Healthy sausage balls use turkey sausage, skim milk and whole wheat flour for a lightened up version of this breakfast favorite! (They’re also great for Christmas brunch and game day eats!)
Happy hump day everyone! I hope you’re having a good week so far.
M has TWO days off of kindergarten this week. Teacher work day and Veterans Day. Fortunately, my mom is around and taking her to do some fun things during the day so she doesn’t have to sit and watch me work on my deadlines for my day job as a health and nutrition editor. Nanna to the rescue!
I’m also hoping my mom and I can finalize our Thanksgiving menu (I’ll be consulting my round-up of 45 Thanksgiving sides for sure) and I’m trying to find some extra time this week to do some last bits of yard work before the winter weather arrives.
Just need a few more hours in the day 😉 I’m sure you feel me on that one!
Now let’s talk about these healthy sausage balls.
They are pretty much the ultimate breakfast and brunch party bite, especially at the holidays.
You’ve got a cheddar cheese-loaded biscuit that’s studded with chunks of turkey sausage for a meaty, cheesy, biscuit ball that is seriously addictive.
You won’t need to call everyone over when these babies come out of the oven, either.
They smell so good that your friends and family will be hovering nearby, eagerly awaiting the chance to scoop one up.
Though somehow, when we have people over, everyone always ends up hanging out in the kitchen anyway.
Closer to the food maybe. And the drinks!
But gathering loved ones together and sharing some of our favorite eats while we get to chat and catch up? That’s what the holidays are all about for me.
It doesn’t get better than that! ❤️
Notes on how to make healthy sausage balls:
- You can substitute regular all-purpose flour in place of the white wheat flour if that's what you have.
- I prefer hot Italian turkey sausage, but mild is great for a group setting if you’re not sure everyone wants it spicy. You can also substitute regular pork sausage. Just be sure to drain any extra fat after it’s cooked.
- The sausage for these balls needs to be cooked. To do that, add your raw sausage to a large skillet over medium heat and cook for about 8 minutes, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks so it’s in small crumbles.
- These are best warm from the oven, but they’re still delicious as they cool down, so it’s perfect for leaving out at a party or taking to a neighbor's house.
How to make healthy sausage balls ahead of time:
If you want to make these ahead of time, I suggest baking them for just 12 minutes and then pack them up.
You can either keep them in your refrigerator for a day or two or put them in a container to take to a friend's house. (If you are refrigerating them, be sure to pull them out about 20 minutes before you're going to rewarm them.)
When you're ready to finish them, place them on a baking sheet lined with foil and cover the tops with foil, so they’re all wrapped up.
Rewarm the sausage balls in the oven on low -- about 250 degrees -- for 10 minutes or so. Now they are warm and delicious and ready to go!
Finally, if you have any leftovers, these healthy sausage balls freeze great! Just defrost in the refrigerator and warm up in the microwave when you want to enjoy them again!
Cheers to the holiday season and to making new memories and new traditions with friends and family.
P.S. Be sure to check out my VIDEO to see how easy these are to make!
Healthy sausage biscuit balls
Healthy sausage balls use turkey sausage, skim milk and whole wheat flour for a lightened up version of this breakfast favorite!
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (see notes)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut in small cubes
- ½ cup skim milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 lb. Italian turkey sausage (hot or mild),, cooked and crumbled
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat, for easy clean-up.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles small peas.
- Add milk and stir just until combined.
- Add the cheese and sausage and mix well. The batter will be dense, so use your hands if you need to.
- Roll the mixture into small balls - about 1 inch in diameter - and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
You can substitute regular all-purpose flour if you like or use a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat flours.
I prefer hot Italian turkey sausage, but mild is great for a group setting. You can also substitute regular sausage, just be sure to drain any extra fat after it’s cooked.
The sausage for these balls needs to be cooked. To do that, add your raw sausage to a large skillet over medium heat and cook for about 8 minutes, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks so it’s in small crumbles.
If you have any leftovers, they freeze great! Just defrost in the refrigerator and warm up in the microwave.
Serving Size:1 biscuit ball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 103Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 252mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 7g
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Lol, YES I feel you on needing a few more hours in the day.. but as long as those few hours don't go towards the work day! 😉 Sausage balls bring me waaaay back!! My grams use to always have them at holidays!! So I am loooving that you health-ified them!! Now I can actually eat my weight in these babies and not feel so guilty! Wahoooooo! These would be great for Thanksgiving! Cheers girlie, and good luck finalizing your menu! <3
They are a throwback recipe, aren't they?! And yes, now you can stuff your face with them! Cheers girl! XO
Tara | Treble in the Kitchen
These look just like a brunch appetizer that I saw on the menu this past weekend! Yum!
They are SO good, you gotta try them!
I've never seen such a recipe before, intriguing... I would love to try these balls, they definitely look good. And good to have Nannas, isn't it?
