These cranberry cheddar sausage bites are perfect as a holiday appetizer or even a game day snack. Serve them with some cranberry sauce for dipping!

Let’s talk about Halloween for a hot second because after last night’s onslaught of trick or treaters I’m either getting super curmudgeonly (quite possible) or the future of the general American population is a scary thing.

Cranberry Cheddar Sausage Bites |
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When did it become ok to ring a door bell, not even say “trick-or-treat” and then ask the person handing you FREE candy if they have more Crunch bars because you like those better than Butterfingers?

Because that just happened at my parents house last night as I sat in their kitchen overhearing the whole thing.

The best part?

The parents were standing a few feet behind the kids and said NOTHING.

I would be mortified of my child’s manners. Or maybe more accurately, of my lack of parenting skills that allowed such a thing to come from their ungracious little mouths.

Let’s flash back to 1990 and 8 year old me walking through our neighborhood trick-or-treating. It went some thing like this:

Ring the doorbell/door opens/”TRICK-OR TREAT!” (at the top of our lungs)/quick discussion of what everyone was dressed up as/hold out plastic pumpkin and secretly hope for something good to be thrown our way praying there were no nasty yellow wrapper Mary Jane’s in that bowl but keeping those thoughts IN OUR HEADS/say “thank you!” no matter what was given to us and be on our way to the next house.

Cheddar Sausage Bites

Apparently, “trick-or-treat” is now optional and not only is candy assumed to be given no matter what but it better be the “good kind” too or you’re going to hear audible complaints or requests for something else.

I guess I’m just in shock. No one ever “taught” us how to trick or treat when we were kids, it was just implied you were to be polite.

So is all this just an indication of a lack of general manners?

I don’t know, maybe I’m reading too much into a handful of bratty kids on a doorstep and I should just go back to isolating myself in the kitchen all day.

Cranberry Cheddar Sausage Bites |

Because cranberry cheddar stuffed sausage bites are a heck of a better time than obnoxious elementary schoolers.

They’re an appetizer versatile enough to go from holiday dinner party appetizer spread to Game Day eats in front of the TV.

No matter the crowd, they’ll be gone in minutes with their cheesy sausage deliciousness!

And don’t skip the cranberry sauce for dipping. The tart brightness is a welcome pairing with the savory, salty sausage. It’s a combination we love in this cheddar polenta and sausage skillet too.

This boozy bourbon cranberry sauce recipe is a good one!

Find more appetizer ideas great for holiday parties with these baked maple sweet potato tots, butternut squash goat cheese dip or these spicy cinnamon roasted chickpeas.

And if you need a gluten-free version of this recipe, try these gluten-free sausage balls.

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Cranberry Cheddar Sausage Bites

Servings: 24 bites
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
These cheddar sausage bites stuffed with fresh cranberries are a perfect seasonal appetizer, game day snack or even as dinner!


  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup grated sharp white cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degree and line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together with a spatula or your hands until the ingredients fully incorporated.
  • Roll the mixture into balls and place on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Serve with cranberry sauce for dipping.



Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 83kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 5gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 191mgFiber: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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    1. If you’re going to freeze, I would form into balls first and freeze them already shaped then thaw in the fridge before baking.

  1. These are so delicious, I make them every Christmas. I just realized that the recipe says ‘grated’ cheddar cheese but the video looks like you’re adding ‘shredded’. Could you please clarify? I haven’t made them in 2 years due to no Christmas celebration last year!

    1. Grated and shredded is essentially the same thing. When sold in bags it’s often called “shredded” if you grate it yourself with a box grater or cheese grater, it’s called “grated”. Either is fine :)