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Vegetarian Sausage Balls Recipe

by Emily
Vegetarian Sausage Balls on a green tray. A platter of them behind next to greenery

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Two years ago, I wrote about our family’s classic sausage balls recipe based on the original Bisquick recipe created in the 1970s. Every year, we make sausage balls to enjoy as finger food as we open presents and enjoy family time on Christmas morning. 

Nowadays, my husband and I are choosing to consume less meat than in the past for our health and to reduce our carbon footprint. As a result, I began testing sausage balls using vegan sausages and cheeses. While I’m not yet ready to publish a vegan variation, this vegetarian sausage balls recipe is perfect for those eliminating meat but not dairy! 

Below, I give some helpful cooking tips & tricks as well as answer some potential questions you may have about these vegetarian sausage balls. 

A close up side shot of vegetarian sausage balls on a blue tray.
A Single Batch Makes Lots and Lots of Sausage Balls!

Vegetarian Sausage Balls Tips & Tricks:

Here we list some helpful tips & tricks to help you make this vegetarian sausage balls recipe. We hope they help!

  • Prepare the cheese first. I recommend buying a block of extra sharp cheddar instead of pre-grated cheese. Not only does the cheese taste fresher, but it doesn’t have the extra ingredients added to keep the grated cheese from caking together. 
  • When mixing the vegan sausage, cheese, cayenne, and Bisquick, I recommend using your hands instead of a mixing utensil. 
  • Note that the mixture doesn’t ever feel like it fully comes together. Instead, once fully combined, the mixture has a crumbly texture.
  • Continuously knead all the ingredients until you do not have any Bisquick left at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Then, grab a small handful of the mixture and roll it into tight balls. You want each ball to be bite-sized. Think of the size of a walnut!
  • These vegetarian sausage balls taste delicious at room temperature or hot. 
sausage appetizer sitting on a green plate. a pile of sausage appetizers behind.
The Perfect Bite!

Vegetarian Sausage Balls Frequently Asked Questions:

Now that we learned some tips & tricks for cooking vegetarian sausage balls, we can answer some questions you may have about this recipe! If we did not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment below or email us at [email protected]

Vegetarian Sausage Balls vs Meat Sausage Balls: 

Many of you may be wondering about how the vegetarian sausage balls compare to the original meat version. For this recipe, I only replace the sausage meat with a vegan alternative. I tested a few types and finally landed on the Impossible Spicy Sausage. When used in this recipe, you would not know that it is vegan sausage unless someone told you. 

A photo of impossible sausage meat package.
I Use Impossible Sausage Meat.

There are two slight differences between the original Jimmy Dean sausage variation and this one. First, the flavor. Second, the texture. 

In the vegetarian version, the sausage balls have a milder ‘meaty flavor’ while still tasting like sausage meat. While the meat stands out as the main ingredient in the original version, in the vegetarian variation, the cheese plays an equal part in the equation. To me, this doesn’t make it taste any less authentic. Honestly, it just tastes like I used a different brand of sausage that tastes milder than the usual spicy Jimmy Dean I usually recommend. 

Next, the texture is slightly different between the two. With the original sausage balls, the exterior is crunchy once cooked. The interior remains soft to bite through. In the vegetarian alternative, there is less of a crunchy exterior. Instead, the texture remains the same throughout the entire bite. 

Surprisingly, I actually find the vegetarian version to be more of a balanced appetizer out of the two options! 

Can You Tell Which Are Vegetarian and Which Are Meat-Based? The Left Have Real Meat. The Right Are Vegetarian.

Is This Small-Bite Appetizer Allergen-Free? (Gluten, Soy, Nut, Etc.)

Unfortunately, these appetizer bites do contain some of the major allergens. While this recipe does not contain tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, or eggs, it does contain soy, gluten, wheat, and milk.

First, the Impossible Spicy Sausage contains soy as one of its main ingredients. If you can eat meat, I recommend using a real meat-based sausage. Typically, vegan sausage variations contain soy ingredients. 

Second, the extra sharp cheddar cheese contains dairy. At this point, I do not have a recommendation for a milk alternative that works in this recipe. I am currently testing vegan cheeses and hope to have a recommendation for you soon! 

Finally, the original Bisquick contains gluten and wheat. Thankfully, for people like me, Bisquick has made a gluten-free variation of their original mix. I use this because I have celiac disease and must eliminate all gluten from my diet. 

Can You Make This Recipe In Advance?

Yes! You can make this recipe in advance. Often, my family makes these the day before Christmas. Then, we pop them back in the oven at a low temperature to reheat them before serving. 

If you are hosting a holiday party, this is the perfect appetizer if you need to make something in advance. 

A close up shot of a tray of vegetarian sausage balls.
New Options for Vegetarian Friends and Family.

How Do You Store These Vegetarian Sausage Balls?

I recommend storing these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can store this in the refrigerator for a few days while you consume them. 

We Hope You Enjoyed Learning How to Make Vegetarian Sausage Balls!

In the end, we hope you enjoyed learning about how to make vegetarian sausage balls. It is the perfect appetizer to share among friends at holiday parties!

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on this blog. I listed some of my favorite Carving A Journey recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by my family’s blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Further Carving A Journey Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email me at [email protected]. And, finally, I would love to hear from you through our social media as well! You can follow me at @carvingajourney on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I also started a vlog YouTube channel with my husband! Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to the blog by joining the mailing list. I hope you enjoyed learning about vegetarian sausage balls! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Vegetarian Sausage Balls Recipe

Recipe by Emily
5.0 from 2 votes
Course: Appetizers, Recipes, Southern RecipesCuisine: SouthernDifficulty: Easy


Sausage Balls
Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 cups of Bisquick or Gluten-Free Bisquick

  • 1/2 TSP Cayenne

  • 1 IB (16 Oz) Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated

  • 1 IB (16 OZ) Vegetarian Sausage, Impossible Meat Spicy Sausage


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Next, grate the extra sharp cheddar cheese into a large bowl.
  • In the same bowl with the cheese, combine the Bisquick (or gluten-free Bisquick), cayenne, and sausage. With your hands, knead the ingredients until fully combined. At this point, you should not have any Bisquick left at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Then, using your hands, roll small balls about the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the lined cookie sheet. You should leave 2 inches (approximately 5 cm) between each ball.
  • Once you fill the cookie sheet, place it in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Repeat until all the sausage balls are cooked. Serve hot or room temperature!

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Gordon October 26, 2022 - 12:11 pm

Do you realize your recipe calls for the addition NO liquid to the Bisquick? Aren’t these awfully dry?

Emily October 26, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Hi Gordon! The mixture is very dry as you combine the ingredients. I work the mixture until all the vegetarian-sausage, cheese, and Bisquick are combined. While it feels dry, this cheese and oils in the vegetarian-sausage keep the sausage balls from being dry once cooked! This is based on the original sausage ball Bisquick recipe from the company. If you would prefer to add a bit of moisture, you can add a tad bit of milk!


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