Friday, December 28, 2012

Cream Cheese Sausage Balls

I wonder how long these little appetizers have been around.  I think everyone can remember eating them at some point or another in their lives.  Some may say they are old-fashioned but if you ever go to a party where these are served, they are always eaten up because they are familiar to people.  And folks love 'em! They haven't stood the test of time for nothing.  The sausage ball has evolved some over the years but the basic recipe is almost always the same.  Sausage.  Bisquick. Cheese.  This particular recipe adds cream cheese to the mix to amp up the creaminess and flavor of the original Bisquick sausage ball recipe.
But I will tell (and show you) that not everything I make turns out exactly like I planned.  Like these sausage balls.  The cream cheese adds great flavor, but it also causes these balls to spread a bit when cooking.  The original recipe I had didn't say whether to chill them first or to use a greased or ungreased baking sheet.  So I took a shot in the dark and put some parchment paper on my baking sheet.
And they sort of spread out on me. So they weren't so much balls as they were blobs.  Which honestly, doesn't really matter a hoot to me.  The taste was so yummy. But I figured folks might want a more put-together circular form.  So I tried it again on an ungreased sheet, thinking that maybe the parchment paper was the problem.  Well, they not only spread out some and stuck to the pan...
...but they also got a bit burned on the bottoms.  Now, I don't think anything was necessarily wrong with that original recipe.  The oven temperature seemed a bit too hot and maybe my baking sheet needed to be on a higher rack.
Like I said, the taste was still delicious. So I'm not really sure what I was messing up on.  Maybe the original recipe was cooked on stoneware instead of metal?  Maybe the mixture was chilled first?  Who knows. But I really loved the taste of these so I went back to the drawing board to see if I couldn't find a way to help them keep more of a circular shape.  So what I decided to do was add a bit more Bisquick to the recipe to make it a bit more firmer.  And I also decided to chill the formed sausage balls before baking.  I also decided to stick with the parchment paper on the metal baking sheets because it not only helps with sticking but with clean up as well.  It was worth it to make these a second time.  These would certainly be a hit at any party!
1 lb. hot sausage, uncooked
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened
2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together sausage and cream cheese.
Note: This is easiest combined with an electric mixer.  
If you don't have one, you can always get in there with your hands because you want this combined well.   Your hands may get messy but they will do a good job.
Add in baking mix and stir until combined.
Then add in cheese.  Feel free to be generous with your cheese measurements if you love cheese like I do.  Stir until combined.
Scoop up meat mixture and form into 1-inch balls.  I like to use my small spring-release cookie scooper.  But you can eyeball these as you make them. The cookie scooper just helps keep them a more uniform size.  But use whatever works for you here.
Once you have them all on the baking sheet, just go back and roll them around in your hands
 to make them a bit more smooth on the outside.
Then pop your baking sheet in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Once they are chilled, bake for about 25 minutes. 
The should be firm to the touch and golden brown on the outside.
Success! A bit more circular, don't you think?
 I thought they were delicious with some Honey Mustard Dressing.
Cook's Notes: I was able to get about 64 sausage balls from this recipe.  
Also, the hot sausage was not really all that hot.  I wouldn't consider it spicy.

Printable Recipe Here

Recipe Inspiration: Plain Chicken


macawsj said...

This sounds too good to not put on the "to-cook" list :)
Can't wait to try it!

Rustown Mom said...

YUM. We used to make these in college. Never tried them with cream cheese, but it sounds great. I think fresh from the oven they are the best - I made them in advance last Christmas and they were hard to heat up without drying them out. can't wait to try your version!

Medeja said...

How interesting.. Sausage and cream cheese! I don't think I have tasted something like that before.

Debbie said...

These look delicious....never had them before. They would make a great appetizer!

Rosalyn said...

My son made these for Christmas eve and baked them in muffin tins. Turned out great and really cute. This is the way to go!

Melissa Bo said...

These sound so good! =)
I love easy recipes like this. =)

Pinning to save!

Stephanie Parker said...

Glad you liked them - I have a batch in the freezer right now. We love them!

Anita at Hungry Couple said...

I've never actually had sausage balls but it looks so good that I think I'll have to give them a try!

Liz Shepherd said...

We use the Italian Sweet Sausage and Pepper Jack cheese when we make them and they're always a hit! Just a pain to take the casings off but as long as the sausage is chilled when you start comes off pretty easily.

