Italian sausage

Gluten Free Johnsonville Sausage Balls with Spinach

If you have read my blog for any amount of time you will discover one of my favorite brands to work with as an Allrecipes Allstar Ambassador is Johnsonville Sausage. Johnsonville is AWESOME and i’m not just saying that because they have given me some lovely swag over the last few years or how awesome they are on social media. It is because they have a great product. I am complete sausage buying snob and only buy Johnsonville so I have to say I was excited to work with them again!

I decided to make one of our favorite things with Johnsonville, sausage balls! Yes, I have my own recipe for sausage balls but since becoming gluten free I haven’t made them. Sausage balls typically have some sort of flour or biscuit mix in them and I just hadn’t experimented with making them gluten free yet. There is no better time than the present especially with the holiday’s coming up. After all sausage balls are a perfect appetizer for the holidays.

Some notes about the recipe-

I typically do not buy Bisquick, in fact I have never had a box of regular bisquick in my house so I bought my first box to make this recipe. I wasn’t sure how the gluten free baking mix would work in this recipe but to my delight you could not even tell  the difference. While i’m not a Bisquick convert I will say their gluten free version worked very well in this recipe.

The original recipe calls for onions and mushrooms. While i’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, I will eat them. My kids on the other hand will not. Then my oldest has onion radar. I swapped these ingredients out for spinach. I used between 1/2 to 1 cup.  Yes, my kids have no issues with spinach they actually love spinach.

A big question when it came to preparing these were to cook or not to cook the sausage beforehand. The recipe calls for cooking the sausage, allowing it to cool and then mixing in the other ingredients and baking again. If you are lazy like me you can just mix the uncooked sausage with the other ingredients and bake. The recipe turns out perfectly.

Lastly, the type of sausage you use does not matter. The mild sausage works just as well as the hot. It is a preference of taste and in my case laziness won again. I could not find ground hot italian sausage so I used mild. I just didn’t feel like uncasing the sausage.

Now try these pop-able bites of yumminess for yourself and let me know how you like them!

Gluten Free Johnsonville Sausage Balls with Spinach | Country Girl Gourmet


5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free Johnsonville Sausage Balls with Spinach
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 12 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Adapted from a recipe by The Kitchen at Johnsonville Sausage
  • 1 (16 ounce) package Johnsonville® All Natural Hot Ground Italian Sausage
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1¼ cups gluten free baking mix
  • ½-1 cup chiffonade, fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup milk
  1. In a skillet, cook and crumble sausage over medium heat until no longer pink and lightly browned; drain. In a large bowl, combine sausage, cheese, gluten free baking mix, spinach and milk; mix well. 2. Shape mixture into approximately 36 walnut-size balls and place on a lightly greased, shallow baking dish.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  3. Serve with barbeque or chutney sauce.
  4. Alternative cooking method-
  5. Sausage can be combined uncooked with other ingredients, formed into balls and baked for 20 minutes if desired.


6 ingredient Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Sausage

This month with Allrecipes  we are working with one of my favorite brands, Johnsonville Sausage. Right now they have a great sweepstakes going on that centers on “Easy Weeknight Dinners with Six ingredients.” They want all of you awesome Pinterest users to find recipes that you would be made better with their awesome sausage products. All you need to do is pin any recipe with 6 or fewer ingredients, tag it with the hashtag phrase #6IngredientsOrLess with #JohnsonvilleSausage, then register the pin URL(s)  HERE for a chance to win an awesome Simply Calphalon skillet. Sounds easy huh? Well it is! Unfortunately for me but good for you I cannot enter the contest but I was challenged to find a recipe to remake and make. I remade Allrecipes Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Cubed Ham subbing Italian sausage for the cubed ham. I wanted a recipe that would work with my gluten free diet and wasn’t the traditional italian fair that most associate with italian sausage. This recipe fit the bill and my family loved it! Then again what is there not to love about Johnsonville sausage, mashed potatoes and cheese!

What would you make with Johnsonville Sausage with 6 ingredients or less?


Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Italian Sausage | Country Girl Gourmet


Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and Italian Sausage

adapted from


  • 5 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound  italian sausage, browned and grease drained (I used ground but sliced links would work well also)


Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Transfer potatoes to a bowl; add butter, garlic powder, and parsley. Mash with a potato masher. Stir in Cheddar cheese and sausage.

