September 15, 2013

Freezer Cooking: Sausage Balls

The beginning of school is exhausting! It is the busiest time of the year for me.  Even experienced teachers that have been teaching the same grade level for many years are at school late each night.  This is my second consecutive year in first grade. Although it is a bit easier this year, there is still lots to do!

Last week I came home from work and had a prepattied meatloaf waiting for me in the refrigerator. This was something I had made during the summer when I had a little more time on my hands.  I only had to prepare mashed potatoes and green beans while the meatloaf cooked in the oven.

I have been on the lookout for some easy weeknight meals that are also inexpensive. While at Sam’s Club I noticed that they had a 2 lb. roll of Jimmy Dean sausage for only $5. I decided to pick some up so that I could premake sausage balls for the freezer.

I simply mixed 2 lbs. of sausage with 2 cups of baking mix such a Bisquick, and 1 pound of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix the sausage and baking mix together first until well mixed and then add the cheese and mix together. If you are only using 1 pound of sausage, use 1 cup of baking mix and 8 oz of cheese. Some recipes call for 3 cups of baking mix per pound of sausage. I found this to be way too bready for our family’s taste. Make these however you choose; the recipe is very adaptable.

freezer meal - sausage balls 1

After mixing up the ingredients, I rolled up the mixture in small balls. Normally I would put them on a cookie sheet and bake them. Since I was freezing them, I put them on parchment paper. I popped them in the freezer for 30 minutes or so and then put them in a Ziploc freezer bag and into the freezer for later use.

freezer cooking - sausage balls 2

Quick freezing the sausage balls is not necessary. Some people simply put them into Ziploc bags. I chose to freeze them first so that they wouldn’t stick together.

When you’re ready for the sausage balls, put as many as you need into the refrigerator to thaw. You could probably cook them from frozen. I’ve never done it though.

freezer cooking - sausage balls 3

Spray your pan with cooking span and bake them at 350F for 20 minutes or so, or until brown. I like mine a little crispy.

Sausage balls can be eaten hot or cold. I have taken them out on a boat ride for an easy on-the-go lunch. You can serve them as appetizers, at a baby or bridal shower, or as part of a meal. I also put them in my children’s lunches to give them some variety. They are very versatile.

What is your favorite freezer friendly meal?


Karen

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