Cranberry Cheddar Sausage Bites

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!

*Post updated 11/16/2017 to include a video on how to make these Cranberry Cheddar Sausage Bites. Scroll down to watch. They’re holiday appetizer worthy and perfect for Game Day eating – everyone will love them!

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 |

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!

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.

Cranberry Cheddar Sausage Bites

Cranberry Cheddar Sausage Bites

Yield: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 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


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


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

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  1. Michelle @ Fed Up and Drunk

    Love the cheese and cranberry combo – such lovely wintery, comforting flavours!

    You’re so right about the lack of politeness – we forgot to buy treats so didn’t open our door to treat-or-treaters, and they were persistantly ringing the doorbell and banging on the door even though it was obvious we weren’t going to answer! It wasn’t like that back in my day I tell you…

  2. Shannon

    I could NOT agree MORE with you!! We don’t get a ton of trick or treaters at my house, but the nearby day care brings a parade of 3-4 year olds through our office every year for “trick or treating.” You stand in your office doorway with candy or treats and they come by and open their treat bags. For the past two years, I was APPALLED by the “GIVE ME CANDY!!”, no trick or treat or thank you behavior. However, my faith in the future of humanity was restored this year when almost every single child said both trick or treat AND thank you, AND told me about their costume if I asked. Not sure if I should credit the day care teachers or the parents in this case, but let’s hope for all our sakes it’s a trend that continues.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      yes! My parents have a neighbor who runs a day care in her house (and this isn’t a small little home business with a few kids, it’s big!) and all 20-30 of them were ringing the door bell last night. Most of which are the bratty ones I was talking about!

  3. She Rocks Fitness

    LOVED your rant, because it is true and it is so bizarre how rude kids can be right now and that their parents can be right there and not say a single thing…They’re probably not saying anything because they are staring at their phones. Thank goodness your pretty photos made me forget about the rudeness for a hot minute.

  4. Sarah|pickledcapers

    To further throw fuel on this bonfire, the first trick or treaters I had gave a perfunctory version of the introductory phrase and then REACHED INTO THE BOWL OF CANDY. I kind of stood there not knowing what to say and THEN THEY DID IT AGAIN. I looked, completely flabbergasted at their mother who stood their grinning stupidly and I finally had to tell them that that was enough. Luckily, the rest of the night was filled with cute and polite rugrats, but I was still left with a fairly sour taste in my mouth. Luckily, I do believe your recipe will quickly remedy that. :)

  5. Patty

    I hear you on trick or treaters….when we took our children out on Halloween, our children always said, “Thank you”. Those are magic wordsI We had less than 20 trick or treaters at our house and the last batch of children came to the door and on child never said thank you but “I need to get some candy for my sister and stepmother”! Well are they in costume bc if they are they need to come to the door and ask for some candy!!!! I was appalled but not surprised with children nowadays! Parents are not accountable for the way they raise their children!!! It’s a shame bc children are good but not taught the right way…..
    Looking forward to making these cranberry sausage balls……

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  7. Miranda

    These look very good; does anyone know if this would work with bulk breakfast sausage or homemade sausage?

    Gotta agree with She Rocks Fitness–too many parents are glued to their cellphones. I think most of our society is less courteous and less responsible nowadays. My daughter works in a high-end women’s clothing store and she often has women clients who leave rumpled clothes all over the dressing room floor!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Miranda-I think you’d be fine making these with either of those kinds of sausage, it’s a pretty flexible recipe!

  8. Dali

    Guys anybody knows how to make the cranberry sauce? i want to taste the whole combo but i dont know how to make the sauce, wondering if this recipe it’s a sweet or does this taste something like salty but sweet at the same time, please let me know anybody if you know how to prepare the cranberry sauce too :) thanks!

    1. Dali

      Also another question, the sausage needs to be previously cooked? or do i need to chop the sausage raw and then mix it up with the other ingredients? please let me know :) im looking to do this amazing and colourful recipe for a special day ! thanks!

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  15. Gene Cox

    I am 54, and parents and kids are very different than when I was a kid. A while back, my supervisor’s 18 year old son was very rude to me and she did nothing. It seems that kids are no longer taught manners, and their parents do not see the need to teach them. Respect your elders is a thing of the past. So sad. It seems to me that politeness is a basic characteristic necessary for a proper life.
    Anyway, the sausage bites sound intriguing. Will have to try them. Thanks.

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  19. Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me

    Oh how I agree with you about manners, parenting and families. One thing I made sure my boys know how to do is look someone in the eye, shake their hand when they are introduced to somoene and say please, and thank you. Things that should be the cornestone of polite manners. But anywho, those meatballs are gorgeous and lookd delicious!

  20. Cheryl

    Oh thank gosh, I thought it was just me. I’ve had kids throw back a Kit Kat, saying if they couldn’t have 2 they didn’t want any…….

    Going to make the sausage balls this weekend. Looks like a perfect appetizer to add to our Family Christmas Party. Thanks!

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  25. Cara Ferneyhough

    What recipe would you use for the cranberry sauce. I certainly would not want to buy the canned cranberry sauce!! lol Thanks!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I just throw some frozen cranberries in a sauce pot with a splash of water and a little of whatever sweetener you want (sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc.). boil it down until thickened. You can add spices or orange zest if you want too.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      It depends how large you make the bites. With a pound of meat, you could do about 1 ounce each and make about 16 bites. Up to you!

  26. Laurie

    What size are the meatballs supposed to be for a 25 minute cook time? And how many does this recipe make? I’m unable to find the video…but they sound great!

  27. lisa

    Last year we had ONE focus, but it lead to us working about 5 different jobs. I know you can probably relate to this too. One focus to WORK WORK WORK and SAVE SAVE SAVE. Well, sometimes that one HYPER focus can make you lose ALL focus on what is truly important. And it can suck your energy dry too. I personally felt that way!


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