Easy Homemade Vegetarian Sausage Balls
Southern-style ‘sausage’ and cheddar balls with homemade biscuit mix. Quick and tasty appetizer perfect for parties, game days, and holidays. Recipe is vegetarian and easily made vegan. Makes 50 to 60 balls. Freezes well.
Sausage Balls were one of my favorite things to enjoy during the holidays and at parties before I went vegetarian so I finally made them for myself! This recipe makes a bunch (like 50+) so it’s perfect for prepping ahead and freezing.
The recipe for traditional pork sausage translates really well because there are lots of sausage substitutes available and it’s super easy to throw together. I used dairy cheese for this but vegan cheese will work (maybe add a little water or oil, if the cheese is drier). Make these for any occasion, or have some on hand now that’s baseball season again!
Easy Homemade Vegetarian Sausage Balls use just a few ingredients: homemade Bisquick substitute, ground vegan sausage, and freshly shredded cheddar cheese. They’re delicious and healthier than pork versions!
What’s the best vegan sausage for mixing?
For this recipe, we use Lightlife Gimme Lean ground ‘sausage’ because it mixes into the dry ingredients just like traditional pork sausage. It comes in a 1-lb equivalent chub and has the right consistency to blend into sausage balls.
It is not my favorite for breakfast patties or with biscuits but here, it works really well and is affordable!
How to Make Sausage Balls from Scratch without Bisquick:
Bisquick isn’t something we buy so we just make it for this recipe if we need it.
In a food processor, add the following for Homemade Bisquick:
- 2 and 1/2 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable shortening*
Process on low speed until evenly combined (shortening should be distributed throughout). This mixture can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
*When working with vegetarian/vegan sausage, it’s important to replace some of the fat of traditional country sausage. If using the homemade biscuit mix for something other than sausage balls, adjust shortening for that specific recipe.
How to Make Sausage Balls:
- After making the baking mix in a food processor, combine it with the vegetarian sausage and shredded cheddar in a large bowl.
- Mixture will seem dry but will clump together when pressed firmly
- Roll mixture into small balls (3/4 to 1 inch diameter) and place on a non-stick cookie sheet
- Bake for about 18 minutes, until browned and cooked through
- This will take more than 1 tray— if not baking the second batch right away, cover the mixture with a damp towel to keep sausage mixture from drying out between baking
*If you have a large food processor, you can make the sausage mixture in it– just add the cheese and sausage into the baking mix in intervals. This will make a fluffier end product (more like sausage puffs as they will be more airy).
Easy Homemade Vegetarian Sausage Balls
Homemade Baking Mix
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp vegetable shortening
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp fine salt
Vegetarian Sausage Balls
- homemade baking mix (recipe above) = ~2.5 cups
- 14 to 16 ounces ground vegan sausage (such as Lightlife Gimme Lean)
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded = 3 cups
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Set aside 2 large baking sheets.
- In a food processor, combine flour with shortening, baking powder, and salt. Process on low speed until evenly mixed, about 20 seconds.
- Add baking mix, vegan sausage, and cheddar to a large bowl. Combine by hand until well blended and mixture starts to clump.
- Take a small amount of sausage mixture and roll between hands to form small balls, 3/4 to 1 inch diameter. Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart (they will not spread much).
- Bake on 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown, cheese is melted, and sausage is cooked through.
- Enjoy fresh, or let cool before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: let cool completely and freeze in a bag in a single layer for up to 2 months.
- Reheat from fridge: in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes, or microwave.
- Reheat from frozen: do not thaw– reheat in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
What to serve with Sausage Balls:
These have always been an appetizer/party food kind of thing for us, so we never use a dip or sauce with them. But honey mustard, ranch, hot sauce, or maple syrup would all be pretty good.
How to store sausage balls after baking:
- Store cooked sausage balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy cold or reheat in the oven for 5 minutes. Microwaving in a single layer for 20-30 seconds, wrapped in a damp paper towel.
- Freeze cooked sausage balls for up to 2 months:
- let cool completely and place in a single layer in a freezer bag
- Reheat from frozen in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes
If you try these, let me know what you think! And if you’re trying to cut back on meat and have any questions, I’m happy to help! Have a great weekend, friends!