during baking while warmer cheese will melt into the sausage.
Change up the Cheeses
The cheese can be omitted. I have made these without cheese and they are still good. Cheese just makes everything better!
Spicy cheese would be great mixed with spicy sausage. Just keep the heat level in mind if there will be kids eating these.
Cream cheese can be added to sausage balls if you like.
You can easily add up to 8 ounces of softened cream cheese for an even more moist sausage ball! Mix well with the sausage before adding Bisquick.
The amount of baking mix in the recipe is not a mistake!
I use way less than other recipes so to avoid diluting the sausage flavors with milk.
When a friend tried mine, he was amazed! He had tried making them before but was never able to get them crispy or moist like mine.
He said they were always dry and kind of crumbly — I suspect because he was using used too much baking mix or flour.
In this recipe, I skip the milk and use just enough baking mix to bind the sausage and cheese together.
Bisquick is my preferred brand, but I have used other brands without issue.
Using a gluten-free baking mix is an acceptable substitution and I suspect with all of the flavors going on no one will notice a difference.
Mixing the Dough
For a rustic looking ball with all the lumps and bumps you might remember from childhood, go ahead and get at it with a set of impeccably clean hands!
For hands-free mixing, a dough hook on a stand mixer works great and is quick, but the balls will have a smoother texture. You can buy the mixer I use at Amazon using the affiliate link.
I add my cheese at the very end of the mixing. Waiting until the end allows more of the cheese to stay together, which leaves nice cheesy pockets in the cooked sausage balls.
Forming Into Balls
I find it easiest to make all the sausage balls the same by using my medium number 40 cookie scoop and then splitting that in half.
If you want larger sausage balls, don’t split the dough in half.
Just make sure you cook the larger balls until the centers are 165 degrees F!
How to Serve
You can serve these plain or with some dipping sauces. Maple syrup as a dipping sauce is perfect for breakfast or brunch!
Frito Lay makes a great cheddar cheese dip that would pair nicely with these.
Sour cream is always good, especially if you have used a hot sausage or added cayenne pepper for heat. I add a tiny bit of water to make it thinner.
Want even more heat? No problem! Add some sriracha sauce to your sour cream like we do our Bacon Wrapped Baby Potato Bites.
I have served with honey mustard, plain mustard, mustard mixed with mayonnaise for a “creamy” mustard dip.
Grape jelly mixed with chili sauce would also be a great sauce to serve on the side. But I have to admit, I prefer mine plain.
Make These in Advance
I love a make-ahead recipe, and this is one of them!
In fact, there are are two ways for making them in advance.
- The balls can be prepared in advance, stashed in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and cooked just before your company arrives so you can serve them hot. They can also be stored in the freezer. If frozen, thaw overnight before baking.
- You can bake them and place them into the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freezer for up to 3 months, and re-heat them as needed.
Why are they dry?
These sausage balls will dry out quickly if there’s too much baking mix to the ratio of sausage. Try adding some milk or reduce the amount of Bisquick.
If you used our recipe and they are dry, your sausage balls might have dry pockets that they were not mixed well enough. You really need to get your hands in there and mix it all up.
If you have burnt bottoms, your oven temperature may be set too high or the pan may be too close to the burner if you have an electric stove. Grab a sharp paring knife and slice off the burnt bottoms. It isn’t going to look the best, but you won’t be wasting an entire batch!
The bottom of the sausage ball will be darker than the top no matter where you put the baking sheet in the oven.
The cheese may even ooze out and brown on the bottom. Once the cheese has set, you can easily break it off. I kind of like the flavor of the browned cheese, so I tend to leave it.
Make Without Bisquick or Baking Mix
If you find yourself without any baking mix, don’t fret! You can still make these.
Substitute 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda for the baking mix.
If you don’t want to use any of these so you can keep it gluten-free, you can do that too!
If you need gluten-free sausage balls, you can certainly use the gluten-free baking mixes.
You could also substitute it with 1 1/2 cups of Rice Chex crumbs. I process Rice Chex cereal into a fine crumb and use it as a substitute in my meatballs any time I need a gluten-free filler.
Rice Chex is cheaper than gluten-free bread crumbs, gluten-free flour mixes, and gluten-free baking mixes!
Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days — if they even last that long. Ours never do!
Just pop the sausage balls into the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds and they will be almost as fresh as the day you made them.
If you are tailgating, wrap these in foil and put them into the cooler. Throw them onto the grill for a few minutes and they will be reheated.
This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, and quadrupled, making it perfect for crowd cooking and party planning!
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Bisquick Sausage Balls
- 2 pounds ground breakfast sausage mild or hot, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups Bisquick or another baking mix
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese mild, medium, or sharp
- If sausage is not room temperature, allow it to come to room temperature before beginning.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix sausage and baking mix until all baking mix has been incorporated.
- Add cheese and mix well.
- Form into 1 inch balls.
- Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. The baking sheet needs sides to keep grease from spilling onto the oven floor.
- Place the baking sheet into 375-degree F oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes and serve.