Friday, December 18, 2015

Sausage Cheese Balls - Rolling into Christmas

What these sausage cheese balls lack in sophistication, they more than make up for with their taste, simplicity, and proven track record for making party-goers happy. No one goes to a holiday party thinking, “I hope they serve sausage cheese balls,” but they all leave very grateful you did.

I’m not sure how these evolved into a Christmas snack, but I bet it has something to do with the fact you can stretch a few pounds of meat and cheese into enough finger food for a large crowd. They can also be made ahead, which helps in the old holiday time management department.

This is a recipe where everyone uses the same basic ingredients, but in wildly different proportions. Look online, and you’ll see versions with half the amount of biscuit mix, as well as ones with three times as much. It all depends on how bready verses cheesy/meaty you want your balls to be.

The bad news is, the only way to figure out your ideal formula is to test multiple versions. This is also the good news. Speaking of formulas, this originally calls for biscuit mix (like Bisquick), but I prefer to use self-rising flour. Besides some added fat, that’s all biscuit mix is, and a little extra cheese more than makes up for any missing shortening.

If you have some biscuit mix in the cupboard, by all means use it, but otherwise I see no need to go out and buy a box. If you don’t have self-rising flour, I’ve given instructions below for how to make your own. I really hope you give these sausage cheese balls a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes about 48 sausage cheese balls:
1 1/4 pounds raw hot Italian pork sausage meat (just remove the casing from uncooked, link-style sausages)
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
1/2 pound shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 cups)
2 cups biscuit mix, or self-rising flour (*see below to make your own)
2 tablespoons milk

- Bake at 450F. for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through (I like to broil for a minute or two for extra color)

* To make your own self-rising flour, sift together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, with 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon fine salt.

31 comments:

Wasim Atarie said...

Hello Chef John,

What can I substitue the pork sausage with, a beef or chicken version?

Chef John said...

Any seasoned raw ground meat will work! How well? I can't say, but physically it will work.

Heidi Janke said...

Hello Chef John,

Thanks for another great video! What type of camera do you use to produce your series?
This is not a weird solicitation, we just love your style.

Steve Kennedy said...

Thank you!

Kennapop3 said...

Yes you can double dip and eat them all, I double dip and claim what's left. I always check to make sure another batch is not soon to be rushed out of the kitchen though.

Mike B. said...

I would also say to stay away from artisan ground, fancy (i.e. expensive) sausage. I found that the fat in the sausage does most of the binding work, and most of those artisan grinds are much too rough to let the fat melt/soften and bind everything together. In this recipe, cheap is great! I personally use white sharp cheddar and Swedish Farmer's cheese in a 3:1 ratio. The farmers get really annoyed, but I find the mix really sets it apart.

Sandi Kubich said...

what is the difference if i use "bisquick" or the self rising flour? I have bisquick on hand is why I ask

Andrey Sidey said...

Hi, John! Why are you so scratched the metal bowl for mixing? ))) Is it time to replace it?

Gary Silco said...

This stuff is great. And I'm sober.

Anto Nello said...

Can those balls be deepfried?

Eric Thomas said...

Made them for my holiday party and they were a hit. Had multiple sauces to accompany but the dijonaise was the preferred sauce. Thanks Chef John.

rodentraiser said...

Whoa, Chef John, whoa! I'm still back on the salted caramel custard!

There's only going to be 6 of us gathering around this Christmas Eve. I'm already planning to make the caramel custard and the tea cakes, and now I'm thinking about these sausage balls.....not sure how I'm going to manage all this. Maybe if I get the Jimmy Dean sausage.....well, however it gets done, this is gonna be one blitzin' Christmas Eve!

Thank you for the recipes!

Brad Dz said...

These looked so good that im cooking them at 8am on a Sunday. I don't do ANYTHING at 8am on a Sunday.

Jon Jon said...

Well you can turn this in a hamburger , yummy. Thanks Chef ! :)

Kristina Lopez said...

Hi Chef John,

Is there an alternative to the green onions you can recommend? Would garlic or chives work?

matt said...

I'm making a batch from pork and another batch from ground soy

Wishing you good food and good ideas, Jim said...

Can you make them a day ahead and serve room temperature?

mekman said...

double dip? Thats how I reserve the plate for me....

Mike Zimmerman said...

Hi Chef John,

I'm guessing these would be fantastic if paired with your Remoulad sauce 2.0?

I can't see how it would miss ; )

Mannaggia said...

Greetings Chef John, Going to try Asiago cheese. Do you see any problem?
Thanks

Hien Nguyen said...

I'm not sure how much cheese to use. It says 1/2 pound, which is 8 ounces. But when I see the bags of shredded cheese at the supermarket it always shows that 8 ounces is roughly 2 cups not 3.

Phil said...

I love these!
I used to make them in mass quantities and freeze them on a baking sheet then put in a freezer bag. They bake up perfectly from frozen, just give them an extra few minutes. They're great as an accompaniment with soup or salad as well as an appetizer.
Thanks for reminding me, now I need to go and make some!

Beatrice Lawson said...

Hien, the cheese sold shredded in bags is shredded in really large flakes. Go by weight - buy a piece of cheese and grate it.

Mike Zimmerman said...

Confirmed. These go perfect with Chef John's Remoulade 2.0.

Capt Chris said...

Amazeballs! So easy. It was the first dish devoured during the potluck at my local Pub!

Sarah Martin said...

Hello Chef John! I tried making these today with a few modifications (since I didn't have sausage or green onion). So I tried it with ground turkey, homemade buffalo sauce, and chives, and it turned out great! The family loved it :) thank you so much for sharing your recipes!

dodger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
happychef said...

thanks chef for the vids all these years. made this along with the mushroom ricotta bruschetta, "fried" eggplant sandwich, tuscan flank steak, and the salted caramel custard (couldnt find an easy italian desert) for a nice meal for friends. everyone loved the food and id like to pass the compliments on to you. i really do appreciate that you try to teach the concepts behind your food and i think its rubbing off! thanks again

kamchow said...

hi chef john, i'm from UK so i'm not familiar with "cup" measurements. i did a search for cup-to-g conversion. so please let me know if these measurements are correct:

1/2 lb cheese = 200g
2 cups flour = 150g
1/2 cup green onion = 30g

thank you

Gene Hilsheimer said...

Made these this morning for an HOA coffee morning where most bring sweets to share. They were a BIG hit. Thanks, Chef John!

Patricia Cheatham said...

Hi Chef, I'm wondering could you use crab meat instead?

thanks,
Pat