Spicy Cranberry Sausage Balls
Add some sweet/spicy flair to your appetizer spread! These zippy sausage balls use bulk Italian pork or turkey sausage and dried cranberries to use on a party buffet spread, or for watching the game. I just love finger foods that are just a bite or two, and these fill the bill. Add some extra heat with optional red pepper flakes, or dial down the heat and use sweet Italian sausage instead of the hot, if you prefer. Either way, you will enjoy the tangy sweetness the cranberries bring!
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces mild Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
- 6 ounces dried cranberries, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk baking mix
- 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, or to taste
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- 2. Combine cream cheese and Cheddar cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. Add sausage in golf ball-size pieces while mixer is running and continue to mix until combined with the cheeses, about 1 minute. Add cranberries, 2 tablespoons parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes; continue to mix until well blended, about 2 minutes.
- 3. Stop the mixer and stir in baking mix with a wooden spoon until it is distributed throughout.
- 4. Form 27 golf ball-size sausage balls with your hands or a meatball scoop. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.
- 5. Bake in the preheated oven until nicely browned and no longer pink in the centers, about 30 minutes. Drain on paper towels if necessary. Serve warm garnished with remaining parsley.