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Oldies, Goodies and Sausage Cheese Balls (Recipe: Easy Sausage Cheese Balls)

December 8, 2012
by Jackie Garvin

I saw that Food Network’s website had posted Paula Deen’s recipe for Sausage Balls. This time-honored recipe has been around for so long and is so well-known, I found it surprising that Food Network would highlight it.  This is a recipe I was certain that everybody and their brother-in-law knew by heart.  I hadn’t ever bother to write-up a blog post about it because I was just knew  no one would read it.  For heaven’s sake, I’ve been making these since before I had to start wearing deodorant and I assumed the same was true for the rest of the country.

So, I go to the source of all things social, Facebook, and posted a comment about how well-known Sausage Cheese Balls are and questioning  whether or not  to write-up a blog post.


Patty said,

 Never had them! Must try!

Sandy said,

 Never heard of them… please share.

Traycee said,

 Please do b/c I’m a newbie to cooking and don’t know what they are! (Gasp)

Jill said,

I never heard of them either and I promise to read your blog post too

G.D. said,

Aw lawd the poor people who don’t know… Now you must do it!!!!

Bust my buttons!  I think you’re right, G.D.!  As soon as the proclamation was made, I sprang into action.  Well, actually, it was a few days later because I was up to my eyebrows in preparing items to sell at our church’s Christmas Open House.  But…that’s another story.

Now, back to the Facebook chatter about Sausage Cheese Balls. I hope you’ll jump over and read the thread.  There’s really some amusing comments.  I’ll end with one that literally made me laugh out loud.

Mike said,

  I’ve seen some funny “recipes” on the FN site; I saw one a few months ago for frozen grapes.

Y’all come see us!




Easy Sausage Cheese Balls

yields: approx. 54 balls

Allow yourself some extra time to grate the cheese yourself instead of using pre-grated packaged cheese which has a preservative coating that makes it dry.  This is one time you don’t want to let the grocery store help you save time by offering up pre-grated packaged cheese. Just consider it a good upper body exercise and grate with your right and left hands equally.  Your arms and shoulders will look gorgeous, dahling!

Using two different varieties of cheddar adds to the flavor.  I do the same thing with pimmenocheese. I find it easier to mix cheese and baking mix together first, and then mix in sausage.Allowing  the sausage to come to room temperature  makes it easier to mix with the baking mix and cheese.

If you don’t want to bake-off the entire batch at once, lay the balls out on a baking sheet in a single layer, not touching each other, and place them in the freezer.  Once they are frozen solid, you can store them in a freezer bag.  To bake, let them thaw and proceed with the regular baking instructions.

Having the right balance between the baking mix with the sausage and cheese is the key to tender, moist Sausage Cheese Balls.  The original recipe called for more baking mix and less cheese.  I have made adjustments to account for the fact that pork is much leaner now.  Using the original proportions would result in a hard, dry and virtually tasteless lump.

I use Jimmy Dean ground sausage exclusively for this recipe.  Other brands may have more fat, in which case, you would need to bump up the amount of baking mix that you’re using. Of course,  you’d need to experiment to know that.  Or, you can stick with Jimmy Dean brand.

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 cups baking mix (I use Bisquick)

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, optional

1 pound Jimmy Dean ground sausage, uncooked

First, you need to find a big ol’ bowl, one that you’re sure is bigger than you need.  You need lots of mixing room to get  this mixed up right.  Once you’ve located your bowl, throw in the cheese  THAT YOU GRATED because we’re not using pre-grated packaged cheese.  Remember?

Add cayenne pepper, if using,  to baking mix.     Pour on top of cheese and mix well.

Next, take you room temperature ground sausage and start mixing it in with the flour and cheese blend.  Mix and mix until it all comes together in a nice big ball.

Prepare a baking sheet, or two, by covering with foil and spraying with nonstick spray.

Pinch off pieces of the mixture and roll into walnut size balls.  Place one inch apart on baking sheets.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the balls are nicely browned being careful not to let bottoms burn.

Let sit on the baking sheet for 5 minute before removing.  Serve with Honey Mustard Sage Sauce.