Rigatoni a la You

Rigatoni a la You by Country Girl Gourmet

So my family really likes Italian Sausage and are so happy that this month I am working with Johnsonville as an Allrecipes Allstar. Tonight I made another great dish, Rigatoni a la You. It was easy to make and only needed a handful of ingredients. Best yet my 4 kids devoured it all! I was hoping for leftovers but they left none. That meant I was eating Paleo with my husband tonight. I was a bit sad.

Getting started we have 6 ingredients… I forgot the sausage for the pic but I promise it is in this recipe!

IMG_0946See Sausage!

IMG_0952yes, yummy, yummy Italian sausage!

IMG_0955Cook Sausage per package directions.  At the same time in a large pot boil water and gook Rigatoni per package directions. Drain and set aside.


After your sausage is done cooking saute garlic until golden and then add peppers and saute for a couple minutes. When done add spaghetti sauce and warm thoroughly.


Take your cooked sausages and slice into sausage coins.
IMG_0976Try not to eat the sausage as your cutting coins and beware of sausage stealing family members.
Stir into the spaghetti sauce and then combine in a casserole with rigatoni.
If desired top with parsley and parmasaen cheese and Enjoy!

Rigatoni a la you by Country Girl Gourmet

Have you checked out Johnsonville Sausage yet? Check out their webpage HERE to find out all the great stuff they offer from their various products to sweepstakes going on right now!

Rigatoni a la You


  • 1 (19.76 ounce) package Johnsonville® Italian Mild Sausage Links
  • 1 (16 ounce) package rigatoni pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 (26 ounce) jar your favorite pasta sauce


Cook sausage links according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook rigatoni according to package directions; drain and set aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil until hot. Add garlic; saute for 30 seconds or until golden. Add red peppers; saute for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Cut sausage into 1/4-inch coin slices; add to skillet. Stir in pasta sauce; heat through. Add pasta; toss to combine. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. Enjoy immensely. And welcome to Johnsonville(R).

Mind Blowing Johnsonville One Pan Italian

Who here loves Italian sausage? We do! I always have some in my freezer. My family loves it, heck they love sausages of all types not just Italian sausage. Breakfast links, biscuits and sausage gravy, kielbasa, bratwurst… they love it all.  I incorporate it into all sorts of our favorite dishes from jambalya, lasagna to spaghetti. Tonight I found a new go to spaghetti recipe. I was looking at the Johnsonville Sausage recipe collection on and told myself no way this recipe is too easy! First the recipe for Johnsonville’s One Pan Italian had less than 5 ingredients. Sausage, sauce, spaghetti and water all ingredients that can be adjusted to your own taste. I can cook the whole meal in one pan. No boiling water, no strainer, just one dish. Plus it is ready in less than 30 minutes! I am sold and I was ready to try this recipe out!

It started this easy. Less than 5 ingredients!

Johnsonville One Pan ItalianA pan, a box of spaghetti and a package of italian sausage. We like Hot italian sausage but the original recipe calls for mild sausage. I chose to skip a step instead of uncasing the sausages and used the ground .

Johnsonville One Pan Italian

Brown the sausage and then drain off the grease.

Johnsonville One Pan ItalianNext add 1 jar of sauce and 3 cups of water. I like to add water to the sauce jar to make sure I get all of the saucy goodness out.

Johnsonville One Pan ItalianBring the sausage/sauce mix to a boil  and break spaghetti (I used a full box) in half and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Most of the water will be absorbed as the noodles cook.

Johnsonville One Pan Italian

There you have it. Sprinkle some parm on top and serve.

Johnsonville One Pan Italian

My kid’s loved it so much they ate it all scraping the pan clean. Well they tried.

Johnsonville One Pan Italian


  • 1 (19.76 ounce) package Johnsonville® Italian Mild Sausage Links, casings removed                                                                                **note** any variety will work and ground sausage can be used instead of links*
  • 1 (26 ounce) jar your favorite pasta sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken in half                                                                                                                                                                        **note** I used full 14.5ounce box of spaghetti*                                                                                                                                                                            Directions
  1. In a large skillet, add sausage, breaking into bite-sized pieces. Cook over medium heat until browned and no longer pink; drain. Add pasta sauce and water; bring to a boil. Add spaghetti. Simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until spaghetti is tender, stirring often.

Johnsonville One Pan Italian