Spicy Sausage Cheese Balls are my interpretation of a classic appetizer. Serve these rich and savory bites with horseradish dipping sauce for a delicious snack.
This classic appetizer is a blend of sausage and cheese baked into savory bites. Paired with a zingy sauce, these sausage cheddar nuggets are the perfect snack for game night, movie night, or just simply munching.
With just three main ingredients - plus a few seasonings - sausage cheddar balls are simple yet loaded with flavor.
- spicy Italian pork sausage - I love a punch of spice in these nuggets but feel free to use sweet Italian sausage if you prefer.
- cheddar cheese - cheddar is traditional, however, pepper jack would provide another spicy kick.
- baking mix (like Bisquick) works as a binder.
For seasoning, I added garlic powder, black pepper, and chopped chives. The chives add both freshness and pretty color.
Can I substitute chicken or turkey sausage?
I don't recommend it as I have only used pork sausage when making this recipe. The fat in the pork sausage helps bind these balls together. Since both chicken and turkey sausage has a lower fat content, the consistency would likely not be the same.
- Start with room-temperature ingredients. The sausage and cheese will blend together more smoothly at room temperature.
- Use freshly grated cheese. It has more moisture than pre-shredded, and this moisture helps to hold the sausage balls together.
- Add milk if the mixture seems dry. Depending on the amount of moisture in the sausage and cheese, a little bit of milk may be needed to bring the mixture together. Add one tablespoon at a time as necessary. The mixture should easily hold together when formed into balls.
- Use a scoop to portion the mixture into balls. Consistency in size ensures even cooking.
- Don't overbake. Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness (internal temperature of 160 degrees). Overbaking will dry out these morsels.
Horseradish cream sauce
I love to serve these sausage cheddar balls with a creamy horseradish sauce. This dip is a simple combination of sour cream and prepared horseradish. The amount of horseradish can be adjusted to your personal taste.
Not a fan of horseradish? Try ranch dressing, mustard, and even ketchup!
More appetizer recipes to try
- Cranberry Brie Crostini
- Maple Dijon Bacon Wrapped Smoked Sausage
- Bacon-Wrapped Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Barbecue Chicken Nachos
- Everything Bagel Snack Mix
- Tortilla Roll Ups with Corned Beef, Green Olives, and Scallions
- Bacon and Blue Loaded Cheese Fries
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Spicy Sausage Cheese Balls
- 8 ounces spicy Italian pork sausage ((at room temperature))
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese (shredded (at room temperature))
- ½ cup Bisquick baking mix
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1-2 tablespoons milk (if needed)
Horseradish cream sauce
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish (adjusted to taste)
- 1 pinch Kosher salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sausage and shredded cheese. Mix until incorporated. Add the baking mix, garlic powder, pepper, and chives, and mix again. If the mixture seems to dry to hold together, add milk - one tablespoon at a time - until the mixture comes together.
- Using a tablespoon-sized scoop, portion the mixture out and roll into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees.
- Meanwhile, add the sour cream and horseradish to a small bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.