Chipotle Cranberry Sausage Balls

Chipotle Cranberry Sausage Balls are a little sweet, a little spice, and easy to make for a CROWD. Festive and savory, this is a recipe that can be made as a single batch or scaled up to serve 50 to 75 people. Assemble in advance, then just pop these sausage balls in the oven for a consistent and delectable appetizer or party finger food.

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cooked sausage balls prior to cooking on parchment paper on bake sheet

Why this recipe works

Sausage balls may not be much to look at, but they are freaking tasty and Every Time I have made them, they are devoured. Something magical happens when sausage, cheese, and baking mix are combined and baked. They are a Southern favorite and I have even been known to use them to bribe people.

This recipe works because it takes an old Southern favorite recipe and ups the flavor and interest with chipotle and cranberry (flavors that sing together every time, in my opinion). Then as bonus, I have figured out how to make preparation EASY enough to knock these balls out for dozens of people. Read on, and you will see how.

cooked sausage balls prior to cooking on parchment paper on bake sheet

What even are sausage balls?

A veritable Southern classic! Traditional sausage balls are a simple mixture of sausage, cheese, and biscuit baking mix (aka Bisquik). Ridiculously simple, but these ingredients marry into a simply delicious bite. This recipe lets us make these tasty nibbles for a crowd easily, affordably, and perfectly every time.

sausage ball ingredients in mixing bowl, unmixed

About the ingredients

  • Hot bulk sausage. I use either Jimmy Dean or Odom brands, and I use Hot for a little zing — rest assured, that “hot” bulk sausage is not, in fact, spicy. The “hot” is actually just a little bite and these remain friendly for all palates.
  • Cheeses: cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
  • Light brown sugar.
  • Dried cranberries. I use cranberries with less sugar added, but regular sweetened cranberries also work for this recipe.
  • Bisquik baking mix.
  • Cholula Chipotle hot sauce. This hot sauce has a wonderful depth of flavor that sings in these nibbles.
  • Onion powder.
assembled sausage balls prior to cooking on parchment paper on bake sheet
assembled sausage balls prior to cooking on parchment paper on bake sheet

How to easily make sausage balls

Making sausage balls generally takes some elbow grease. The ingredients (traditionally, sausage, cheese, and BIsquik) are mixed in a bowl by hand. The mixture starts out dry and crumbly, but after a bit of effort, the fat of the sausage absorbs the baking mix and a dough magically forms.

This is all good for a single batch. But to do this mixing by hand for a large batch or multiple batches? NO THANK YOU.

I have 2 tricks that make sausage ball-making SO much easier: use a stand-mixer and a cookie scoop. The stand-mixer does all the hard work of mixing, and the cookie scoop lets you quickly make all the balls the same size.

The sausage balls can be assembled in advance, even by a day. Then we just pop them in the oven at 350℉ for precisely 15 minutes. If in doubt, you can check the internal temperature with an instant thermometer (you want the temperature at least 155℉), but I have never had sausage balls not perfectly done right at 15 minutes.

TIP: When making sausage balls, it is easy to think they aren’t done, and then proceed to overcook them. At 350℉, they are done in 15 minutes. Use a thermometer to double check but resist the urge to cook longer “just to be sure”. You will end up with tough, dry balls if you do.

cooked sausage balls prior to cooking on parchment paper on bake sheet
cooked sausage balls prior to cooking on parchment paper on bake sheet
cooked sausage balls prior to cooking on parchment paper on bake sheet

Chipotle Cranberry Sausage Balls

Tart and savory, Chipotle Cranberry Sausage Balls are easy to make for a crowd. This recipe can be scaled up to serve 50 to 75 people.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry sausage balls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 192kcal
Author: Erica
Servings: 20



  • Heat oven to 350℉.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add all the ingredients.
  • Using the paddle attachment on the lowest speed setting, mix the ingredients until a dough is formed. (Note this step can also be accomplished manually using your hands if a stand mixer is not available).
  • Using a medium cookie scoop or spoon, scoop ~2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Place on a bake sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough, using additional bake sheets as necessary.
  • Bake at 350℉ for 15 minutes or until internal temperature reads 155℉ using an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and serve. Yields: ~40 balls.


The amounts for the sausage, cranberries, cheddar cheese, and Bisquik are based on amounts of smaller, readily available-sized packaging. This makes amplifying this recipe easier because you just get more of each, and then don’t have to measure. 
These sausage balls do not give off a lot of oil while baking, so either flat or rimmed bake sheets can be used.
The parchment paper serves to keep the balls from rolling around or sticking and makes clean-up loads easier.
Sausage balls dough can be formed and balls assembled a day in advance. They are, however, best served fresh and warm.
As a time-saving tip: use the cookie scoop to scoop ~2 Tbsp amounts of dough and place mounds on cookie sheet. Once the dough is distributed into these mounds, then go through and roll them into balls using your hands. Scooping all the dough, then rolling into balls, makes prep significantly faster than scoop-roll-repeat ball-by-ball.


Serving: 2balls | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g

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