The Best Sausage Balls You’ll Ever Eat

The Best Sausage Balls You'll Ever Make

If you’ve been around Dianne’s Dishes for a while, you know I’m all about making things myself, and not using mixes or pre-made things. That being said, some times, thinking out of the pre-made box is harder than others, this time however, that isn’t the case.

Most of the time when you come across a sausage ball recipe, it calls for baking mix. Some baking mixes aren’t bad, you actually turn the package around and it’s made with flour and things you recognize, however most of them contain chemicals and stuff I surely don’t want to eat, I don’t know about you.

This recipe uses flour, along with the ingredients you would have in your standard biscuit recipe, minus the milk and butter, to make a sausage ball that is simply fabulous. Most people have these things in their cupboards right now. So grab some sausage, cheese and cream cheese, head in to your pantry and grab some dry ingredients and let’s make some sausage balls!

What You’ll Need:
1 pound of sausage (Note: I prefer the hot variety. Look for a brand without MSG.)
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
4 cups of cheddar, shredded
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In the bowl of a mixer, mix together sausage and cream cheese, until smooth.

Next add sugar, baking powder and salt and process until mixed in.

Now it’s time to add the cheese. With the mixer running, slowly add cheese, until incorporated in the sausage/cream cheese mixture.

After the cheese is thoroughly mixed in, slowly add in flour until a crumbly dough forms. Depending on humidity, and moisture content in your sausage and cheese, this could be really crumbly, or more doughy. It’s all good. Don’t sweat it if it isn’t exactly what you had pictured. You’re going to shape the balls with your hands, and it all comes together.

Once the dough is made you want to make “balls” roughly the size of a walnut and place them on a large baking sheet.They can be close, but make sure they aren’t touching. To make the ball roll a small about of dough between your palms until a ball forms. Remember when this is over to wash your hand thoroughly, you are dealing with raw pork here.

Once you have used all of your dough, place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

The Best Sausage Balls You'll Ever Make

Notes: Let’s talk cheese! You can do a mixture of cheese in these. I like to use cheddar or Colby, but you can also use Monterrey Jack for all or part of the cheese. A friend of mine likes to add in some pepper jack. It’s all a matter of personal taste.

Egg Rolls: Baked or Fried?

Egg Rolls: One Baked, One Fried

The other day I had the notion to make some egg rolls. I hadn’t made them in a very long time and thought about making them for Chinese New Year, but time got away from me. Alexis became intrigued with the idea and wanted to help so one day last week we set out to make some egg rolls.

I decided to take the same basic egg roll and cook it two different ways to see what would happen. I have always been curious about baking an egg roll versus frying it, so this was the perfect time to do a little experiment to see what would happen. Curious? Check out the recipe below and see how it turned out!

What You’ll Need:
Oil for frying
Sesame oil
1/2 a small head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 a large bunch of bok choy, chopped
1/2 a large red onion, cut into thin strips
1 large carrot, shredded
1 leek, cut into strips
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Brown rice vinegar
Egg roll wrappers
A small bowl of cold water
A pastry or basting brush

If you want to bake your egg rolls preheat oven to 400 F.

If you want to fry your egg rolls heat oil to 375 F.

While oven or oil is heating prepare your vegetables.

Thinly slice onion:

Egg Rolls: Red Onion

Shred carrot:

Egg Rolls: Carrots

Chop Bok Choy:

Egg Rolls: Bok Choy

And cabbage:

Egg Rolls: Cabbage

And finally cut leek into strips:

Egg Rolls: Leeks

In a large pot add a little sesame oil and then add all your vegetables, a sprinkle of sea salt, some freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of brown rice vinegar, stirring to coat:

Egg Rolls: Filling Ready to Cook

Saute, stirring often, until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and set aside. I actually moved the vegetables into another dish because Lex was going to be helping me and I didn’t want to risk burning her hands or fingers on the hot pot:

Egg Rolls: Filling Cooked

This step is up to you depending on whether you have a little helper.

Now you are ready to start putting together your egg rolls!

First lay your egg roll wrapper on point:

Egg Rolls: Ready for Filling

For those of you who aren’t sure what on point means, it means that your square looks like a diamond.

Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of your diamond:

Egg Rolls: Filling Ready

Bring the bottom point up to basically cover the filling:

Egg Rolls: Bringing Up the Point

Don’t worry if every single piece of the filling is covered. It doesn’t matter at this point.

Next bring in each side point and you’ll end up with something that looks a lot like an envelope:

Egg Rolls: Ready to Brush and Roll

Gently brush the top of the “envelope flap” with a little water:

Egg Rolls: Brushing Top with Water

Lex got a little generous with her water brushing here, but hey she was having fun and it all works out in the end! ;oP

Gently roll the bottom of the “envelope” until a roll is formed:

Egg Rolls: Rolled

The water helps seal the “envelope” and make the roll stay put while cooking.

