Vegan Cheese Sausage Balls

I’m so excited! For years now, I have been trying to recreate the “perfect” vegan cheese sausage ball, and according to my family (which includes my mom, the EXPERT cheese sausage ball maker, who is in town for the holidays), I have finally done it!!! My past attempts to veganize this treat were always a bit dry and flavorless–but this time, they were moist and bursting with flavor. Hooray!

I started by Googling “regular” cheese sausage ball recipes, which all seem to call for Bisquick. I didn’t have any Bisquick, so I did a quick search to find out what the difference is between Bisquick and flour. As it turns out, the only difference is that Bisquick already has the baking powder, salt, and fat mixed in. So I decided to try and make these using regular white flour and adding in my own baking powder, sea salt, and canola oil.

With the exception of the baking powder and sea salt, the amounts below are not precise, because I really just kept playing with it and adding a bit more of this or that until I had just the right consistency and flavor that I was seeking. You may wish to alter the ratios or types of cheese or sausage used to suit your own taste buds, but hopefully, this will give you a good base from which to work.

I would normally have added some black pepper to these, except that we had just run out of black pepper that morning–and I’m glad that we did, because the spices in the Italian sausage and the havarti cheese wedge gave just the right amount of kick, and I think the pepper might have been too much.

Anyhow, without further ado, below are the recipe and two photos (the recipe made at least twice this many balls, but the rest were devoured before I could pull out my iPhone):

20121229-090701.jpg

VEGAN CHEESE SAUSAGE BALLS

Ingredients:
approx. 2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tofurkey vegan Italian sausages
about 3/4 bag Daiya shredded vegan cheddar cheese
about 1/4 wedge Daiya vegan havarti cheese
about 1/4 wedge Daiya vegan jack cheese
water (as needed)
canola oil (as needed)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Grind the vegan Italian sausages in a food processor until you have very small crumbles.

Add the sausage and shredded cheese to the flour mixture, then crumble in the wedge cheese. Drizzle in a little bit of canola oil and water and begin to knead the mixture with your hands. Keep adding small amounts of oil and/or water until you have a nice bread dough consistency.

Then form little balls of dough and bake them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for about 15 minutes until lightly browned (this will vary depending upon the size of your balls, so check them at around the 10-minute mark and adjust time as necessary).

They are best served warm and should be firm and lightly browned on the outside, but moist on the inside with occasional tiny pockets of gooey melted vegan cheese, like this:

20121229-090714.jpg

Enjoy! 🙂

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About Kim McCoy

Kim McCoy is a passionate animal and environmental advocate with a B.S. in Business Administration from UT Knoxville and a J.D. specializing in Animal and Environmental Law. She graduated with honors from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the internationally acclaimed Animal Law Review and interned with the National Center for Animal Law and the International Environmental Law Project. Kim is a member of MENSA (the “high IQ society”) and previously worked for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in a variety of roles, including Executive Director, Director of Campaigns, and Director of Legal Affairs. Kim is also the former Executive Director of the One World One Ocean Foundation and the proud mother of a healthy, thriving son who has been vegan since conception. Currently serving as Executive Director of Big Life Foundation, which protects wildlife and wild lands in Eastern Africa, Kim remains deeply committed to the defense of animals worldwide.
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9 Responses to Vegan Cheese Sausage Balls

  1. OMG! You’ve made me hungry at 7:30 in the morning. These look wonderful. I will have to try them. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Kim McCoy says:

    Holise, you are so sweet. I hope you’re having a nice day! 🙂

  3. Allison says:

    First of all: Happy new year! Secondly: I tried these this morning, but was not entirely successful. I’m not much of a cook, really, and I like to stick to recipes almost exactly so as not to mess it up. I must say that I liked the flavor of this recipe compared to other vegan sausage cheese ball recipes I’ve tried. But the consistency inside didn’t turn out – was quite mushy and gooey. Do you have any suggestions for recommended amounts of the water and canola oil to use rather than “as needed”? I think that was where my problems originally stemmed from. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • Kim McCoy says:

      Hi Allison, thank you for your kind words, and I’m so sorry that the recipe didn’t work out for you! I wish that I could offer you a more precise measurement for the oil and water, but the truth is, I have no idea. In situations like this, I start with the base amount and then add a tiny amount (like a spoonful) of liquid at a time until the dough holds together without feeling too sticky or gooey. If you accidentally add too much liquid and the dough starts sticking to your hands, you can balance it out by adding a bit more flour, but this approach can admittedly become a slippery slope if you make too many adjustments and can ruin the whole thing. The next time I make these, I’ll try to determine a precise measurement and update the post. I wish that I could offer you something better than this in the meantime–I know what a frustrating feeling it is to not be given an exact amount! I really hate wasting time and ingredients, so I can genuinely empathize with what happened to you. Again, I am so sorry! 😦

    • Kim McCoy says:

      p.s. I just realized that I didn’t even offer a base amount for the oil and water in this recipe! I think I just started with small drizzles of a spoonful at a time and kept adding these until the dough felt well-combined (probably not more than 1 Tbsp of oil total, with the rest of the liquid coming from water). Also, happy new year to you, too!

  4. jacobraccuia says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I used gluten free flour, and 2 cups is a little too much. I’d try 1.5 next time.

    I only had teese mozzarella and they don’t taste too cheesy so I think daiya definitely necessary (maybe both).

    Will def make again and try to perfect!

  5. Lisa Manley says:

    I make traditional sausage/cheese balls every year and was looking for a Vegan alternative for my friends. These are great! I used 2 8 oz packages of Daiya Cheddar alternative and 1 package (14 oz) of Lightlife Gimme Lean pork sausage. It comes in a tube like Jimmy Dean’s. My vegan friend recommended Bob’s Red Mill Gluten/Wheat/Dairy free Biscuit and Baking Mix to replace the Bisquik, and a little unsweetened almond milk and canola to moisten the mixture, probably 3 TBL total between the two. I was told there wasn’t a lot of spice to the sausage so I mixed in sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, dried chipotle and fresh ground fennel seed. Worked well flavor wise. While the inside was soft, the way a regular sausage ball is, they are still a little dry for my liking. Has anyone tried a dipping sauce? I think I’m going to make a couple different ones, but no decisions yet. I welcome your suggestions. Thanks for posting this recipe!

    • Kim McCoy says:

      I loved reading about your modifications and am so glad they turned out well–your version sounds wonderful!! I haven’t tried a dipping sauce, but I agree that one would be nice with these. If you come up with anything good, I hope you’ll let me know! 🙂

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