These vegan sausage balls are perfect as an appetizer, whether it’s the holidays or just because. They’re rich, cheesy, and simple to put together.
Sausage balls are one of the many recipes that I needed to veganize when we changed our diet. It’s one of our traditions to have them every Christmas Eve and there are rarely any leftovers (but when there are, they’re delicious too).
They are often made with Bisquick; instead, I’ve used all-purpose flour (or whole wheat), baking powder, and some salt. I prefer Lightlife Gimme Lean Plant-Based Ground Sausage to make this meatless appetizer.
Then I use dairy-free shredded cheddar cheese. I’ve tried Follow Your Heart and Violife, but use your favorite brand for these dairy-free sausage balls. Any plant-based milk will work, it helps wet everything and make it easier to form into balls.
How to Make Vegan Sausage Balls
Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Then start by mixing the dry ingredients separate from the sausage and cheese, so all the dry ingredients get thoroughly mixed together. Then add the vegan sausage, dairy-free cheese, and ½ cup of dairy-free milk; work in the sausage and cheese with your hands.
Break up the sausage into smaller bits while working in the flour mixture. If the mixture is too dry add another tablespoon at a time of plant-based milk to help the mixture hold together and form the sausage balls. The milk helps everything stick together.
Roll out 1 ½ inch size sausage balls and place them on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Then bake for 20-23 minutes or until they have firmed up and turned golden brown.
Tips for the Recipe
- Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper for an easier clean-up.
- Use all-purpose or whole wheat flour for the dairy-free sausage balls.
- During testing, my family and I preferred the Lightlife ground sausage, but it can be substituted with your favorite vegan ground sausage. If you do substitute, depending on the moisture content of the plant-based meat you use, you may need to adjust the milk needed in the recipe. To adjust the recipe, mix everything together without the milk, then add milk as needed.
- Really any non-dairy cheese will work, I use a non-dairy cheddar cheese because it’s a bit bolder to go with the sausage.
- If you prefer the Bisquick version like the traditional sausage ball recipe, substitute the flour with the same amount of the mix and leave out the baking powder and salt.
Tips for Vegan Sausage
I have tested with vegan ground hamburger, which made the vegan sausage balls taste like vegan cheeseburger balls. So, if you can’t find the sausage an uncooked vegan ground hamburger will work in a pinch.
Brands can change their recipes, so as of writing this, during testing I needed to add milk for Lightlife Gimme Lean Plant-Based Ground Sausage. I did not need to add any milk while testing with Impossible ground sausage. Mixing the milk and flour in the recipe acts like glue that holds the sausage and cheese together.
If you substitute with a different sausage, different plant-based meat, or you have a feeling that your brand changed their recipe: start by mixing the flour, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and pepper together. Then crumble in the sausage and add the cheese to the flour.
Start to mix and if it’s too dry add a couple of tablespoons of milk, mix, and add more if needed. If the mixture is too wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time. The mixture should be wet and will stick to your hands, but you should be able to roll it into a ball without excessive crumbling.
- Substitute the black pepper with cayenne pepper.
- Add Italian seasoning.
- Add chives, fresh or freeze-dried.
Cool the vegan sausage balls completely before storing them covered in the refrigerator for about 5-6 days. They can also be frozen. Freeze them separately on a silicone mat or parchment-lined baking tray until frozen then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Vegan Sausage Cheese Balls?
Uncooked and cooked sausage balls can both be frozen. To freeze uncooked no-meat sausage balls, roll them up and freeze the balls on a lined baking sheet until frozen. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 to 4 months.
If you bake uncooked sausage balls while still frozen, then add about 10 minutes to the baking time for a total of 31-33 minutes. When I tested they did seem a little drier from being frozen.
Can I Make Them in Advance?
Yes, I do think the dairy-free sausage balls taste best fresh out of the oven, but they are pretty delicious warmed up too. Reheat them either in the microwave or in the oven at 350 F until warmed through. Or see the frozen instructions above.
We mainly have always eaten these by themselves, but they also go great with sauces too.
More Vegan Appetizer Recipes
- Sweet and Spicy Roasted Walnuts and Cashews
- Curry Cashews
- Vegan Nacho Cheese
- Vegan Nachos
- Curry Chickpea Salad
I hope you enjoy the vegan sausage ball recipe!Print
Rich and cheesy vegan sausage balls. A classic holiday appetizer veganized!
- 14 ounces vegan ground sausage (I used Lightlife Gimme Lean Plant-Based Ground Sausage)
- 8 ounces vegan shredded cheddar cheese (I used Follow Your Heart Cheddar Shreds or Violife)
- 2 cups all-purpose
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½-⅔ cup plant-based milk, or as needed
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C)
- Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add the vegan sausage, vegan shredded cheese, and ½ cup of milk to the bowl and mix them into the flour with your hands while breaking up the sausage.
- If the mixture is too dry add another tablespoon of milk at a time to help combine everything together.
- Roll out 1 ½ inch size sausage balls and place them on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes.
If you substitute with a different sausage, different plant-based meat, or if a brand changes its recipe: the amount of milk needed may need to be altered.
If substituting, to figure out how much milk you need, start by mixing the flour, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and pepper together. Then crumble in the sausage and add the cheese to the flour. Start to mix and if it’s too dry add a couple of tablespoons of milk, mix, and add more if needed.
In case the mixture is too wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time. The mixture should be wet and will stick to your hands, but you’ll want to be able to roll it into a ball without excessive crumbling.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20-23 minutes
- Category: appetizers
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: american
Keywords: vegan sausage balls, no meat sausage balls, dairy-free sausage balls, vegan sausage cheese balls