Juicy cheesy bites of pimento cheese and sausage are a crowd-pleasing southern appetizer. Pimento cheese sausage balls are quick to make and always a hit.
The perfect southern appetizer
When I lived in Texas, I learned how to make sausage balls, and to this day that is the most requested recipe by my friends.
So with this recipe, I wanted to see if I could make a new sausage ball that was bigger, more tender, cheesy, juicy, and all around even more tasty than the original recipe and this is the one.
While sausage balls are literally a perfect take and go southern appetizer, I usually make them to take to work for breakfast or brunch… Even more often to bribe co-workers.
And sausage balls never cease to be a huge hit, and they are always scoffed up one and all.
Can sausage balls be made in advance?
Absolutely yes and I usually do. These tasty bites of sausage with pimento cheese can be made in advance and then either served at room temperature or gently reheated.
I usually make them first thing in the morning to take to work. Once cooked, I then stack them on a plate and wrap in aluminum foil to keep them warm. I find this is good enough to keep them from getting cold.
And they are so good, that they do not need to even be served hot if that is not feasible.
What are the ingredients?
Sausage balls are genius in their simplicity and only require a couple ingredients:
- Bulk pork sausage. The kind that comes in a tube is what I use, and you can use hot or mild. I prefer hot for more flavor, and the hot sausage is not so hot that these are spicy. They are not.
- Cheddar cheese. Opt for large shred rather than finely shredded if possible. I like to see those big bits of melty cheese in the cooked sausage balls.
- Cream cheese. Cream cheese brings smooth creaminess to make these balls anything but dry. It also acts as a sort of glue for the rest of the ingredients.
- Pimentos. I did not use straight up pimento cheese from the store for this recipe because pimento cheese is based primarily in mayonnaise which would make these sausage balls excessively greasy.
- Bisquick baking mix. Traditional southern sausage balls use Bisquick, and I literally keep a box in my pantry just for sausage balls. If not available, here is a recipe to make your own (Note: I have not tried this recipe myself).
- Seasoning. Just a little salt and garlic powder.
Making the dough
It does take a bit of patience and elbow grease to get the ingredients to mix together and form the dough, but after a couple minutes all of the sudden magic happens and the dough comes together.
Starting with the sausage and cheese at room temperature can speed up this process because basically what we are doing is working the fat in the sausage and cream cheese to meld with the Bisquick.
So, starting with that fat not so cold can help the process.
Cooking pimento cheese sausage balls
Once the dough does come together, then we just knock out making the balls. This takes me no longer than 5 minutes – just roll, roll, roll them up and place on a bake sheet.
Any bake sheet will do. Though this recipe is loaded with sausage and cheese, these balls do not give off a lot of oil or grease as they cook. Therefore, rimmed or not rimmed bake sheets both work.
ONE BIG TIP for cooking perfect sausage balls is to cook at 350°F for ONLY 15 minutes.
You may look at them and think, “Nah, they need to go another minute or two”, but you are wrong. They are DONE. After 15 minutes, pull those puppies out of the oven. They’re perfect.
There are all sorts of ways to change this recipe up. Pimentos are mild cherry peppers, so you can substitute any number of other peppers.
- Jalapenos. I recommend using pickled jalapeno as opposed to fresh if including in this recipe.
- Roasted red ball pepper. Add a little basil too for a delicious Italian sausage ball, and serve with warm marinara for dipping.
- Roasted poblano pepper. Use pepperjack cheese and super flavorful poblano pepper for Mexican-inspired sausage ball flair.
- Bacon. Who says you have to stick to just sausage? Add cooked and crumbled bacon to up the ante.
More appetizer recipes
- Queso Blanco Dip. This simple white cheese dip recipe has only four ingredients, and one of them is beer.
- Russian Garlic Cheese. This cheese salad is loaded with onion and garlic for a super flavorful spread for bread or crackers.
- Creole Shrimp Deviled Eggs with Bacon. Deviled eggs made EVEN better topped with crispy bacon and juicy shrimp.
- Maple Bacon Hawaiian Roll Turkey Sliders. You have not lived until you have tried these sweet and savory party sandwiches.
- Roasted Poblano and Sausage Dip. This easy, make-ahead hot dip is a perfect potluck go-to recipe.
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Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls
- 1 lb bulk pork sausage hot or mild, room temperature
- 6 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 oz diced pimentos drained well
- 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- pinch kosher salt
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Add the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, knead and work the ingredients together to form the dough.
- Form ~32 balls (1-½ inch) balls. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.
Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.