Enjoy a deliciously cheesy gluten-free sausage balls recipe without having to buy speciality ingredients! These easy sausage cheese balls require 5 simple ingredients without requiring gluten-free premade mixes, like Bisquick or pancake mix. They bake up golden and fluffy, with no greasiness, are make-ahead, freezer-friendly and include a bonus spicy sweet hot honey mustard dipping sauce!
Easy Gluten-Free Sausage Balls (No Bisquick)
If you have not tried one of the best gluten-free appetizers ever, we need to change that immediately! I recently served gluten-free sausage balls at a holiday party and I couldn’t believe how fast they disappeared! Not only was the platter wiped clean, but everyone couldn’t get enough of the hot honey mustard dipping sauce.
What I didn’t tell my guests was how ridiculously easy they were to make. A simple combination of breakfast sausage, grated cheddar cheese, gluten-free flour, baking powder and milk is all it takes to impress guests!
As an added bonus for the host, just like gluten-free spinach balls, sausage balls without Bisquick can be prepped ahead and either refrigerated or frozen. When ready to serve they are baked right from frozen and ready to serve in 20 minutes.
The hot honey mustard dipping sauce is ample for the entire recipe, which yields 60 balls, or enough to serve about 15-20 guests. If you are having a smaller event, freeze half the sausage cheese balls and prepare a half recipe of the dipping sauce.
Gluten-free sausage balls are made without gluten-free Bisquick because I don’t like having to buy expensive speciality ingredients. Bisquick contains lard, so some sausage ball recipes use melted butter in its place.
I tested the recipe both ways and when adding melted butter, the balls were very greasy since the sausage also releases grease as it cooks. When omitting the butter, they baked up with the perfect fluffy texture.
- Breakfast Sausage – You will need 1 pound of pork sausage. I have not tested the recipe with turkey sausage, but since it doesn’t contain drippings, adding 2 tablespoons of melted butter would probably prevent them from being too dry. See the gluten-free sausage brands below for more recommendations.
- Cheddar Cheese – Freshly grated is best for smoother melting. I recommend sharp cheddar cheese for more flavor, but any cheese would work great. See the modifications section for more recommendations.
- Gluten-Free Flour – Any all-purpose gluten-free brand, containing xanthan gum, will work in this recipe. My kitchen is always stocked with it, meaning I don’t have to buy a gluten-free baking mix or gluten-free pancake mix just for this recipe!
- Baking powder – Since these are made without a Bisquick mix, baking powder is added for a lighter texture.
- Milk – Most sausage ball recipes with flour give a range of milk to use. I find this a little misleading because the mixture will hold together without any milk. However when making a gluten-free recipe for sausage balls, the milk adds moisture so they aren’t dry or crumbly. A full 1/2 cup seemed to be the ideal amount.
how to make Gluten-Free Sausage Balls
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to make for an easier clean up.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the grated cheddar cheese.
- Add the sausage and milk. You can use a wooden spoon to mix it together, but I find it easier to just use my hands, like you would mix a meatloaf. If this grosses you out you can always slip on a pair of plastic (food-safe) gloves!
- Grab slightly heaping 1 tablespoon of sausage mixture and evenly roll into a ball. You could also use a small cookie scoop for even portions.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and the internal temperature reaches 160℉. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. Serve immediately.
Gluten-Free sausage Brands
When choosing sausage for this recipe, be sure to read ingredient labels, ensuring it is safe for a gluten-free diet. There may be hidden fillers or spice blends with gluten-containing ingredients
- Jones Dairy Farm
- Jimmy Dean
Gluten-Free Dipping Sauces
If you would like to try something besides the spicy honey mustard sauce, or offer a variety of choices for guests, choose from of these sausage ball dipping sauces below. If you are buying a premade sauce or dressing, be sure to read ingredient labels.
- Ranch dressing
- Honey Mustard (omit cayenne pepper from included recipe)
- Pimento cheese
- Sour cream herb dip
- Blue cheese dip
Make-Ahead and Freezing
The sausage mixture comes together quickly, but it does take some time to roll out the balls into serving-size portions. Therefore, I always prep homemade sausage balls ahead of when they will baked and served.
To refrigerate, shape the balls and then place on a baking sheet. Cover securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 6 hours. I don’t recommend longer than that because they will dry out.
For longer storage, use the freezing option. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the balls to a ziplock freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, place back on a lined baking sheet and bake from frozen. When recipe testing, I experimented with baking frozen balls, and I did not have to add any additional time. You may have to add 1-3 minutes more depending on your oven.
While gluten-free sausage cheese balls taste amazing with the 5 simple ingredients, there are many ways to amplify flavor.
Cheese – Use any preferred cheese, but freshly grated is best. Monterey jack, pepper jack, extra sharp cheddar, or a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese would all work.
Spices – Add any of these or a combination – garlic powder, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, cayenne or black pepper.
Spicy – Use a spicy pork sausage or add diced jalapeno and cayenne pepper.
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Cheesy Gluten-Free Sausage Balls (Not Greasy)
Gluten-Free Sausage Balls
- If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the grated cheddar cheese.2 cups gluten free all purpose flour,3 teaspoons baking powder,½ teaspoon salt,16 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Add the sausage and milk. You can use a wooden spoon to mix it together, but I find it easier to just use my hands, like you would mix a meatloaf. Break up the meat and make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage,½ cup milk
- Either use a small cookie scoop to evenly portion out the dough or grab slightly heaping 1 tablespoon of sausage mixture and evenly roll into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and the internal temperature reaches 160℉. (See recipe notes for make-ahead or freezer directions) Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce.
- For the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. If you are only serving half the sausage balls, make a half recipe of the sauce. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. It may be used for a sandwich spread, veggie, chip or pretzel dip.½ cup mayonnaise,¼ cup dijon or stone ground mustard,3 tablespoons honey,½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
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Make-Ahead and FreezingTo refrigerate, shape the balls and then place on a baking sheet. Cover securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 6 hours. I don’t recommend longer than that because they will dry out. For longer storage, use the freezing option. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the balls to a ziplock freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. When ready to bake, place back on a lined baking sheet and bake from frozen. When recipe testing, I experimented with baking frozen balls, and I did not have to add any additional time. You may have to add 1-3 minutes more depending on your oven.
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