Honey Mustard Sage Sauce

4 tablespoons mustard

3 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 tablespoons  honey

1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely minced.

Whisk all ingredients and store in refrigerator.  Serve chilled.

You might also enjoy:

Christmas Morn Casserole



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35 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2012 4:42 pm

    Oh, those poor souls who’ve never had a sausage roll!!! That sauce sound delicious, too.

    • December 9, 2012 7:51 am


      Can you believe it?? I thought for sure everybody knew about sausage cheese balls. :)

  2. December 8, 2012 7:32 pm

    Oh how I wish we could get American style sausage here. I try clone recipes but I haven’t found the right spice mix yet. THEN I could make these sausage-cheese balls

    • December 9, 2012 7:24 am


      There’s got to be a way that we can run down the right spices for you. I don’t believe the spices in country style sausage are very complicated. Let me see if I can get some sauage makers to give me their combinations. I’m assuming you can get ground pork.

    • December 16, 2012 12:39 pm

      The main spice in American sausage not found in other countries (I’ve tried sausage in England and Germany) is sage.

      • December 16, 2012 6:43 pm


        Thanks for your input! Sage is an important ingredient in our sausage, for sure! :)

  3. Robin permalink
    December 9, 2012 8:07 am

    Lord have mercy!! Never heard of sausage balls??? My daughter insists that I make them for ever gathering!! Tailgates, Christmas, birthdays. EVERY holiday!! I know there are about 10,000 ways make these bites of Heaven and I’m going to try FN’s recipe!!

  4. December 10, 2012 12:23 am

    Sausage balls are an absolute must have for my family during the holidays. There’s typically just two of us eating them and I can never get by on one batch. Maybe sausage balls are a southern thing since I’m a southern girl and I see you’re from the south too. I’ve been making these since before I could see over the counter. I always use all extra sharp cheddar in mine and have never added the cayenne but I also always use hot sausage. Haven’t ever tried a dipping sauce with them but yours sounds delish!

    • December 10, 2012 6:58 am

      I never thought that Sausage Balls were a regional dish because I believe the original recipe was developed by Bisquick which is national company without Southern roots. However, it seems the recipe took hold in the South more than any other place. We Southerners know a good thing when we bite into it! :)

  5. Ann permalink
    December 10, 2012 9:09 am

    I just love these things – have also been making them forever!!! Never tried a dipping sauce – but love the honey mustard idea, we will have some before the holiday season is over

    • December 10, 2012 9:32 am


      I would have been depressed beyond description if you weren’t a regular sausage ball maker/lover! :)

  6. cindy permalink
    December 10, 2012 9:33 am

    The only thing I do differently in my recipe is after I mix the bisquik and cheese I call my husband in to mix in the sausage and roll out the balls. :) I have this thing about getting raw meat and gooey stuff under my nails. (and I wear them very short) yuk!

    It is hard to believe there are people who have not made these or at least tasted them!

  7. Tom permalink
    December 10, 2012 9:41 pm

    Sausage Cheese Balls are a family tradition here. We’ve not missed a holiday season since the late seventies or early eighties. We make a round of them for Thanksgiving and another for Christmas.

    • December 10, 2012 10:15 pm


      Do you have Southern roots? I’ve been surprised by the regional appeal of sausage cheese balls.

  8. Eric permalink
    December 28, 2012 9:35 am

    They are absolutly awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! my wife’s friend brought them over to our annual Bouche de Noel night and I could not keep my hands of of them. Make double or triple batch….trust me these things are killer…they go great with a homemade ranch or blue cheese dip:)

    • December 28, 2012 10:27 am

      So glad you enjoyed them! They’re sort of like potato chips…..once you get started eating them, it’s hard to stop. :)

  9. Beverly Sargent permalink
    December 31, 2012 3:19 pm

    Love sausage cheese balls – have been making them since I started cooking – some 30+ years ago! I’ve seen photos of them being baked in a mini muffin pan, have you tried that? I’ve also served them with grape jelly as a dipping sauce/side – but your honey mustard sounds wonderful!

    • December 31, 2012 3:34 pm


      What an excellent idea of making mini muffins out of Sausage Balls! That would certainly be easier than rolling out all those balls.

