There’s nothing like the biscuit like texture of homemade sausage balls. Learn the secret for how to make sausage balls without Bisquick and you’ll have a light and less greasy version with no added chemicals. Whether you’re making them for breakfast or as an appetizer, these are a winner.
Here in the South, sausage balls are a staple for all holidays or parties, and no game day is complete without a plate of these delicious bites. But do you know how to make sausage balls without Bisquick?
While most people make the classic Bisquick recipe for sausage balls you might not have a box in your pantry or just want to avoid processed foods, or maybe you want a sausage ball with a biscuit like texture that’s less greasy and a little addictive!
This sausage ball recipe is just as easy as the original Bisquick sausage ball recipe and so much better. Instead of Bisquick, you will use flour, baking powder, butter and salt. I bet you have those in your pantry and fridge.
Why you’ll love homemade sausage balls
- You just need a few ingredients
- They’re quick and easy to make
- They are a staple around the holidays
- There’s nothing better to serve for Game Day
- The biscuit like texture is amazing
What you’ll need
- Flour – either use all purpose flour or if you’re making the almond flour recipe use almond flour and not almond meal for a smoother texture. Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite.
- Sausage – Traditional sausage balls use a ground pork breakfast sausage. My favorite is Neese’s Sausage, any breakfast sausage will work. The better the quality the less greasy the sausage ball. However, you can also use Italian sausage, just remove the casing. Whichever type of sausage you choose, it needs to be ground and raw.
- Cheese – A sharp cheddar cheese will give you more flavor in the sausage ball. It is important for this recipe to avoid using pre-shredded cheese. The reason is that there is a coating on pre-shredded cheese that will make it harder to make them into balls and it will not melt as well. If pre-shredded is all you have, you might need to add a little milk to help it all stick together. If you are making pimento cheese sausage balls, you will want to choose a pimento cheese that is thick with less mayonnaise, I use MyThreeSons Gourmet.
- Butter – this is added to the flour to give them a biscuit like texture, no shortening in this recipe.
- Pantry items – baking powder and salt, an egg if making them with almond flour.
How do you make sausage balls without bisquick
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. With your fingers or a pastry cutter, add the butter to the flour mixture.
If you have a stand mixer, add cheese and then gradually add sausage a little at a time until it’s all mixed together. In the alternative you can mix this together with your hands in a large bowl.
Use an ice cream or cookie scoop and form into balls, then roll them between your hands to make them smooth. If using a 1-2 tablespoon scoop you will get about 40 balls.
Place the sausage balls on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake just until they start to brown, about 15 minutes. Bisquick sausage balls have quite a bit of grease but these do not so you don’t need to cook them on a baking rack.
Tips for making sausage balls
- Let the sausage warm up on the counter for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to combine with the flour and cheese.
- Try to keep the sausage balls about the same size so that they are not overcooked.
- To prevent them from being dry, don’t cook these too long. Remove them as soon as they start to brown.
- If you want to make these a day in advance, roll them into balls and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Don’t use pre-shredded cheese.
- If using pimento cheese, try to find a brand that does not have very much mayonnaise.
- If the mixture is too dry and does not come together, you can add a little milk to the mixture. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour.
Sausage Balls Three Ways
I have three favorite sausage ball recipes, none of which require Bisquick.
For traditional sausage balls you will use a traditional breakfast sausage and sharp cheddar cheese. You can change these up and make them spicer by adding cayenne pepper. You can use sausage with sage, or use Italian sausage instead. As long as you are using ground pork it will work in this recipe.
If you want to increase the flavor, use an aged sharp cheddar cheese. Any other cheese will work, but a sharp cheddar adds that traditional flavor we expect in a sausage ball.
Sausage balls are great all by themselves but you can also serve them with dip, like honey mustard or ranch dressing if you are serving these as an appetizer. For breakfast, they are perfect all by themselves or serve with your favorite quiche. On Christmas morning, we serve them with cinnamon rolls!
Adding pimento cheese to sausage balls combines two Southern classics into an amazing sausage balls. If you aren’t familiar with pimento cheese, it is a creamy spread made with sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and pimentos. The slight tang from the mayonnaise and pimentos elevates the traditional sausage ball.
Using a pre-made pimento cheese also eliminates the need to shred the cheese and the mayonnaise in the spread keeps them from drying out.
When choosing the pimento cheese, try to choose a brand that is not too creamy, the less mayonnaise the better. If the brand you’ve chosen has too much mayonnaise, the sausage balls will be sticky and will spread when baking.
To avoid this, just add a little more flour to the sausage balls. The mixture should be dry enough that you can roll it with your hands without the sausage mixture sticking to your hands. Pimento cheese makes the best cheesy sausage balls with a boost of flavor.
You can even make sausage balls without all purpose flour. Adding almond flour instead adds a slightly different flavor but is equally delicious. You’ll need to add an egg to the mixture in order to get a good texture and keep them from falling apart.
If you want to make a gluten free or low carb recipe, this is one that will win everyone over. You don’t have to have dietary restrictions to love these sausage balls. The baked version will be a little lumpier due to the texture of the almond flour.
Grab some sausage and cheese and you’re ready to make the best game day appetizers, or save this recipe for the next time you have friends over and don’t forget the holidays.
What to serve with sausage balls
If serving for breakfast, they can be a stand alone breakfast, kind of like a mini sausage biscuit. They are also great as a side to any egg dish, or carb load and serve them with cinnamon rolls, the sweet and savory are a great combination.
If you’re serving as an appetizer, here are some others to add to the spread.
Instead of Bisquick combine flour, baking powder, salt and butter.
The amount of fat in the sausage can affect how dry they are. If the mixture does not come together when you’re forming into balls, add a little milk. Also be careful not to over bake them, take them out as soon as they start to turn brown.
You can make sausage balls a day ahead of time. Just cover the prepared balls with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
You will want to use ground pork of any kind for sausage balls. Traditional recipes use breakfast sausage but you can also use Italian sausage.
For the best flavor, try an aged sharp cheddar cheese or pimento cheese.
The easiest way to make sausage balls is with a stand mixer, it will do a great job of combining all of the ingredients. You can also use a food processor. However, you can make perfectly delicious sausage balls by mixing them with your hands.
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
Non Greasy Sausage Balls
- 2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter cold
- 1 lb. sausage uncooked
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 400º. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add flour, baking powder, salt and butter to a stand mixer or food processor and mix until butter is incorporated or pinch the butter together with your fingers until it is incorporated into the flour. Add grated cheese and mix. Add sausage a little at a time and mix until it comes together
- Using a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop, form into balls and place on prepared rack.
- Bake for 15 minutes until slightly browned on the outside. Serve warm.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If you want a low carb version, try Sausage Balls with Almond Flour
- If making pimento cheese sausage balls, substitute cheddar cheese for 10 ounces of pimento cheese.
- You will get the best results if you grate the cheese instead of buying pre-shredded cheese.
- Use a stand mixer or food processor to combine the ingredients.
- For perfectly shaped balls, use a small ice-cream scoop.
- You can refrigerate the balls prior to baking or freeze once they have been baked.
- To reheat, sprinkle with water and bake at 350º for 5-10 minutes.