Breakfast Sausage Meatballs with Apple Butter Dipping Sauce Recipe

Breakfast Sausage Meatballs with Apple Butter Dipping Sauce
Photo: Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Torie Cox
20 Minutes
40 Minutes


Serves 12

These pork sausage meatballs are more festive than sausage patties and easier to eat too. Meatballs are a great go-to recipe for brunches and parties. You can serve meatballs and an accompanying dipping sauce as an appetizer, or prepare a pot of rice or egg noodles and serve the meatballs as a main course. This is a useful item to have in the freezer, so set aside some time to bake a batch or two of meatballs, let them cool completely, then freeze in freezer safe containers. You will have the makings for a savory and satisfying supper. Depending on the flavor profile of the meatball, you can heat them up and serve them with marinara sauce and pasta for a quick meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Take these meatballs pair best with a sweeter sauce, making mornings a little easier to bear.



  • 1 pound hot ground pork breakfast sausage (such as Jimmy Dean)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated apple
  • 1/4 cup grated onion (from 1/2 medium onion)
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs, divided

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 3 tablespoons sharp honey mustard


  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley

How to Make

  1. Prepare the Meatballs: Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 24-cup miniature muffin pan with cooking spray. Place sausage in a large bowl, and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Gently stir in egg, apple, onion, Parmesan, sage, and 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs. (Mixture should be well combined but not overworked.) Using gloves or hands dipped in ice water, gently shape sausage mixture into 24 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Coat balls lightly in remaining 1/4 cup breadcrumbs; place 1 ball in each prepared muffin cup.
  2. Bake in preheated oven until browned on the bottom and beginning to sizzle around the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and, using tip of a knife, turn Meatballs over. Return to oven, and bake until cooked through and well browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the Dipping Sauce: Stir together apple butter and mustard in a small bowl. Place Meatballs on a serving platter, and, if desired, garnish with parsley. Serve warm with Dipping Sauce