When I think of Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family, I think of sausage balls. My grandmother used to make them every year at Thanksgiving and everyone would go over to my Aunt Cynthia’s house for a huge feast. The sausage balls were the first thing out of the oven and they served as a little appetizer to hold us over until the rest of dinner was ready. After my grandmother passed away (and probably several years before that happened), my Aunt Cynthia continued the sausage ball tradition. At that point, I was living in New Hampshire while my mom’s side of the family still remained in the Washington DC area, so we didn’t always make it down every year for Thanksgiving, but when we did, the sausage balls were always there. And then I became a vegetarian at the ripe old age of 12, so sausage balls were out for me, but I could still smell them as they came out of the oven. Well, I’m not a vegetarian anymore. A few years ago, I dug up the very simple sausage ball recipe that my mom sent me and made them for a work holiday lunch. They were a big hit, both at the office and with my taste-tester, Nick. Since then, Nick has requested sausage balls every holiday season, so I’ve been keeping my grandmother’s tradition alive by making them on Thanksgiving as a little holiday appetizer. When I gave a very abbreviated version of that story to Nick’s family as we arrived with a bowl full of sausage balls at Thanksgiving, they requested I start that tradition in their family, so I guess the sausage ball tradition is spreading to another part of the family tree!
The recipe calls for regular ol’ pork sausage, but I’ve used turkey sausage and I recently spotted uncooked chicken sausage at Trader Joe’s. The calorie calculation for what I have posted is for pork sausage, but you could easily spare you a few calories by chaining your meat up!
Makes 3 dozen balls
97 calories per ball
1 pound sausage
10 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups Bisquick
Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and roll into one-inch balls. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until golden-brown, about 20 minutes.