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The Perfect Appetizer – Keto Sausage Balls

Louise Hendon | January 14

Finding the perfect keto friendly snacks and appetizers for your event may prove to be difficult, but we are here to help you!

If you are new to keto, you might find it difficult preparing recipes using only a limited number of keto-approved ingredients. Or you might even think that there is too much effort involved, but this is not the case here.

The humble sausage balls are an ever present appetizer for events, but the commercial recipes require using a boxed baking mix, which is highly processed and full of carbs. This means that regular sausage balls recipes are not keto friendly, but this is an easy fact to change.

Here are some keto sausage balls recipes that are quick, easy to make, and low-carb.  These delicious keto friendly sausage balls are perfect as an appetizer, game-snack, a quick breakfast or meal on-the-go. The sausage balls also keep well in the freezer for up to 5 months, so you can prep these well in advance.

Note: we’ve included some recipes with cheese in them as it can improve the texture and flavor of the sausage balls.  However, if you’re staying dairy-free Keto, stick with the diary-free recipes as they’re delicious too!

A few quick tips:

  • Check the ingredients in your sausage as some sausages include sugar and/or wheat flour.
  • Make sure your sausage is broken up properly into small chunks.
  • Whisk your eggs first in a separate bowl so that it combines well with the rest of the mixture.
  • Add in additional spices to really spice up your sausage balls (you can also add fresh herbs!).  Here are a few of our favorites: smoked paprika, dried parsley, garlic powder, dried onion powder, chives.

2-Ingredient Keto Sausage Balls (Dairy-Free)

This is the easiest recipe on the list, and all the other recipes build on this one.  Feel free to experiment with adding in almond flour, coconut flour, and spices into this basic recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 egg

How to make them: 

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix together.  Form balls from the mixture (use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to keep them uniform in size) and place on a lined baking sheet. Recipe should make 10-15 2-inch sausage balls.  Bake in a 350°F (175°C) pre-heated oven for up to 20-25 minutes or until the sausage is cooked.

Keto sausage balls with almond flour

This easy recipe involves replacing the boxed baking mix with another type of keto flour. For this recipe, we are using almond flour.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb sausage
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz of sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

How to make them: 

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).  As with the previous basic sausage balls recipe, all you have to do is combine the ingredients well, form balls, place onto a lined baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Keto sausage balls with cream cheese

If you want a creamier texture to the sausage balls, you can incorporate cream cheese in the mixture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

How to make them: 

Like the previous recipes, preheat your oven to 350°F (or 175°C).  Then combine the ingredients - note that this mixture will be smoother if the cream cheese is softened first so that it’s at room temperature. Form golf ball sized balls (1.5-inch diameter) either using your hands or a scoop, and bake them in the oven at 350°F (175°C), for 20 to 25 minutes.

Keto sausage balls with coconut flour

If you have an almond allergy, don’t be discouraged by the previous recipes. You can either swap the almond flour for coconut flour using a 1:4 ratio or you can try this absolutely decadent keto friendly, coconut flour sausage balls recipe.  (You’ll notice that this recipe uses extra eggs as coconut flour is a lot dryer than almond flour.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup cheddar, grated
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp ghee, softened
  • Salt and pepper

How to make them:

Soften the cream cheese and ghee in the microwave. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form golf ball sized balls and bake them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Keto sausage balls with pimento cheese

Cheddar seems to be the preferred cheese for a sausage ball, but it is not the only cheese you can use. Try experimenting with various mixtures of cheddar, parmesan, or pepper jack for a spicier take. But, if you are looking for a spicy creamy texture, pimento cheese is the way to go.

This is one of the easiest recipes on this list (with just 3 ingredients) and it builds on the basic dairy-free recipe we had earlier.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage
  • 12 oz pimento cheese
  • 1 egg

How to make them:

In a large bowl, mix everything together. Form the balls, and place them on a lined baking sheet. Place them in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cheesy Keto sausage balls without almond flour or egg

As you may have noticed, using egg or  flour is not mandatory - you can make amazing sausage balls without using it, and the below recipe is a perfect example. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan are all great options)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (yellow or dijon)

How to make them:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).  Combine all the ingredients, form balls from the mixture and place onto a lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for up to 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Once baked, place them on paper towels to absorb excess grease.

But what if you want to use an air fryer?

All the previously mentioned recipes can be baked either using an oven or an air fryer. 

There is no need to preheat your air fryer, all you have to do is lightly grease the basket and bake the sausage balls for roughly 18 minutes at 375 degrees.

One of the great advantages of the air fryer is that you can cook sausage balls directly from the freezer, no thawing necessary. Place the frozen balls in the basket and cook them at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Then flip them and cook them for another 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees. Depending on your air fryer, you might want to check on them throughout the second cook, just to make sure they are cooked to the center.

How do you keep them in the freezer?

As mentioned before, these can be frozen for up to 5 months, so there is no need to worry about leftovers. And you’ll have some on hand for those late night cravings or for the early morning rush!

To prepare for freezing, all you have to do is put your baking sheet into the freezer for a few hours after you’ve formed the balls and placed them on a baking sheet. This will ensure the sausage balls maintain their shape and do not turn into a solid block. After they are frozen, place them in zip lock bags, and that’s it! Now you have a meal-prepped batch of delicious keto friendly sausage balls!

Louise Hendon

Louise holds a Bachelors and Masters in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University (UK). She attended Columbia University for her JD and practiced law before co-founding Louise's Foods, Paleo Living Magazine, Nourishing Brands, & CoBionic. Louise has considerable research experience but enjoys creating products and articles that help move people just a little bit closer toward a healthy life they love.