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Air Fryer Keto Sausage Balls Recipe

sausage cheese meatballs
sausage cheese meatballs - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Consistently preparing hearty and desirable breakfast foods can be tough, especially when you're avoiding carbs by following a ketogenic diet. There are so many delicious, yet carb-heavy meals attempting to lure you to the drive-thru in the name of convenience. However, these tasty breakfast treats can quickly hinder your keto diet, knocking your body out of ketosis and derailing your hard-earned progress.

These easy air fryer keto sausage balls are ready to save the day and make your low-carb breakfast convenient to prepare. As recipe developer Joe Dillard of For Frying Out Loud shares, "This recipe comes together so quickly, and you can even prepare batches of them in advance to make your busy mornings even easier." With their delicious flavor and crowd-pleasing appeal, keto sausage balls make the perfect easy breakfast even if you're not following a low-carb meal plan. The savory boost of protein in a perfectly poppable package is the perfect way to kickstart your day.

Read more: 16 Low-Carb Alternatives To Pasta And Noodles

What Ingredients Do You Need For Air Fryer Keto Sausage Balls?

keto sausage balls ingredients
keto sausage balls ingredients - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

For this 5-ingredient recipe, you'll start with pork breakfast sausage. The spicy variety adds a lot of flavor, but you can also choose regular, sage, or even maple based on your heat tolerance, taste preferences, and carb allowance. You'll also need shredded cheddar cheese, full-fat cream cheese, an egg, and blanched, super-fine almond flour.

You'll get the best results if you shred your own cheese fresh off the block. Pre-shredded cheese may add convenience, but it also includes additives and fillers that keep the shreds from clumping together in the bag. If you're following a super clean keto diet or just looking for a cheese option that melts more evenly, shredding it yourself is the way to go.

Additionally, you'll want to make sure to use almond flour, not almond meal. Almond meal is made from raw, unpeeled almonds, which are more coarsely ground and give you a "meatier," more rustic chew. Almond flour, on the other hand, is made from blanched, skinless almonds that are ground into a fine powder. This gives you the smoother texture that this recipe is intended to have.

Step 1: Add Sausage, Cheddar Cheese, Cream Cheese, And The Egg To A Bowl

making cheese meatballs
making cheese meatballs - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

In a large bowl, mix together the sausage, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and egg until just combined.

Step 2: Add Almond Flour To The Bowl

almond flour sausage mixture
almond flour sausage mixture - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Gently fold the almond flour into the sausage mixture.

Step 3: Scoop And Roll The Sausage Balls

making meatballs
making meatballs - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Roll the sausage mixture into balls of 1 heaping tablespoon each.

Step 4: Preheat The Air Fryer

air fryer turned on
air fryer turned on - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Preheat the air fryer to 400 F.

Step 5: Cook The Keto Sausage Balls

air fryer meatballs
air fryer meatballs - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Add the sausage balls to the air fryer basket and cook for 12 minutes, turning halfway through. When done, the sausage balls should be lightly browned and have an internal temperature of at least 145 F.

Step 6: Serve The Air Fryer Sausage Balls

cheese sausage meatballs in pile
cheese sausage meatballs in pile - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Remove the balls from the air fryer basket and serve warm.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Air Fryer Keto Sausage Balls?

cheese sausage meatballs
cheese sausage meatballs - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Most keto dieters who are tracking their food intake stick to a set ratio of the macronutrients: carbs, protein, and fat. Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet, and a generally accepted guideline for the eating style calls for roughly 5% of one's daily calories from carbs, 25% from protein, and 70% from fat.

This recipe is very low in carbs, with only very marginal amounts coming from its main ingredients, as meat and cheese have negligible amounts. The largest source of carbs in this dish comes from the almond flour, but with 2 tablespoons total used, you're looking at an addition of 4 grams of total carbs, or 1 gram of net carbs per serving. To calculate net carbs, you take the total carbs of an ingredient and subtract dietary fiber. Two tablespoons of almond flour have 4 grams of total carbs and 3 grams of fiber, so the serving has 1 net carb.

Additionally, the cheese and meat in this recipe are high in both protein and fat. This ratio allows these air fryer keto sausage balls to fit squarely into a keto dieter's breakfast routine, to be enjoyed as an appetizer, or to serve as a useful snack if one needs an extra boost of fat or protein throughout the day.

Can You Make Air Fryer Keto Sausage Balls In Advance?

cheese sausage meatballs
cheese sausage meatballs - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

You can absolutely prepare this recipe ahead of time! To do so, simply follow all instructions as written, and allow your cooked sausage balls to cool completely before prepping them for storage. You can wrap them in plastic wrap or store them in a plastic container or zip-top bag for easy fridge storage. This is the best option if you plan on enjoying them within the next 3 days. However, you can alternatively choose to store your sausage balls in the freezer for up to 1 month. If you do go the freezer route, first wrap your sausage balls in plastic wrap, then add them to a resealable freezer bag or airtight container in order to preserve their freshness and avoid freezer burn.

If they've been frozen, defrost your keto sausage balls overnight in the refrigerator. Then, heat them in the microwave or air fryer until warmed throughout.

Can You Make Keto Sausage Balls In The Oven?

keto sausage balls
keto sausage balls - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

If you don't have an air fryer, making these sausage balls in the oven is a wonderful alternative. Though slightly less convenient, you can still achieve a juicy and flavorful breakfast in very little time. To prepare these keto sausage balls in the oven, follow all of the directions as written, but instead of placing them into an air fryer basket, place them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 350 F and bake them for 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your sausage balls reaches at least 145 F.

Using an oven might also be advantageous if you have a very small air fryer because it would eliminate the need to cook the sausage balls in batches. You always want to avoid overcrowding your air fryer basket, so if you have an especially small fryer, the oven might actually help you serve up these sausage balls even quicker. Whichever route you choose, you're definitely in for a treat that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you powered up throughout your morning.

Air Fryer Keto Sausage Balls Recipe

keto sausage balls
keto sausage balls - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 5mCook Time: 12mYield: 20 sausage ballsIngredients

  • 1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage

  • ½ cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

  • 2 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons blanched, super-fine almond flour

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the sausage, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and egg until just combined.

  2. Gently fold the almond flour into the sausage mixture.

  3. Roll the sausage mixture into balls of 1 heaping tablespoon each.

  4. Preheat the air fryer to 400 F.

  5. Add the sausage balls to the air fryer basket and cook for 12 minutes, turning halfway through. When done, the sausage balls should be lightly browned and have an internal temperature of at least 145 F.

  6. Remove the balls from the air fryer basket and serve warm.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.