Sausage & White Cheddar Spinach Balls
These savory little spinach balls are a great way to re-purpose leftover stuffing after a big meal. They have just the right mix of flavors to make them totally addictive … I found myself eating them for breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon snacks … you name it, these spinach balls were my food buddies.
My first attempt at making spinach balls with leftover stuffing was the day after Christmas. I had stumbled across recipes with reviews that said they were a holiday favorite and everyone in the family requested them every year. I tried making them as the recipe stated … and yeah, I didn’t quite see what all the fuss was about. I decided I needed to try again and add more flavor and texture. I brought some of the leftover stuffing home and started concocting my new and improved spinach balls. I used an aged sharp white cheddar cheese, added some red pepper flakes for a bit of zing and then a bit of hot Italian sausage … and, just for a little extra texture, some chopped, toasted pecans. Now THESE are spinach balls worth raving about!
The stuffing I had was a little too wet and the balls were hard to form, so I had to add some extra breadcrumbs. That was convenient because we had just gone to Red Lobster to celebrate my birthday and brought home a few of those garlicky Cheddar Bay biscuits. I blended one up in the handi chopper and added it to the mix. Oh yeah, just what it needed!
I want to try this again using breadcrumbs (or perhaps Cheddar Bay biscuit crumbs) in place of the stuffing. That will take a bit more tweaking to get the texture right. Stay tuned! By the way, if you’re looking for a recipe for amazing Cheddar Bay biscuits, try my Chipotle Cheddar Bay biscuit recipe. They’re amazing!
- 3 cups packed, chopped fresh spinach (or 10 oz. frozen)
- 1 1/4 cups leftover stuffing (cooked-I used my spinach cornbread stuffing - recipe here)
- 1 cup finely shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup cooked lean hot Italian sausage crumbles
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
- Fresh ground black pepper
- A sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- 1 egg, beaten
- Bread (or biscuit or cracker) crumbs, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Put the spinach in a medium mixing bowl, cover and microwave for 2 minutes. Use a clean kitchen towel to squeeze out any excess moisture.
- Stir in the stuffing, the shredded cheese and the sausage crumbles. Sprinkle with black pepper and red pepper flakes and stir a bit more.
- Add the egg and stir to mix well. If the mixture is too wet to form into balls, add some extra bread crumbs until it easily forms into balls.
- Form the mixture into 1 - 1 1/2 inch balls, setting the balls on the prepared baking sheet and leaving a little space between them. Bake at 350 F. for about 20 minutes or until the balls are set.
- Let cool slightly and serve warm.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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