Are you looking for a simple, no-brainer appetizer? If so, you’ll want to save my Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls. They feature zesty, fire-roasted tomatoes, cream cheese, sausage, and a dash of Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub for an extra kick.
These are the perfect addition to any get together, football watch party, or tailgate. I bet you won’t be able to stop at just one!
Life gets busy, which is why you need make-ahead recipes. The best thing about these Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls is you can make them a few days in advance. Simply form the mixture into balls and place them in a freezer bag.
My Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls are a great way to use excess sausage. They’re also highly customizable, so feel free to experiment! Here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart.
- Rotel. If you create a lot of Tex-Mex-inspired dishes, you’ll want to have Rotel on hand. Rotel is simply tomatoes and green chilies. I love this ingredient because it comes in fire-roasted, mild, and hot varieties. Pro tip: Drain your Rotel to create round Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Balls. If you add the tomato juices, you’ll have flatter patties.
- Cream cheese. Cream cheese helps the Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls stay together. For easy mixing, soften your cream cheese first by leaving it on the counter for 20-30 minutes.
- Shredded cheese. For this recipe, I used a Mexican blend of shredded cheese. If you have the time, feel free to use freshly shredded cheese. You can also use shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese.
- Bisquick. Bisquick contains a blend of sugar, flour, and leavening agents. This shortcut ingredient is key for making quick biscuits, pancakes, and Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls. It gives any baked treat a light, airy texture.
- Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub. My best-selling AP rub is a must for anyone who likes to add a little spice to their life. Though this blend contains peppers, it’s mild enough that anyone can enjoy it. You can use it on fries, veggies, steak, pork, and chicken. Many people even add a dash to their popcorn! The sky’s the limit.
- Ground sausage. There’s nothing like the flavor of ground sausage. During the cooking process, the juices seep from the meat, adding moisture and a burst of savoriness. You can use mild or spicy sausage; the choice is yours!
The Smoker Setup
Here’s the main equipment I used for this recipe. More of my grilling favorites are in the Equipment and Tools section.
- Pellet grill/smoker. I cooked these Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls on the Traeger Ironwood XL. This pit is incredible because you can use it to grill or smoke. The Traeger Ironwood XL has many excellent features, like a pellet sensor, a super smoke button, and easy transportation. You can’t go wrong with the Traeger Ironwood XL if you cook large quantities of food. It’s roomy without taking up your entire patio. Plus, it’s ultra-durable, lasting for years!
- Charcoal. I stoked the pits with Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood pellets. I love this brand because you get clean smoke with no fillers. It gives this appetizer a rich, deep flavor that tastes authentic. The charcoal burns hot and fast, perfect for on-the-fly cooking.
The Process for Making Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls
You’ll find a visual demonstration of this recipe in the video and recipe card. For now, here’s a quick rundown of how these Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls came together.
- Fire up the pit. I stoked the Traeger Ironwood XL with Royal Oak Charcoal and fired it up to 400℉.
- Mix the ingredients. First, I added the Rotel, cream cheese, shredded cheese, Bisquick, Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub, and ground sausage to a large mixing bowl. Using my gloves, I combined the mixture until it was homogenous.
- Form the sausage balls. I coated a large baking tray with cooking spray to ensure the Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls don’t stick. Using my cookie scoop, I formed the mixture into balls, then placed them on my tray.
- Start cooking. I slid the Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls onto the top rack of the Traeger Ironwood XL and let them cook for 35 minutes. I knew these treats were done when they were golden brown and cooked through.
The Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls came out of the Traeger Ironwood XL smelling like heaven. Each bite was juicy, rich, and creamy. This appetizer is bound to be your new go-to! Try it for yourself, and let me know what you think.
You can store leftover Smoked Rotel Cream Cheese Sausage Balls in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze them for up to 4 months. If cooking from frozen, cook for an extra 5-10 minutes.