Very Low Carb Sausage Balls

For decades our family has enjoyed this flour based classic … Sausage and Cheese Balls around the holidays! Thanks to ONE ingredient change… I made the recipe VERY low carb and TRULY diabetic friendly. :)

  • low carb – in fact ‘zero carb’.
  • truly diabetic friendly

There are variations of course but the main ingredients are … <drum roll> sausage, cheese (my favorite grocery store brand) and pork rinds (my favorite brand).

That’s IT! Simple as that.

That’s ALL you need to make a delicious and nutritious sausage cheese ball… purrrrfect for the holidays or anytime. My mom would make extra batches and we would freeze them to enjoy throughout the winter.

Note: I didn’t make enough to freeze, there were no leftovers.  So I can’t claim how the texture or taste will hold up after freezing.

Above is a plate containing both styles.  On the left, is the pork rind version, I’ll call it ‘low carb’. On the right is the ‘classic’ using flour.  We made the low carb gluten-free version on a whim… and since we’d never made them before we made the classic version too (for my son).

The Birth of an Idea:

Low Carb, Diabetic Friendly…  Sausage Balls

My son, Brad and I were sitting around the kitchen table planning out our food for the day and talking about foods we’d been eating.  He mentioned that he’d been eating less wheat flour based foods like ‘cauliflower-crust pizza‘ and banana pancakes, etc.

Brad said that he was craving a family holiday tradition…  Sausage Balls!  I said sure thing, we can make them, but that I wouldn’t eat them… due to the flour.

Then I said, “you know… I think I’ll make a small batch substituting pork rinds for flour, just to see how they turn out.” He agreed.

You see, I was planning on grilling roasts with FIRE for dinner. So I gotta give my son credit for this most awesome recipe… our discussion generated the idea.     Thanks Brad!

No worries… I’ll be grilling the roasts today! :)

It was delicious, nutritious, gluten-free, low-carb (actually zero carb) and absolutely diabetes friendly!

Low Carb Sausage Cheese Ball Recipe

You can do what we did, use your favorite sausage cheese ball recipe and just substitute pork rinds!

Or you can follow this recipe… it really did turn out delicious.


1 lb of sausage — I use HOT sausage.

10 oz of grated cheese – I use Cabot’s extra sharp cheddar

1 1/2 cups of crushed pork rinds or pork skins!  (the 3 1/4 oz bag produced 1 1/2 cups)

1 tsp of paprika

Crushing the Pork Skins

We created this dish without prior planning. These pork rinds worked out well (see below), but my all-time favorite pork rind brand is Utz!

Pro tip: Poke a small hole in the bag of pork rinds, squeeze out the air and then using a rolling pin or wine bottle, roll and crush the pork rinds.  No fuss… no mess.

Note: I had both but prefer using a wine bottle.

Sausage and Cheese Ball Recipe Steps

  1. crush pork skins
  2. pre-heat oven to 400 F
  3. add pork skins, grated cheese, sausage and any spices into one large mixing bowl
  4. mix thoroughly – we used our hands
  5. roll into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter
  6. place approximately 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet
  7. cook at 400 F for 15 minutes (check after 12 minutes and every 3 minutes thereafter)

Note: Cooking times will vary based on the variances in oven temps and the size of your balls. :D

The picture below shows our sausage balls, just before going into the oven.

Note the varying sizes, these were not uniform… but they all turned out perfectly delicous.

Explore, Experiment with Food!

What a great time we had making these!  Brad and I were brainstorming on foods to eat … and we came up with this great idea that turned out most AWESOME!

We made the old sausage cheese ball, high carb, glutenous ‘relic’ … into a low carb, gluten free CLASSIC! :)

I can say that I now have a new HOLIDAY classic!   And memories of the first time we created them.

I have written many posts about exploring and experimenting with different ways to prepare foods  … if you are thinking about going ‘low-carb paleo‘ but think you will get bored, you will not! … if you do it right.

Check out my meal plan and browse through my recipe/food posts for ideas.

Pork Rinds are very versatile, check out this post on the low-carb snack, “Pork Rinds are Low Carb Paleo?“.

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