Plant-Based Sausage Balls
Inspired by cheesy sausage balls from my pre-vegan days, I created these Lentil Sausage Balls using Notcho Nocheez. This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Notcho Nocheez, one of my favorite clean-ingredient cheezy alternatives. I wanted to create a rich and savory appetizer that everyone at your holiday parties would enjoy. Enter these Plant-Based Sausage Balls!
First, let me take a minute to tell you a bit about Notcho Nocheez. This almond-based savory and cheezy spread has been a kitchen staple in my home for at least five years. I love the clean ingredients, the cheesy flavor, and the texture. I use it atop burgers, tacos, and as a dip or spread for vegetables, crackers, pretzels, and chips. You can also thin it out with a bit of soy milk for a cheesy drizzle for soups or stews. And it is my cheezy secret ingredient in my Easy Kale Chips!
Notcho Nocheez comes in three delicious flavors: classic, tangy, and hot! In my recipes, I use the classic or the tangy because they have a more mild heat. But my heat-loving husband always has a jar of the hot on hand to spice up his meals.
Plant-Based Sausage Balls
Lentils and Oats
The base of this recipe is a blend of lentils and oats. The lentils pack a protein punch and a binding property, while the oats add in a nice dose of fiber and heartiness. I cook my own dried lentils but using drained and rinsed canned lentils would work as well.
To give these Plant-Based Sausage Balls their signature sausage flavor, I used fennel paired with Braggs Liquid Aminos, parsley, and garlic powder. The Notcho Nocheez provides a nice cheesy flavor, but I added some additional nutritional yeast to enhance it. A pinch of red pepper flakes added a little heat, but more could be used to make these spicier!
I used a food processor to mix these sausage balls. Pulsing them to just the right texture – thoroughly mixed, but not mushy or pasty – gives the baked balls a nice hearty texture and leaves some of the ingredients intact, which I love.
I have baked these in two-tablespoon and one-tablespoon (bite-sized) balls. I prefer the one-tablespoon-sized balls for cocktail parties since they are bite-sized and easier to eat.
Plant-Based Sausage Ball Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup Notcho Nocheez, Tangy
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- In a food processor, add lentils, oats, oat flour, Notcho Nocheez, nutritional yeast, liquid aminos, baking powder, parsley, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes
- Pulse until the mixture well-combined, but not pasty. The mixture should retain texture.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drop the mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized balls 1 inch apart
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the balls are golden brown and firm to the touch.
Sausage Balls in the 2-tablespoon size may need to be flipped over halfway through the baking time (10 minutes) and cooked for a total cooking time of 20 to 25 minutes until the balls are golden brown and firm to the touch.
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Serving the Sausage Balls
I served these with a tasty and straightforward Tahini-Mustard Dipping Sauce: 2 tablespoons tahini, 2 tablespoons spicy mustard, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. YUM!
They would also pair well with a side of roasted potatoes and sauteed greens for a delicious and hearty dinner.