Now you decided if you want to bake or fry!

For baking place your rolls on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper:

Egg Rolls: Ready to Bake or Fry

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown:

Egg Rolls: Baked

And now a look at the inside:

Egg Rolls: Inside of the Baked Eggroll

You’ll see in a moment that insides of the fried roll look much the same.

Now if you’d rather fry!

Place egg roll in the heated oil and cook for 2-3 minutes turning often until golden brown:

Egg Rolls: Fried

Place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain:

Egg Rolls: Fried

And the insides?:

Egg Rolls: Inside of the Fried Egg Roll

And as you can see much the same as the baked.

So the verdict of which was better?

While both were really good, the frying really does add something to the flavor over all! However the oven baked version were good as well for when you want a slightly healthier option.

Notes: You can freeze these rolls after cooking for use later. You can also add in other veggies. Mushrooms would be fabulous! Or how about some bamboo shoots? The possibilities are endless!

Cheesy Sausage Rolls

Chessy Sausage Roll

As a kid from time to time my mom would make sausage rolls. I can’t remember exactly how they were made, but I remember there was a dough of sorts, along with sausage. For a while now I’ve been thinking of making a sausage roll, but I decided to take it a step further and add some cheese, because seriously, how can you go wrong with sausage and cheese??!?!?

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What You’ll Need:
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 pound of sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar or Colby cheese (Note: I used Colby Jack. You can use as much cheese as you like or as little. It’s completely up to you.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix yeast and warm water and set aside until it foams.

In a large bowl stir together flour and salt. Slowly add water until dough ball forms. (Note: You may need all of the water, some of the water or even have to add a bit more. Humidity and flour…Such a strange relationship! ;oP You want this dough to be basically like pizza dough in consistency.) Once dough ball forms turn out and knead the dough on a floured surface for 1-2 minutes until elastic.

Once dough is kneaded shape it into a rough rectangle and roll the dough out until it is roughly 1/4 of an inch thick:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Dough

It doesn’t have to be perfect so don’t sweat it if it’s not.

Next add sausage to the dough spreading it out relatively even layer:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Sausage

I cooked the sausage and had it in the fridge ready to go.

Next add the cheese:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Cheese

Again use as much or as little if you like. You could even just skip the cheese and have your basic sausage roll, but really who would want to do that! ;oP

Carefully roll the dough into a roll:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Rolled

I usually roll from the longer side to longer side making it a longer roll.

With a serrated knife carefully cut the roll into slices and place on a baking sheet:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Ready to Bake

This is basically the same principle you use when making cinnamon rolls.

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned and cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

Notes: You’ll need to store these in the fridge. You can reheat them before serving by placing them on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 F for about 10 minutes.

Vegetarian Dingle Pies

Vegetarian Dingle Pie

This is an adapted version of a Dingle Pie. Dingle Pies normally have mutton or lamb in them, I don’t eat baby anything, so it wouldn’t have worked for me even then. So I decided to play around with it a little and come up with a vegetarian version. This is what I came up with! They were delicious! My sister and her husband both liked them, and my nephew did too!

What You’ll Need For The Crust:
2 1/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
9 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of ice water

Process flour and salt in a food processor to mix. Add butter and process until butter is crumbly. Add water and let crumbly dough form. Pour out onto a floured surface and form into a dough ball. Place in the refrigerator wrapped until filling is ready.

Note: If you don’t have a food processor you can make the dough with a pastry cutter or fork. Simply mix flour and salt and then cut in butter until crumbly. Then stir in water until dough forms.

Vegetarian Dingle Pie: The Inside

What You’ll Need For The Filling:
1 small potato cut into small cubes
1 carrot grated
4 large or 6 small button mushrooms chopped
1/4 of an onion, chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place cut veggies in a glass microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3-6 minutes or until tender. Remove from microwave and season with sea salt and pepper.

Cut pie dough into fourths and roll out flat. Cut circles with a biscuit cutter and place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle. Top with another circle and crimp edges with a fork. Once you have used all of your dough and filling poke each pie a couple of times with a fork to vent. Brush the top of each pie with a beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Vegetarian Dingle Pie

Vegetarian “Sausage” Balls

Vegetarian "Sausage" Balls

Today I tried out a sausage substitute and adapted an old sausage ball recipe I used to use and it worked out PERFECTLY! Trust me, you’ll never know the meat sausage is not there!

What You’ll Need:
1 – 8 ounce bar of cheddar or Colby cheese, shredded
2 cups of baking mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Biscuit Mix)
1 package of Gimme Lean Sausage Style
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In the bowl of your mixer dump all the ingredients and mix until crumbly. It looks crumbly, but it will readily stick together when mashed. Form into small balls using roughly 1 tablespoon of crumbles and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Note: The vegetarian sausage does have the fat content that meat sausage does so you have to add a little fat into them to get them to bind together.