4-Ingredient Super Bowl Appetizer — Sausage Balls (& Welcome to Gran Nan’s Kitchen!)

While I love publishing recipes here, oftentimes, a lot of the food I share is dishes I grew up on, or meals inspired by childhood favorites. And, while I’m a little finicky in my tastes (I don’t eat much meat, I’m not really adventurous…), my mom has a much wider repertoire. Many recipes on KN are from her. So, after talking about it for years, I invited her to start directly contributing some of her favorites that expand beyond my palette and tastes. The feel of these are still the same style of simple family favorites we’ve always shared, but we’ll be formally expanding recipes under a new sub-category, developed by her. Today, with a sausage balls recipe as the first of many to come, I’m excited to introduce “Recipes from Gran Nan’s Kitchen.”

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As they will be moving forward, today’s post has been written and developed by Gran Nan.

Welcome to Gran Nan’s Kitchen!

As a matter of introduction, I’m the original “Nan” (my middle name) and when Kelley Nan was born, she inherited the same. Eliza then came along and was bequeathed Nan as her middle name, and at the same time, “Gran Nan” was born…a precious name suggested by Tracey T., a co-worker from my past.

I love recipes that are simple, easy to make, and taste good! I often use recipes passed down by my mom, BeBe, and also love referencing church, community and Junior League cookbooks. I also have six recipe boxes, stuffed with clippings and cards from newspapers, magazines, friends and work associates that I’ve collected through the years and still access often. Who even does that these days, when a recipe can be so easily Googled or obtained through the Food Network channel…I do!

And now that we’ve set the tone and you know the history, the inaugural recipe from “Gran Nan’s Kitchen” is this easy-to-make, smells-so-good-while-baking, four-ingredient Sausage Ball Recipe.

The “traditional” sausage balls recipe we all know consists of three ingredients…sausage, cheddar cheese and Bisquick baking mix. I made them that way for years, but was always dissatisfied that the mixture was a bit dry and crumbly, difficult to mix and some of the mixture always went to waste.

I improved the classic recipe by changing up the preparation method and adding a magic ingredient — cream cheese. I also elevate the serving experience by adding dips, like salsa and strawberry preserves. This combo is the perfect warm appetizer spread to serve during the Super Bowl or any other cooler weather celebration.

How to Make Sausage Balls

Why Are Sausage Balls with Cream Cheese Better?

Adding an eight ounce block of cream cheese adds additional moisture, creaminess and tang to the sausage ball mixture. The addition of cream cheese also results in less waste and crumbliness of the sausage ball mixture.

Sausage Balls with Cream Cheese Recipe

Improved Preparation Method

The traditional method of mixing up sausage balls calls for mixing the ingredients up with your hands and I’m not really a fan of that. An electric mixer, or KitchenAid, if you have one, does the mixing job beautifully and quickly. The best part is, there is little “crumbly” waste when you are done, since the sausage ball mixture incorporates so well when you use this method.

Elevate With A Dipping Sauce

These sausage balls are wonderful on their own, but can also be elevated with a dip or preserve. Some of my favorites to serve with this Sausage Ball Recipe are:

  • Salsa
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Strawberry Preserves
  • Blackberry Jam
  • Queso
  • Orange Marmalade
Sausage Balls Recipe

Sausage Balls Ingredients

As mentioned, my Sausage Ball Recipe only requires four basic ingredients.

  • Sausage
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Bisquick
Sausage Balls Recipe with Cream Cheese

What Kitchen Tools Are Needed To Make This Sausage Balls Recipe?

Only a few very basic kitchen tools are needed to make this Sausage Ball recipe, which include:

Can This Sausage Ball Recipe Be Made Ahead Of Time?

You can absolutely make sausage balls ahead of time. If you are making them more than two days ahead of the time you plan to serve them, store them (after they are baked and cooled) in the freezer. Otherwise, you can store the baked and cooled sausage balls in the refrigerator. Since they are best served warm, simply reheat them for a few minutes in your oven or air fryer for several minutes on low heat until they are warm, prior to serving them.

When Is The Best Time To Make/Serve Sausage Balls?

