Cheddar Garlic Biscuits (AKA Sausage-less Sausage Balls)

I'm not gonna lie. I love Red Lobster's cheddar garlic biscuits. It's been over 15 years since I've been in a Red Lobster and had a biscuit, but I remember vividly what they taste like. I even once wrote into the Recipe Finder at the Commercial Appeal asking for the recipe. And if you've ever read the (many, many available) recipes, you'll find the vast majority (including the one published in response to my query) start with Bisquick.

No-Bisquick Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Uh, no. Not only am I now too snobby (and vegetarian) to go into a Red Lobster, I also do not keep Bisquick in my pantry. It's pointless. It's just a box containing ingredients you already have: flour, baking powder, salt and oil (or butter, as I prefer). And if you don't use it regularly, it will go bad. In particular, baking powder loses its potency over time (see this post for instructions on testing your powder) and you'll get flat, little pucks instead of fluffy biscuits.

So here's a recipe for those of us who don't have--and don't want--Bisquick in the pantry! I made these to take to a party and they were a pretty big hit (I made two-bite size biscuits). One of my friends referred to them as "sausage-less sausage balls," which I thought was pretty funny. I hope that no one was actually disappointed that they were sausage-less, though.

Sausage-less Sausage Balls!

This recipe isn't too snobby, though. I did use garlic powder. Garlic purists even frown upon pre-minced garlic in a jar; I can only imagine their opinion of garlic powder. Anyway, these are easy to make and guaranteed crowd-pleasers.

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
yield: about three dozen mini biscuits or a dozen regular size drop biscuits

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided into 2 half-teaspoons
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces of chunk cheese = 8 ounces shredded)
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), divided into 3/4 stick and 1/4 stick, both melted
1 cup milk

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and one half-teaspoon garlic powder in a large bowl. Stir in the shredded cheese with a fork. Stir in butter and milk just until moistened. Do not overstir.

Pinch off  (or pick up with fork) desired-size amounts onto a baking sheet and cook at 450F for about 12-15 minutes (until lightly browned).

Stir in remaining half-teaspoon of garlic powder into quarter-stick of melted butter. When biscuits are done, remove from oven and brush garlic butter over the tops of biscuits.

Note: Do not overstir the batter after you've added the butter and milk! Overstirring will prevent the biscuits from rising properly, so they won't be nice and fluffy. And resist the tempation to roll them. The batter should almost be marshmallow-y fluffy. Just use a fork to scrape up the amount you want and drop it onto the baking sheet. Trust me; it was the second batch I made of these biscuits that actually made it to the party.

You can also substitute vegetable oil for the butter in the mix, but butter or a butter-flavored substitute is pretty key for the golden biscuit tops.

14 thoughts on “Cheddar Garlic Biscuits (AKA Sausage-less Sausage Balls)

  1. sweet! I used to make a copycat Red Lobster biscuit recipe with Bisquick and they were amazing, but I hate Bisquick for all of the reasons you mentioned above. I'll have to try these (if my roommate ever comes back from New York so I have someone to feed them to).

    1. Post author

      Confession: I wanted to make these and couldn't find the Bisquick at Publix, so I decided to work around it. Instead of being with the baking stuff, the Bisquick is with the oatmeal. WTF Publix?

  2. Oh how I love those biscuits too. In high school, my favorite place to dine for my boyfriend and I was Red Lobster. I bet I ate there at least twice a month for 3 years! But, same as you- I haven't stepped foot in one in many, many years.

    And pssst... don't tell anyone, but I use garlic powder sometimes too 😉

    1. Post author

      Oh yes, when I was in high school, Red Lobster was THE place to go! I ate a lot of popcorn shrimp. A lot.

      Y'know, not everything that's good is haute cuisine. You guys have me thinking about Dorito casserole now. It sounds so disgusting to me, but there's no way the lot of you could be wrong. ha!

  3. I don't use Bisquick either, except for making those oh so tasty sausage cheese balls! I usually end up buying a small box in December to make them for Christmas breakfast. I've considered making my own Bisquick mix but all the recipes for homemade Bisquick yield a ton of mix and I really only want/need it for those rare times I make the sausage balls.

    I can't wait to try this recipe! Julia will be so pleased since it's meatless 🙂

    And your photos?? Divine! I want to crawl through the screen and devour that plate of biscuits!

    1. Post author

      Aww, thank you!!! You can see that butter, can't you? 🙂

      If you need just a little mix, here's the subsitution rules by cup (from Wikipedia and other sources):

      "One cup of Bisquick can be substituted by a mix of one cup of flour, 1½ teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of oil or melted butter."

      Though one cup won't go far for four people. I think the size of this recipe should be just about right. 🙂

  4. would you believe that i've never been to a red lobster? i feel so un-american! either way, these look absolutely fantastic. just curious - how do you serve them? alongside dinner? or in the morning, sliced in half with some veggie sausage in between? just wondering. i'll definitely be trying these!

    1. Post author

      Living in Boston is a good reason to have never been to a Red Lobster!

      I recently served a version of these (I just threw some cheese into a Weisenberger's Mill biscuit mix) with a squash apple bisque I made (and never posted a recipe for--d'oh!). They're also a great snack, great with dinner (including seafood, I suppose!) and definitely for breakfast. Give them the treatment you'd give to a cheddar scone.

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