Air Fryer Sausage Balls is a fast and simple appetizer that's loaded with flavor. All you need are five simple ingredients and 13 quick minutes of cook time to create these cheesy sausage balls.
I'm always looking for fast and easy recipes that don't taste like they're fast. The first time that I made these air fryer meatballs, I knew I'd knocked it out of the park. Every bite was loaded with delicious pork sausage and shredded cheddar cheese that before I knew it, the plate was empty, a dozen balls were gone and I was left wanting more.
Bite-sized sausage balls can easily be made during any time of the day, but these are especially good for parties, get-togethers, or as a hearty appetizer for the big game.
Ingredients and Equipment
Ground sausage: The great thing about this sausage recipe is that you can use all flavors and types. Italian sausage would be a good flavor and I think that hot sausage would be good too, as long as you like a bit of heat.
Cornbread crumbs: You'll see a lot of air fryer sausage balls (and ones made in the oven, too) as have a cup of Bisquick as their mixture of choice. I prefer using cornbread because it adds a little hint of sweetness. For a keto option simply sub in this almond flour cornbread. For gluten free use a gluten free cornbread.
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese: The flavor of cheddar cheese is so good with the sausage and cornbread.
Cream cheese: Adding in the cream cheese works as a good binding agent and keeps the sausage balls from drying out while cooking.
Egg: Great for holding all the ingredients together and adding a boost of protein.
Air Fryer - Use any size of air fryer for this recipe.
How To Cook Air Fryer Sausage Balls
Step One: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Step Two: Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix. Since this recipe is so easy to do, you don't need a mixer or a meathook attachment.
Step Three: Once mixed, form into small balls and add to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make the balls about 1-2 inches in diameter. Use a spoon to scoop out and try and keep them all the same size. Set them on parchment paper until you have them all made and ready to put into the air fryer.
Step Four: Add to the air fryer basket. Make sure there is space and that the air fryer meatballs are not touching one another.
Step Five: Cook in the air fryer until the pork is done all the way.
Spices - Adding in a bit of pepper is a fast and easy way to enhance the flavor but don't forget that you can also add in garlic powder as well. I really don't think these needed added salt since sausage is flavored and cheese is salty.
Ground Pork - If you use ground pork instead of ground sausage you will need to add a pinch of salt.
Cornbread crumbs - Try using leftover Air Fryer Cornbread, Cornbread Casserole, or even Smoked Cornbread as the crumbs.
How To Serve Air Fryer Sausage Balls
You can serve this sausage appetizer up as is or pair it with a fun dipping sauce like ranch, BBQ sauce, or even a melted queso dip.
If you're worried about calories, skip the dips and chop up some fresh onions instead. A bite of fresh onion with the sausage pairs so well!
How do you know when pork is done and cooked all the way?
The easiest way to test the doneness of a recipe is to use a meat thermometer. Grab a cooked sausage ball and insert the meat thermometer. If pork roasts read 145 degrees or more, that means that the pork is cooked and safe to eat. Ground pork should be cooked a little longer. I like these to reach 160.
Why are my sausage balls crumbly?
Typically, this means that you didn't add enough cornbread or cream cheese to the mixture. Make sure that the measurements are exact.
How do you reheat leftover cheese and sausage balls?
These reheat really well. If you're lucky enough to have a few remaining, all you need to do is reheat them in the microwave. You can also use your air fryer to reheat but just be careful that you're not overcooking them.
What foods pair well with sausage?
Since these are an appetizer they can really go with anything. You can serve with a few other appetizers like Smoked Jalapeno Poppers and Traeger Wings.
Or I would think that the sausage mixture would be great with steamed veggies or green salad as a main course.
How do you store leftover sausage balls?
The key to keeping these sausage balls as fresh as possible for as long as possible is keeping them in the fridge in an airtight container.
You can also freeze them in batches as well. Add them to the freezer before you bake them, or after you bake them, whatever you prefer. The instructions for both are similar. Once you mix sausage and cheese in a large bowl, roll them into the balls, and add them to a freezer-safe container.
Want to try some more unique meatballs? Make sure to check out our Moink Balls! They are a combination of beef and pork and are delicious.
- 1 lb loose ground sausage
- 1 cup cornbread crumbs
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1 egg
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 and spray the basket with cooking spray.
- Mix together the ingredients. Form into 24 balls. Place into a single layer in the air fryer. You may need to cook them in 2 batches.
- Air fry for 13 minutes until golden brown, firm, and 160 when checked with an internal thermometer.
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