I used to host quite a few dinner parties, football day events, holiday dinners, and other food centric shindigs throughout the year. Nowadays, I don’t entertain as often, but when I do, I still enjoy making some of the old favorite recipes and will pull out the recipe boxes and start searching for the ones that were always a hit with guests when planning a menu.
One recipe that was always sure to please is Bacon-Wrapped Sausage Balls (or Bacon Roll-Ups). These were especially popular during game day get-togethers in the fall or winter when the weather was cooler and people craved hearty fare. Of course, I’m sure the previously consumed brewskis might also have had a thing or two to do with the cravings for heavy food.
This recipe couldn’t be much simpler. Made with fresh pork sausage (either regular or spicy, depending on your preference), Pepperidge Farm packaged stuffing mix, butter, water, and bacon, these are tasty little morsels. After all, who doesn’t like sausage and bacon?!
For easier handling, the stuffing mixture should be prepared at least an hour in advance before shaping into logs, otherwise the mixture can be tacky or sticky. You can also prepare the whole recipe ahead, wrapping the stuffing pieces in bacon, and securing them with toothpicks. Seal tightly with plastic wrap and unwrap and bake before serving later in the day.
While the recipe says it will make 36 pieces, it’s really closer to 2 dozen. The bacon pieces are wide and are too large to properly wrap the sausage mixture if you divide it into 36 pieces. This way (making 24 pieces) they are a two-bite appetizer, but you can adjust the recipe however you prefer.
Buy the leanest bacon you can find, but even so, you may need to switch pans or drain the fat halfway through baking when you flip them over to brown the other side. You don’t want to leave the excess grease in the pan since the stuffing mixture will soak it up and the bacon won’t brown as nicely.
Make these appetizers for your next gathering and watch them disappear!
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup water
- 1½ cups Pepperidge Farm packaged herb-seasoned stuffing mix
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- ¼ hot or mild bulk pork sausage
- ½ - ⅔ pound sliced bacon
- Melt butter and water in small saucepan. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir into stuffing mix that's been placed in a medium bowl, then add egg and sausage. Blend thoroughly. Chill for about an hour (or longer) for ease in handling.
- Shape into oblong rolls. Cut bacon strips into thirds and wrap 1 piece of bacon around dressing mixture and fasten with wooden toothpicks.
- Place in a shallow pan and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, or until brown and crispy, flipping over roll-ups at the halfway point during baking to brown both sides. Drain any excess fat that has accumulated in the pan at that time so bacon will crisp nicely.
- When done, remove and drain on paper towels and serve hot.