Nannas are the BEST! 😉 And you've got to try these Adina - so easy and such a fun breakfast food!
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food
Wouldn't an extra few hours in the run of a day be awesome? Yes, please!! I feel like I'm always rushing around and there's never quite enough time to do everything. I would definitely have time to eat these though 😉 They're so little so I wouldn't feel too bad eating a few of them....hehehe 😀 I could totally see myself having this for brunch on Saturday with a poached egg and coffee! Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo
Yes, exactly! There's always one more thing to get done... usually four more things... 😉 And yes, I'm loving your Saturday morning plan! XO
These look so yummy and a perfect app to keep in the freezer for any unexpected guest visits!
Absolutely! You'll always be ready for company!
To freeze....would you cook or leave uncooked?
Hi Dana! I've frozen them already cooked before then just pull them out and reheat one or two in the microwave for a quick breakfast. You could try freezing them uncooked, too - I'd just roll into balls, freeze the balls on a tray then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container to store. Thaw (ideally overnight in the refrigerator) and possibly add a few minutes to the baking time. Hope you try them!
Wow, these look crazy delicious! I finally found a turkey sausage I really like, so I'm excited to try this out sometime when I'm cooking for a crowd. And yes...I definitely feel you on the needing a few more hours in the day business!
Right? Couldn't we all?! I hope you do give these a try next time you've got a brunch crowd coming over! Have a wonderful weekend!
What kind of dipping sauce would go well with these? I'm guessing marinara because of the Italian sausage. Do you think that would work? My son loves to dip- I think he'd love these!!
Thanks so much
I haven't tried these with a dipping sauce, but you could definitely give marinara a go. Maybe even mustard!
I'm not sure what happened but I made these last night and followed the recipe to a T but my mix came out soupy. I didn't over stir and I used cold butter and I triple checked my recipe and I didn't miss anything. Have you heard of this happening before?
I have not! My batter is always really thick and dense - nowhere near soupy! I can't think of what would have happened if you had the measurements correct.
Mine is soupy too. Is this really supposed to have 1 1/2 cups of milk?
Kate and Kim -- Oh my goodness, I am SO SO sorry! I had entered it wrong in the recipe box. It should be 1/2 cup of milk (not 1 1/2 cups). I've changed it in the recipe card so it's correct now, but I'm so sorry it was messed up for you. Hope you try it again - these are really, really good! XO, Kathryn
Thank you! I added some self-rising flour and they turned out light and fluffy! Delicious! I will decrease that next time!
You must be reading my mind!! I have sausage balls on my list for Thanksgiving week and your blog just popped up on Pinterest. My standby is made with pork sausage and Bisquick. This will be just as (if not better!) and healthier for the entire family. Thank you!
Haha, that's awesome Katie! 😊 These are definitely perfect for Thanksgiving week, with guests and family and friends over. I hope you try them! And hope you have a happy holiday!
Do you think these will work without the cheese?
Hi Amy! I've never made them that way and it would certainly take away some of the flavor, but yes, I think you should be able to make it work without cheese. I'd love to hear if you try it!
They were great! My milk allergic daughter loved them. I made them with breakfast sausage and dairy free margarine. So good. Thanks for the yummy recipe!!
Yay, I'm so happy to hear that! My daughter had a cow's milk allergy until she outgrew it at age 4. I'm sure you already know the ins and outs but here's my post about how we handled it for her if you're interested: http://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/milk-allergy-in-toddlers-and-young-children/ Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!
I am really excited to make these for a ladies brunch I am hosting, but I am trying to as much prep before hand so I actually enjoy time with my friends. Could I make the dough and keep it in the fridge over night? Would be in there for about 12-4 hours.
Hi Katie! Yes, you can definitely prep these ahead. Just take the dough out of the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before you bake them so it comes up to room temperature a bit. Hope you enjoy them!
Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen
My kids would love these!
I hope you try them! 😊
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)
What is the serving size on the nutrition stats?
Hi Michelle! I added the nutrition cards after I originally posted this recipe, so it's auto-calculated and I think the nutrition info in the card is based on 1 biscuit ball.
I make sausage ball all the time.
Came across this recipe searching for healthy food options. There is no way that I could consider this as a healthy food choice and the claim of such is not only misleading but could result in a serious outcome for some people. I am a survivor of a massive heart attack and now have to be very aware of food choices. Your recipe looks delicious but please don't call it healthy.
Hey Gavin, I definitely believe that everyone has a different definition of healthy, whether that's keto or low-carb or DASH diet or Mediterranean diet. Everyone has different needs and you are smart to look carefully at recipes to see which ones meet your particular needs. Also, I'm not sure "sausage balls" would qualify as health food in any possible form. However, this is meant to be a healthier version of a classic recipe for anyone looking for something lightened up. I hope that helps clarify things!