When my parents came over for their recent visit, my mom brought a big stack of coupons and sales fliers from the newspaper back home. In one of the super savers there was a Jimmy Dean coupon and a recipe for Zesty Sausage Cheese Balls. (It’s also on their website.)
Here’s what I did (I doubled the recipe):
Take 2 packages of sausage (I used one regular and one hot), mix it with 1 1/2 cups of Bisquick, 4 cups of shredded cheese (I just shredded one of those big blocks of cheddar), 2 cloves of garlic that you’ve chopped up, and some onion powder. Add a little bit of paprika, Tony Chachere’s, and some cayenne pepper if you want to (I added it and it was good).
Mix well! I tried to be nice and neat and started with a big fork to try to mash it all up, but I resorted to using my hands. Totally grossed me out, but it got the job done! It took me about 3 or 4 minutes to get it all mixed up because I didn’t mix in each ingredient as I went. Make sure that you get all of the Bisquick and cheese to stick to the meat. That’s the important part.
Next was the artistic and fun part. Roll the sausage into 1-inch little balls and stick em onto a greased cookie sheet. They stay the same size while they’re cooking, so you can put them pretty close together on the pan.
Bake them for about 15 minutes at 375*F or 175*C. If you have a meat thermometer it should reach at least 160*F before they’re safe to eat.
After I took each batch out of the oven, I moved them onto a sheet of parchment paper to let them “drain” a little bit. I know sausage balls aren’t the least bit healthy, but I just didn’t want to have them sitting in a puddle of grease!!
Once they were cooled, I put most of them into baggies of 10 and stuck them in the freezer to heat up as a quick snack later.
I tried a few and experimented with some dipping sauces. The Texas BBQ sauce we have in the fridge was pretty good, but the best one I came up with was a little bit of worcestershire sauce and A-1 steak sauce mixed together.
I think the Jimmy Dean company intended for this recipe to be an appetizer, but I’m excited to use the meatballs in a meatball sandwich or stick them in a hearty soup!