      Grape jelly would go so well with these. I like to put grape jelly on sausage biscuits. YUM!

      Happy New Year! :)

      • cindy permalink
        December 31, 2012 5:50 pm

        I’ve been making these for years too, but this year had the bright idea to mix them in my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook. Perfect and quick! Now if it could just make balls!

        • December 31, 2012 6:54 pm


          What a smart, smart, smart thing to do!!! I’m will certainly try this next time. I don’t use my dough hook nearly enough. I just can’t get in the habit of thinking about it.

          Thanks so much for stopping in, Cindy. Happy New Year! :)

          • cindy permalink
            December 31, 2012 11:01 pm

            To be honest, I think this is the first time I’ve used my dough hook and I’ve had my mixer about 7 years! Incidentally, I just watched your video of pimenocheese today……my first of your videos. I don’t know how I’ve missed that you have videos!!! I’m afraid that I will spend a lot more time at my computer now! :)

            Happy New Year to you and yours!

            • January 1, 2013 1:10 am


              That’s about the same amount of time that Ive had my KitchenAide and haven’t used the dough hook once. I make cinnamon rolls at Christmas and the recipe I use requires 10 minutes of kneading. Even that doesn’t remind me to use my dough hook. I think about it when the rolls are all done. :)

              Enjoy the videos!

  10. patty permalink
    January 27, 2013 2:39 pm

    Back in th 70′s these were called Disco Drops!!! Been lookong for original recipe for a reunion with college friends. Thanks!

    • January 27, 2013 4:08 pm

      Hi Patty,

      Disco Drops is an interesting name and certainly fitting for the ’70 s era. Happy reunion!

  11. Anna Goodwin permalink
    February 19, 2013 3:26 am

    This is my mom’s basic recipe with two main changes – one: NC girl here – so Neese’s Hot Sausage, (Jimmy dean only in a pinch – also hot), and two: straight up extra sharp cheddar. Gone in a flash – my husband devors them straight from the oven.

    • February 20, 2013 9:43 pm


      They are good straight from the oven! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your version. :)

  12. Lane Edwards permalink
    December 5, 2013 9:32 am

    I have been making these for many many years and offer a couple suggestions(ok, more than a couple). Make sure everything is at room temperature to make mixing easier. Use a HOT sausage, the heat has already had time to blend with the sausage. Also pinch off small pieces of the sausage and blend in like you did the cheese, it makes it easier to mix. In addition to cayenne pepper several shots of a hot pepper sauce is a good addition. Use the sharpest cheese you can get a hold of so the flavor will survive the baking process better. This year I changed the recipe just a bit. I used 3 cups of Bisquick instead of 2 AND added 1/2 cup of milk – it makes the mix a lot easier to mix. Mix by hand AND put on a pair of latex or nitril gloves as it makes it easier to clean up afterwards. Use a scoop or “disher” that provides about 1-1/2 tablespoons to portion your sausage cheese balls. portion out onto a tray and then go back and roll between the palms of your hands. Have I mention how much I like sausage cheese balls???

  13. trish duncan permalink
    December 5, 2013 5:29 pm

    It is not Christmas morning with out them… they are ready while the rest of the breakfast cooks..LOL..

  14. Angie permalink
    December 5, 2013 10:16 pm

    I’ve made sausage cheese balls since high school and being from Tennessee I use Tennessee Pride sausage in mine. I suspect it may not be available in some areas of the country.

    • December 7, 2013 9:21 am


      I don’t how widely available Tennessee Pride is. We can get where I live. I used to buy their little sausage biscuits when my kids were little. They were the perfect size for little hands.

  15. December 6, 2013 7:15 am

    I’ve heard of them, but have yet to try them. This actually looks like something I could make, en-mass, for a Sunday brunch at church. They love my bacon, sausage, cheese, cornbread thing that I make. They don’t eat it, they inhale it. Thanks for the recipe.
    God bless.

    • December 7, 2013 9:19 am

      They’re great to make for a crowd, Chris, because they freeze so well. You can freeze then cooked, thaw, wrap in aluminum foil and reheat.

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