Fall is here and that means one thing here in the South – FOOTBALL! If you’re looking for an appetizer that will wow your friends at your next tailgate or watch party, these sausage balls are the way to go.
My sister-in-law, Meghan, had a Masters watch party earlier this year, and this was my contribution to the spread. For some reason, I couldn’t make it to the party right when it started and I showed up about an hour late. I thought surely there would be some left when I got there. Boy was I wrong. I asked Meg if she had some in the fridge and she just hadn’t put them out yet. She said, “No, they were the first app to go.” Well, there you have it! Proof these little gems are tasty.
Here are some other reasons why you should take them to your next get together:
- They’re easy to make.
- They taste amazeballs.
- They’re easy to transport.
- You’re friends will love you because you made the best. appetizer. ever.
This recipe is adapted from Vivian Howard’s recipe found in the cookbook Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South. I have a confession – I’m a little bit obsessed with the show A Chef’s Life on PBS and Vivian. She uses ingredients found in my neck of the woods (the Carolinas), and I love the fact that I can use seasonal ingredients that are native to the area. Every recipe I’ve made so far from this cookbook has been incredible. I think it won an award too.
Back to the balls. One thing you’ll want to do before you start cooking is let the sausage and cream cheese sit out on the counter for a bit and come to room temperature. It will make it easier to shape the balls. And, make sure you line your baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray. These puppies will stick to the pan if you don’t.
Another tip. Whatever you do…DO NOT use that shredded cheese that you get in a bag. That cheese typically has corn starch or some other ingredient that prevents the cheese from sticking together in the bag. And it won’t melt right if you use it – so just don’t.
Enjoy, and gooooo team!
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 8 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 lb Jimmy Dean's breakfast sausage (I typically use the regular kind, especially if there are going to be kids at your party)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 oz cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 375. Line your baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray.
Grate the onion into a small bowl. I like to use the smaller holes on the grater to ensure you don't get chunks of onion in your balls. Set aside.
Mix all of your dry ingredients together in medium bowl with a whisk. Make sure it's combined really well. Set aside.
In a separate, larger bowl, mix the sausage, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and grated onion together with your hands. Get into it!
Once the sausage mixture is combined, pour in the dry ingredients and mix together with your hands, just like you did the sausage mixture.
When all of the ingredients are mixed up really good, you're ready to shape the balls. They should be about 1 inch in diameter. They key here is to make sure all of them are the same size so they cook evenly.
Bake for about 20 mintues and serve with toothpicks.