Looking for the perfect appetizer for your next party that everyone will love? Then look no further than these fantastic Gluten-Free Sausage Balls! With just a few simple ingredients, you can have a tray of these delicious bites ready to go in no time. Plus, they're perfect for any party or potluck!
This sausage ball recipe is especially great during football season or for holiday gatherings. Also, they can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer, so you don't have to worry about last-minute preparations.
My favorite thing about these yummy sausage cheese balls is that they are safe to eat for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. Also, the main ingredients for this gluten-free recipe would be great for those on a low-carb diet.
This gluten free appetizer was inspired by my Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meatballs recipe.
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- Ground Italian Sausage
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Marinara Sauce
- Fresh Parsley
See the recipe card for quantities.
First, mix the Italian sausage, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and kosher salt in a medium to a large bowl. You can also use a stand mixer if you have one.
Next, shape the meat and cheese mixture into tablespoon-sized balls, or about 1-inch balls. You can use your hands or an ice cream scooper. You will want to make around 30 balls. You can place the uncooked sausage balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet if you wish for convenience.
After that, place your sausage balls into the slow cooker and add the marinara sauce. Cook on high heat for 2-4 hours or low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
Finally, garnish your sausage balls with parsley if you wish and serve them with toothpicks as an easy appetizer or snack or over pasta for a full entree.
Hint: use a food-safe slow cooker liner for easy clean-up. I like to use Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners for lining my slow cooker.
- Cream cheese - instead of using regular cream cheese, you can use a dairy-free or plant-based version instead.
- Sausage - if you do not have any Italian sausage on hand, you can use regular sausage with Italian seasoning.
- Sharp cheddar - feel free to use any other cheese like white cheddar or parmesan cheese. There are many great dairy-free cheese options available now. You can use a shreddable variety or even a block that you shred yourself.
- BBQ - swap the sausage for regular (non-Italian) and use barbecue sauce instead of marinara.
- Greek - use regular sausage instead of Italian and switch out the cheddar cheese for some feta. You can also add chopped kalamata olives or artichokes.
- Breakfast - trade the sausage for a breakfast-style sausage and top the sausage balls with gluten-free white gravy or even maple syrup instead of marinara.
- Spicy - you can use spicy sausage instead of Italian sausage if you want a spicier meatball. You can even add some hot sauce if you like for an extra kick.
Store any leftover sausage balls in an airtight container, freezer bag, or aluminum foil in the fridge for up to 4 days or one month in the freezer.
Don't overcook your sausage balls! Follow the recipe exactly. If they are overcooked, they will become very dry. So just make sure to not cook them over 160 °F (72 °C).
Gluten Free Sausage Balls
- 1 Slow Cooker 6-8 quart
- 2 lbs ground Italian sausage
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- Fresh parsley for garnish optional
- First, mix the Italian sausage, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
- Next, shape the meat and cheese mixture into tablespoon-sized balls. You can use your hands or an ice cream scooper. You will want to make around 30 balls.
- After that, place your sausage balls into the slow cooker and add the marinara sauce. Cook on high heat for 2-4 hours or low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
- Finally, garnish your sausage balls with parsley if you wish and serve them with toothpicks as an appetizer or snack or over pasta for a full entree.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 160 °F (72 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
Gluten Free Sausage Balls FAQs
If your sausage balls are not sticking together, you probably are not using enough of a binder. Typically meatballs use flour or cornstarch as a binder, but since these sausage balls are gluten free and keto friendly, they use cream cheese.
No, Jimmy Dean Premium All Natural Pork Sausage Roll is all-natural and gluten free! This sausage is typically used in breakfast dishes so, it wouldn't quite work for the slow cooker sausage ball recipe above, it would be great with some eggs and toast!
There are quite a few brands of gluten free sausage as most sausage and other meat is already naturally gluten free. Some notable gluten free sausage brands include Aidells Sausage Company and Applegate Farms.
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