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  • Mary Kay

Irene’s Sauerkraut Sausage Balls


What a delicious hors d’oeuvre for any party! These little meatball treats are a mouthful of flavors from pork sausage to sauerkraut to your favorite mustard dip, all melded together with cream cheese and bread crumbs.


The little meat balls were served up by our friend Irene at a special holiday dinner a couple of weeks ago. What a delicious spread! Special cheeses and crackers, her Sauerkraut Sausage Balls appetizer, a Shrimp Casserole, salad and much more. It was a delicious evening of never-ending friendship and wonderful food.

 

Sauté them lightly on the stove and move to the oven for complete baking and crisping. Plus, they’re easy to make, without needing a zillion ingredients. 


These little Sauerkraut Sausage Balls are yummy dipped in your favorite sauces such as ranch, mustards, or even barbecue. We like them best with a spicy Dijon mustard. Try them with your favorite little crackers, tiny slices of rye bread or toasted garlic breads. Or, why not try them on little skewers alternated with olives, dill pickles or pickled mushrooms.


Serve them up with your favorite cheeses; Gruyere, Brie, Cheddar, whether they are softer or harder. Mesh the flavors that you like.


They are great the next day. Just refrigerate and reheat them in the oven or microwave. Enjoy them with my Hot Pepper Biscuits or garlic toast.

 

Prep your stovetop fry pan:

-Add a little oil or butter to the pan for frying the bulk sausage and diced onion.

-For sautéing your sausage balls, add some extra virgin olive oil or butter, or even use the leftover sausage from above in your 10-12” fry pan. You don’t need a lot of oil, just enough to brown all the sausage balls on all sides.

 

Prep your oven baking pan:

I buttered my ceramic baking dish (9”x12”) before adding the sauteed sausage balls. 


Gather up your Ingredients:

8 oz Pork sausage

¼ C Onion, finely diced

14 oz Sauerkraut, drained well and finely chopped

2 T Bread crumbs, finely crushed, dried

1/3 C Cream cheese, softened

2 T Parsley, fresh, finely chopped

1 t Mustard, prepared

¼ t Garlic powder

¼ t Pepper, ground

¼ C Flour

2 Eggs, well beaten

¼ C Milk

¾ C Bread crumbs, finely crushed, dried

Oil for frying the sausage balls

 

Start mixing:

-In your fry/sauté pan, start by frying up your bulk pork sausage and diced onions until the meat is browned and the onions are transparent or lightly browned. Remove from heat. (Save the liquid in a small bowl for sautéing the sausage balls. You might need to add a little extra oil or butter.)

-Add the chopped sauerkraut and two tablespoons bread crumbs to the meat, stirring well to combine. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, parsley, prepared mustard, garlic powder and pepper until well blended.

-Stir in the sauerkraut and sausage mixture and stir together in the bowl until well combined.

-Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. 


Roll the Sauerkraut Sausage Balls:

-Set up three shallow bowls to individually hold the ingredients in which to roll the sausage balls.

Dish #1: Pour in the flour.

Dish #2: Combine and beat together the eggs and milk with a fork.

Dish #3: Pour in the three/quarter cup of bread crumbs.

-Shape your meat mixture into ¾” balls and set on a flat pan or plate, ready for rolling before frying. If they seem too loose, set them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

-Heat up the oil in the frying pan.

-Dip each sausage ball first, in the flour, then the egg mixture, and lastly the bread crumbs. Be sure to coat all sides of each ball in each bowl. These mixtures will create a nice crispy outside to your sausage balls.

-Then, drop each sausage ball into the hot oil and fry just to create a nice light brown crust all over, rotating the balls to crisp on all sides.


-Drain on brown paper or paper toweling on a plate, pan or rack. Note: At this point, the Sauerkraut Sausage Balls can be frozen ahead for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, thaw them in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours and bake as directed below.

 -Place the browned Sauerkraut Sausage Balls into your prepared baking dish and bake at 400F degrees for 20-25 minutes.


NOTE: You know I just cannot leave a recipe alone. I’m always looking for another way to utilize different flavors. So, I added a little more sauerkraut on top of the balls in the baking dish before baking. With just 5 minutes left to bake, I added some shredded Jalapeño Pepper Jack Cheese to get all melty over the top. That’s more zing that goes well with sausage and sauerkraut! MMM…MMM…mmm!

 

My substitutions:

-Sometimes I don’t have exactly everything listed in the original recipe. So, I’m not afraid to give it my own little twists and flavors.

-I didn’t have pork sausage this time, so I used a couple Hillshire Sweet Italian Sausages which I had on hand.

-My Dijon mustard was “talking” to me from the inside refrigerator door shelf, so that’s what I used for dipping my Sauerkraut Sausage balls.

-And, I didn’t have dried bread crumbs or any dense bread from which I could make my own crumbs, so I used some Ritz crackers. Irene’s Sausage Sauerkraut Balls came out sooooo good!

 

However you serve up your Sausage Sauerkraut Balls, enjoy them with added zing, mellow dips, crackers, garlic toast or special ryes. Thank you, Irene, for sharing this wonderful appetizer recipe. "Bake your own Memories!"

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