The first time I tried sausage and cheese balls was a few years ago in Illinois when we were served these snacks at our church's small group meeting. Although I loved them then, for some reason I never asked for the recipe (or maybe I did then forgot to actually follow up and get it). Thankfully, this last Christmas during our trip to Maryland, Ben's mom had a stash of these in her freezer that I came across as I was looking for something to feed Judah for breakfast. I quickly grabbed a few, heated them in the microwave for less than 30 seconds, tasted them to make sure they were not too hot for Judah, and then immediately grabbed some more for myself!
You can rest assured that I snatched the recipe from my mother in law. You are already familiar with a couple of her wonderful recipes, such as what we call her "Nana" Banana Bread and her irresistible Maryland Crab Cakes. She always finds a way to perfect any formula. With these sausage balls, she went beyond the traditional sausage, cheddar cheese and Bisquick combination, and added in the winning combination of Parmesan, milk, rosemary and parsley. Okay, I had to come back and cross this out because I just found where she got the recipe...thank you Betty Crocker! Glad I came across it before you all burst the bubble for me! But, I will still stand by my mother in law's great sense of taste! 🙂
These are super versatile, meaning you can adjust the ingredients as you wish. For example, I didn't have fresh or dried rosemary on hand, so I substituted Italian seasoning. I also didn't have cheddar cheese, so I used a Mexican cheese blend instead. You can also serve it for different courses such as breakfast, as an appetizer, lunch or a snack!
Since this yields an endless supply, I tend to quickly bake them up on a free morning and keep them in the freezer, tightly sealed in a freezer bag. When ready to eat, I just pull out a couple and warm them on top of a paper towel in the microwave for 30 seconds per 3 balls. You'll be amazed at how filling only 3 tiny sausage balls can be!
Judah also loves these and will eat them for any meal or snack. It's so nice to have something ready for him in just a few seconds, especially when he's hanging on my legs allowing me to move only from the freezer to the microwave. 🙂
**The winner of Monday's Pillsbury bread basket giveaway is Francine, who said:
"My husband is lactose intolerant, so the easiest way to make a yummy chocolate cake and frosting is with a box mix. The seamless crescent roll sheet makes it easier to use it as a quiche dough. That french bread dough sounds good to try!"
Congratulations, Francine! Check your inbox, I'll be sending you an email soon!
Sausage and Cheese Balls
Yield: 6-7 dozen (original states 8 1/2, but I just don't see it)
3 cups baking mix, such as Bisquick
1 lb. pork sausage
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used a Mexican cheese blend)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes)
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Using the paddle attachment, mix all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer. You can use a wooden spoon or your hands, but it will take some elbow grease. Roll into 1" balls and place on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce (optional), such as barbecue or chili sauce.
To freeze: Allow the sausage balls to cool completely, then store in a freezer bag for up to 1 month. When ready to eat, warm on top of a paper towel in the microwave for 30 seconds per 3 sausage balls. Or, warm in a preheated 350˚F oven for 10 minutes.
Source: Mama G, originally from Betty Crocker