Sausage puffs are an easy, savory holiday appetizer that evoke nostalgia

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When you think of holiday appetizers, you probably have visions of sweet things dancing through your head — peppermint chocolates, creamy eggnog flavors, crunchy cookies or even the proverbial sugarplums. However, there’s one retro recipe that many families consider Christmasy that is meaty, cheesy and bready instead.

Laurel Randolph from Simply Recipes shared that she and some of her fellow editors discovered that they had this appetizer in common — and that it reminds them of good times. Randolph calls them sausage balls and said they were a dish served at Christmas brunches, while her colleague Brooke Schuldt refers to them as sausage cheese puffs and says her grandmother made them on every holiday. But the idea is the same.

“They are nostalgic and remind me of happy memories with my favorite people, laughing loudly in my grandma’s living room,” Shuldt said.

Although the origins of this recipe are lost to time, according to Quaint Cooking, sausage balls have been around since at least the 1960s. It’s possible General Mills perfected the method to sell Bisquick to home cooks everywhere.

Whether they’re a new idea to you or an old savory standby, sausage balls are easy to make and require just three simple ingredients: sausage, Bisquick, and cheese, mixed together into balls and baked.

sausage balls with cheddar cheese on a plate
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There is a trick to it, though. According to Simply Recipes, the cheese must be cold and the sausage has to be at room temperature. Otherwise, the mixing is too difficult and the cheese melts too quickly. This is actually a good time to use pre-shredded cheese, since the cellulose used as an anti-caking agent can prolong the melting time.

To make these, find Randolph’s full recipe at Simply Recipes.

Of course, multiple versions from different sources exist, with variations like cream cheese instead of cheddar and actual homemade biscuit dough to elevate the flavor, so you may want to change things up next time around. You can even add herbs like basil or put out some dipping sauces!

Supplement these with other round-shaped, finger-friendly apps for your holiday spread. Add a festive, no-cook cheese ball appetizer like this one from Dinner at the Zoo. Or go sweet: Make peanut butter snowballs like these ones from Six Sisters’ Stuff. Or, add Cooking Classy’s Oreo balls or McCormick’s pecan cookie balls for a dessert option that will pair well with your sausage puffs.

Happy snacking!

Food, Holiday & Seasonal, Recipes
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About the Author
Helen Lee
Helen is a writer and editor from the Chicago area. She loves volunteering, zoos, and video games.

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