Easy Sweet and Spicy Sausage Cheese Balls

Easy Sweet and Spicy Sausage Cheese Balls

Perfect for your next party!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

I know this recipe has been around for years, mainly cooked with Bisquick, I believe. I’ve only used Bisquick on a few occasions, so decided to try other add ins. FYI, most recipes quote 3 cups Bisquick (wheat, gluten-free Bisquick version had very small amount of sausage), 1 lb sausage meat and 1 lb of cheese.

I used my favorite Jones Dairy Farm sausage meat, always labeled gluten-free. Remember that meat comes under USDA and DOES NOT have to follow FDA gluten-free labeling guidelines, but quality sausage meat should be naturally gluten-free. The quality of the sausage meat is really important. (Years ago I bought an unknown brand of maple sausage thinking it would be tasty and it was mainly melted fat, a total waste of money.) Some people have used hot sausage, plus pepper jack.

I like to make a recipe to as small a quantity as possible first time, so less chance of waste. I tried this with a larger quantity of corn chex and felt the flavor of the corn chex was too strong. I then tried soft gluten-free breadcrumbs, but that was mushy and horrible to me… We liked this version best, it keeps well in the fridge and is moist, not dry.

Gluten-Free Sausage Cheese Balls

makes about 36 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 12 oz (375 g) Jones Dairy Farm raw sausage meat, thawed, labeled gluten-free. Remove from fridge about half an hour before mixing. Cut open plastic wrapping and peel bag away from sausage meat like a banana.

  • 2 oz (56g) soft cream cheese, I buy lite.

  • 1/4 c (60ml) hot pepper jelly, gives a nice slightly sweet bite.

  • 1/4 c (60ml) my tomato relish

  • 1 c (240 ml) corn chex crushed to 1/2 c (120 ml). Rice chex if you can’t have corn chex, but corn does add a bit of flavor.

  • 1 c (4 oz, 112g) Shredded Swiss Cheese or Strong Cheddar. MiId cheddar has very little flavor.

  • 2 tsp (10 ml) gluten-free baking powder

  • pinch of garlic powder

  • No added salt or pepper, it really doesn’t need it, and think twice about recipes that add teaspoons of salt to a recipe already containing a lot of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F/175C.

2. I find it easiest to put all ingredients except for sausage meat in bowl of mixer, mix together until well blended. Or mix with scrupulously clean hands – I use the disposable latex gloves.

3. Mix in sausage meat.

4. I use a #60, one tablespoon (15 ml) scoop (number is engraved inside bowl of scoop), available at Kitchen stores, Home Goods, on line etc. Scoop meat against side of bowl, squish meat around outside of scoop back onto the bottom. I’ve never been one that likes to spend forever forming meat into really tidy balls, but I do try to make sure there isn’t an excess of meat on outside of scoop. Plop ball onto a lined jelly roll pan, broiler pan, pam sprayed cooling rack sitting on lined pan with edges, skillet with ridges. It does help fat to drain away if balls are raised above surface of cooking pan. A flat cookie sheet means fat dripping on floor of stove and smoking.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until softly firm, cut one open to check it’s fully cooked. Some recipes talk about them being crispy, perhaps if you broil them or cook for longer.

6. I’ve used Maries Italian, Chipotle Ranch dip/dressing, Rothschilds Pineapple Coconut Tequila sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce. Others say bbq sauce.

Alternatives:

Instead of my tomato relish, perhaps salsa for moistness and even more heat, some pesto, cilantro and chili peppers, sage and maple syrup, Stonewall Kitchen Curried Mango grill sauce in sausage and to serve. Crush some cornbread instead of chex. Get creative. I’ve tried them with chopped water chestnuts for crunch, chopped bread and butter pickles.


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