My family makes these typical sausage cheese balls at just about every holiday. I’ve always ignored them because I don’t eat pork. I’ve been missing out on one of the BEST appetizers ever. We swapped out the pork for some hot Italian chicken sausage from Fresh Thyme. These sausage balls are generally made with Bisquick but we were extra classy and used Cracker Barrel buttermilk baking & pancake mix. I questioned whether we could just make our own biscuit mix for these but apparently, the pre-made mix is the way to go.
If I was forced to use a pre-made mix, the least I could do is use some fresh herbs. We had just used this rosemary and thyme for our steak dinner and didn’t want to let them go to waste. They were the perfect addition to these little bites. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, that’s fine but make sure you use about half the amount of dried herbs since they are a bit more potent.
Technically, yes, you could use regular pork in these sausage balls but I would suggest switching it up! Chicken is typically lower in fat so you can pretend these are healthy. Whichever you use, just make sure to cook it first and let it cool completely before mixing all your other ingredients.
The awesome thing about these little chicken sausage balls is that you really only use one bowl to mix everything. Anytime I only have a few dishes, I’m a happy camper. You could use your stand mixer if you don’t like getting your hands dirty. But, I think they are better when you hand mix them so you can evenly distribute all the toppings.
Speaking of using your hands, you could scoop these out into the balls by hand. Or you could use a handy dandy cookie scoop. I love my cookie scoop so I opted for this method. Plus, they are all the same size and shape and will cook evenly. No one wants a half mushy sausage ball and an overcooked one in the same batch.
Okay, but like how good do these look? You might as well make a double batch because you’ll eat half of them before you make it to your party. Since this is a pretty basic sausage ball recipe, you could definitely add some fun mix-ins. Next time I would chop up some jalapenos or maybe some red peppers and go from there. The opportunities are endless.
- 2 cups favorite pre-made biscuit mix
- 3/4 pound fresh chicken sausage
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parmesan
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- Cook sausage in cast iron skillet until crumbled and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine biscuit mix, shredded cheese, rosemary, thyme, parmesan and cooled sausage in large bowl. Then, add milk and combine with hands.
- Once mixture is totally combined, use cookie scoop to portion onto greased or parchment paper lined sheet pans.
- Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.
- Let cool slightly and enjoy with favorite dipping or hot sauce. Try not to eat them all in one sitting.
- Typically, fresh chicken sausage is in links in the meat case. You can easily cut through the casing off at home.
- Do NOT add extra salt. The cheese, sausage and biscuit mix all have salt. Do not add extra or your dish will be not so delicious.