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Zesty Sausage Cheese Balls

Appetizer success! Jimmy Dean® Hot Pork Sausage with sharp cheddar and jalapeño peppers create a zesty party favorite.

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Zesty Sausage Cheese Balls

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Prep Time:25 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Hot Roll Sausage
  • ¾ cup all-purpose baking mix
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup seeded, finely chopped fresh jalapeño peppers
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix all ingredients in large bowl just until blended. Shape into 36 (1-inch) balls.
  2. Place in 2 lightly greased baking pans.
  3. Bake 12-14 minutes or until done (160°F).
  4. Serve with toothpicks, if desired.

Cook’s Tips:

Stove-Top Variation: Do not preheat oven. Mix ingredients and shape into balls as directed. Cook half the sausage balls in large skillet over medium heat 15-17 minutes or until done (160°F), turning frequently. Remove from skillet; place in single layer in shallow pan to keep warm. Repeat with remaining sausage balls.)

Serve with toothpicks, if desired.)

Flavor Variations:)

Spicy Sausage-Cranberry Cheese Balls: Substitute 1 cup dried cranberries , 1 cup chopped pecans and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg for onion, jalapeno peppers, garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne pepper; continue as directed above.)

Italian-Style Sausage Cheese Balls: Substitute 1 pkg. Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Original Roll Sausage for Premium Pork Hot Roll Sausage, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper, 1 large garlic clove, minced and ½ teaspoon dried oregano for onion, jalapeno peppers, garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne pepper; continue as directed above.)

Make Ahead: Sausage balls can be shaped ahead of time and frozen. When ready to serve, heat oven to 375°F. Place frozen balls on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 16-18 minutes or until done (160°F).)

Note: It is easiest to mix the sausage mixture using your hands. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.)

Yield

18 servings (2 balls each))