Sausage balls are the perfect party appetizer, especially during the cooler weather months. They are a great addition to any gathering, including game days, holiday get togethers or special brunches. These sausage balls with cream cheese have always been a staple to serve with our other Christmas Eve “festive eaties” spread and then we have leftovers to serve an eat on Christmas morning, since this recipe makes a lot!

Variations To This Sausage Ball Recipe

I like to shape my sausage ball mixture into smaller balls, but you can shape them in to a larger ball or even press them into the cups of a mini muffin tin. My go to cheese to use is sharp cheddar, but any hard cheese would work from Colby to Monterey Jack, or a mix. I vary between using regular sausage and hot sausage, which adds a little extra kick. I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure that maple flavored sausage would add a nice sweet note to this recipe.

What Other Appetizers Can Be Served During The Super Bowl Or Other Cool Weather Celebration?

I have especially loved collecting appetizer recipes through the years, as I’ve been introduced to them at parties and pot lucks. I believe there is no higher praise than asking a cook for his or her recipe, after you’ve tried it. I’m also a fan of serving an all-appetizer spread at gatherings, that folks can graze on at their leisure during the festivities. I like to make sure all food groups are covered, including an interesting veggie tray or board, a selection of fruit, dips and a variety of sweets. THIS previous Kelley Nan post covers all three of these bases beautifully. Here are some other appetizers and boards that are perfect for any occasion. Or you can’t go wrong by serving a big pot of chili, made more special for a crowd, by having all of the toppings available!

How to Make Sausage Balls with Cream Cheese

How to Make Sausage Balls with Cream Cheese

5 from 1 vote

Four Ingredient Sausage Balls with Cream Cheese

This easy to make sausage ball recipe, only requires four ingredients, and is a variation from the traditional sausage, cheese and baking mix recipe, with the addition of cream cheese.

Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Luncheon
Cuisine American
Keyword Bisquick, cheddar cheese, Cream Cheese, Sausage
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 3 cups Bisquick
  • 1 lb Pork Sausage
  • 1 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 8 oz Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Add sausage, cream cheese and 2 cups of the Bisquick to a large mixing bowl.

  3. Mix the ingredients until well incorporated with an electric hand mixer or with a KitchenAid stand mixer.

  4. Add the remaining 1 cup of Bisquick and the shredded cheese to the mixture.

  5. Mix the ingredients until well incorporated with an electric hand mixer or with a KitchenAid stand mixer.

  6. Shape the mixture into smallish-sized balls, using your hands or a cookie scoop.

  7. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, spaced evenly apart and not touching.

  8. Bake in oven for 30 minutes (or until the sausage balls are slightly browned.)

  9. Serve while they are warm.

Recipe Notes

Yields five dozen balls.

Sausage Balls Recipe -- How to Make Sausage Balls with Cream Cheese

If you make this, be sure to come back and let us know!

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Sausage Balls with Cream Cheese Recipe

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  1. 2.1.24
    Joanna said:

    Welcome Gran Nan! I love to host happy hours instead of dinners, so I always welcome new appetizer recipes.

    • 2.5.24

      Hi Joanna, and Gran Nan here! I’m with you…I love to make and serve appetizers. They make such a nice spread and hand helds are always fun for guests. I really appreciate your feedback!

  2. 2.1.24
    Loya Palmer said:

    This is a delicious appetizer that has been in my family for years as well and my daughter is the one who added the cream cheese to our recipe. You are right-it makes for a much better sausage ball-we use raspberry jam and pepper jelly as a dips….yum-yum good!

    • 2.5.24

      Thank you for taking the time to visit, Loya! I love that you use raspberry jam and pepper jelly as dips…Sounds like such a great combo with the sausage balls.

  3. 2.3.24
    Sherry said:

    5 stars
    Thank you, thank you! This added ingredient is perfection. I have made the 3-ingredient recipe for years always liking it but feeling it needed a little something. You have hit it! Thank you…looking forward to more…your blog is one of my favorites. Always so informative, so well organized, pleasing, and like a warm family hug. Grateful.

    • 2.5.24

      I am so happy to know that you tried this recipe and loved it, Sherry. And your kind note has really made my day. Thank you! xoxo