Anonymous said...

So thrilled to have found & made this recipe! Our family just loved this. Super delicious!

Tori Jessop said...

I made these tonight and they were a big hit, thank you!!
I used regular sausage, but next time I will use the hot sausage (I wanted the kids to try them and not be turned off by being too spicey) I made the mixture and refridgerated in overnight, when I baked them they remained in a ball shape and did not spread. Great for dipping and I used honey mustard like you said.

If I make these ahead of time and freeze them how should I prepare them? Bake then freeze, or unbaked then freeze?

The Country Cook said...

Hi Tori - so glad you liked them. These freeze beautifully. You do have to flash freeze them on a tray for a few minutes before packing them into a freezer safe bag so they don't stick together. But you can bake these right from frozen. Just add a few minutes onto the cooking time. :)

Bill Belyea said...

saw this on food network and followed their recipe. it didn' call for cream cheese plus 3 cups of Bisquick or to chill them. tasted good but dry so will follow these directions. would also be good with a biscuit and gravy mix for breakfast too

Dena Martin said...

Great ideas throughout as you perfected your recipe. I was fishing around on your site for appetizer-type stuff for a business gathering that we are hosting at our Bed & Breakfast. This is perfect for that occasion and I believe it could become a regular thing on our breakfast menu. Great side to any breakfast entree!

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Elaine Williams said...

I would love to make these and refrigerate over night then bake them in the oven the next morning for my husband before work. Do you think leaving them in the refrigerator over night would make them loose their shape? Any suggestions? He leaves very early.

tanya1234 said...

thankx alotttttttttttt :)

KENTUCKY LADY 717 said...

This sounds so good, just found another recipe similiar to this one online will compare this with yours and definitely will make one of these....usually anything made with Bisquick, I love it.....have the recipe for the biscuits made from bisquick that are similiar to the ones you get at O'CHARLEY'S & RED LOBSTER.....haven't made them's on my list tho :)

Unknown said...

did you try leaving in fridge? would love to know how they turned out

Lisa Lindemuth said...

Have been making these for years, but never with cream cheese. My recipe calls for 3cups of Bisquik, so you were probably right to add more. They can be a bit dry to mix. The cream cheese should eliminate that problem. Thanks for sharing. By the way, these are a family tradition.

Anonymous said...

When I first read this recipe a few weeks back , I wondered why there wasn't more bisquick in it, and decided to make it with 3 cups bisquick just like always only add the cream cheese.

Barbara lemonBarbaraLemon said...

I don't take time to comment , but love your site, the layout, your suggestions. It really peaked my interest to cook again
After recently becoming empty nesters. I appreciate your dedication and look forward to what is on the menu next.

Anonymous said...

Add a small amount of water to the reciepe using the 3 cups of bisquick they mix together so much better and are not dry. I only use about 1/4 cup of water you do not want to add to much.

Anonymous said...

I just baked these, but used Jimmy Dean pre-cooked sausage patties thawed. I placed all ingredients in my Ninja blender and mixed until it turned to dough and then scooped out. I made 12 large biscuits. They were awesome, will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe.

Linda said...

WOW!!! I just discovered "The Country Cook" website, and it is amazing!! I attempted the cream cheese sausage balls from another site and it was a disaster. Then I found YOU. I do think my husband was cringing when I told him I was going to make those little sausage balls again, he fully remembered my first attempt. This time though using a different recipe, YOURS. He is extremely happy that I tried them again and so am I. I looked through your recipe list, now I can't wait to get started. Thank you for making me feel like I can handle so many delicious looking recipes because you have made them so easy.

Anonymous said...

I just finished making this recipe to be frozen and then baked Christmas Eve. I did throw 6 of them in the oven so we could taste test and they turned out great! I didn't have near the amount of Bisquick as I thought, but did have a pouch of mix for Cheddar Bay Biscuits - it worked just as well. Hubby said I should have baked more and we could call it dinner.

Donna Lee Duffy said...

made again today, tried over weekend from a site but just plain dry. I tried your method with cream cheese and doing the refrigerator method and good. and I'm glad came back and read more replies so I now know I can freeze and keep till Christmas. Thanks

Joan LaBine said...

Can you make ahead and freeze then pull them out and cook them?