Boudin Balls are a beloved Cajun finger food that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside! The base of this recipe is boudin — rice dressing (or dirty rice) stuffed into a sausage casing — that are removed from the casing, rolled in a breading mixture and baked (instead of fried) until golden brown. All you need are a handful of ingredients to make them and the most decadent Louisiana dipping sauce. Makes 40 balls, but can be doubled.
I’d never heard of boudin balls, let alone tried them, until I went to college in South Louisiana.
The first time I tried a boudin ball, it a restaurant near the north gates of campus. I have been obsessed ever since.
Since moving to Texas, we don’t eat boudin balls often. (They’re hard to find here.)
So recently, I’ve taken the time to figure out HOW to make them at home.
You’re welcome, world.
What is boudin?
Boudin is a mixture of rice, ground meat (generally beef and pork), onion and seasonings. It’s essentially rice dressing stuffed into a sausage casing.
It’s a rice-based dish that combines vegetables (traditionally onion, green bell pepper, celery and sometimes green onion), ground meat (traditionally pork), spices (specifically, Cajun seasonings) and cooked rice.
The vegetables and meat cook down together before they’re tossed with the rice and stuffed into a sausage casing.
Fresh boudin and smoked boudin are both available in South Louisiana.
What is a boudin ball?
A boudin ball is a bite-sized, fried piece of goodness served with a creamy-spicy-slightly sweet dipping sauce.
Boudin is the heart of the boudin ball. It’s typically mixed with egg as a binder before it’s rolled into a ball, dunked in an eggwash and breading mixture before it is deep fried in hot oil.
It’s similar in size and texture to a hush puppy, though the interior of a boudin ball is studded with rice, meat and veggies instead of a corn batter. The exterior has that same wonderful crunch.
Why I love this recipe:
I love a finger food that’s got a crispy exterior but is soft and flavorful on the inside.
This Cajun Boudin Balls captures my favorite textures and the zingy flavors of South Louisiana. It is a great recipe that is fabulous for sharing… and this one does not require a deep fryer.
It’s also a fun way to use up some fresh boudin that you’ve got lying around. (Because I’m sure you have boudin lying around, right?)
I will say that this recipe is more involved and time-consuming than some other finger foods that we know and love, but the end result is spectacular and worth trying.
Love finger foods? Check out my Appetizer Recipe Index for inspiration.
What you need to make this recipe:
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- 2 rimmed sheet pans
- Parchment paper
- Rubber spatula
- 1-tablespoon cookie scoop
- Large bowl for the meat mixture
- 4 medium bowls (three for the breading mixture ingredients, 1 to mix the dipping sauce)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Tongs or toothpicks for serving
Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Boudin — specifically, you want fresh boudin to make this recipe because it needs to be crumbly. Smoked boudin sausage will not work.
- Eggs — I like to use extra large eggs from the grocery store.
- All-purpose flour — this is the base for our dredge and forms a surface for the egg to cling to. I have not tried this recipe with a gluten-free flour blend.
- Panko bread crumbs — this forms the breading and adds a lovely crunch to the boudin balls.
- Milk — we mix this with the egg. You may use whatever type of milk you’ve got at your home, so long as it is not sweetened.
- Mayonnaise — this is the base of the dipping sauce. Use whatever you’ve got on hand.
- Ketchup — this adds sweetness to the dipping sauce. Use whatever you’ve got, though I recommend using a ketchup that has been sweetened (at least a little bit) instead of one without added sugar or sweeteners.
- Lemon juice — I really like the freshly squeezed kind for our dipping sauce to add a bit of acidity and pop.
- Hot sauce — to add a bit of heat to the dipping sauce. Tabasco or Louisiana are our favorites for a Louisiana recipe like this one.
- Creole seasoning or Cajun seasoning — you’ll add a sprinkling of this to taste to the dipping sauce. Give it a taste before you add this.
How to make Boudin Balls
Prepare. Line a large rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper, and set it aside. (You’ll also need another large rimmed sheet pan to bake the boudin balls on. You may line it with parchment at this time, too.)
Make the boudin mixture. Remove the boudin from its casing and place it in a large mixing bowl. Break two eggs on top of the boudin.
Massage the egg into the boudin until combined. You may use your hands or a fork.
This meat mixture will be relatively loose, depending on the boudin that you have. This is OK.
Make the boudin balls. Scoop the boudin and egg mixture with a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop onto the prepared sheet pan in a single layer until 40 boudin balls have been made. We want them to be in small balls so they are bite-sized.
Freeze. Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer, and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
This step is going to ensure that the boudin balls do not fall apart as you bread them. It is very important and cannot be skipped.
Before removing the boudin balls from the freezer, create your breading station with three separate bowls. (I like to use a three shallow dishes for this process.)
- Pour the flour into one bowl.
- Add the panko breadcrumbs into another.
- Lastly, crack the remaining 4 eggs into another. Add the milk to the eggs. Break the eggs and whisk with a fork. This is the egg wash.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper if you have not already.
Remove the boudin balls from the freezer.
Dredge and bread. Place a ball in the flour, and roll to coat. Transfer to the egg mixture and dunk. Finally, place it in the panko. Roll it around until completely coated.
Transfer the breaded boudin ball onto the prepared baking sheet.
Repeat until all have been dredged and breaded.
Spritz the boudin balls with avocado oil spray (or olive oil spray) before popping into the preheated oven.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the exterior of the boudin balls is golden brown and crispy.
While the boudin balls bake, make the dipping sauce. Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire, 2-3 dashes of hot sauce in a bowl. Mix until combined. Taste and season with Cajun/Creole seasoning.
Serve warm with the dipping sauce, and enjoy!
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
Boudin Balls would make the perfect appetizer for a game day gathering (like an at-home tailgate) or any occasion where you’re looking for a unique, but super tasty party snacks that all your guests can dive into.
Here’s how I would make and serve these for any get-together:
- Form the boudin balls early and keep ‘em in the freezer until you are ready to bake them. Cover in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
- Double or triple the recipe. Since these are bite-sized, they will go quick!
- Serve with tongs or toothpicks so guests won’t pick them off the platter with their hands.
- Keep warm in a chafing dish (if desired) or serve on a platter. These are still tasty when they’re at room temperature!
Frequently Asked Questions
Boudin balls are made of boudin (a Cajun sausage made from rice, ground meat and veggies), as well as binder (like eggs). It’s breaded and deep fried or baked, as this recipe instructs.
The Louisiana dipping sauce shown here is our favorite thing to serve alongside boudin balls.
Make sure they’re in the freezer for long enough! The mixture is relatively loose when you mix it, which is why it needs to freeze for a bit before you dredge and bread them.
Yes. You can eat the skin on boudin. However, we remove the boudin from its casing to make this recipe.
Quick Tips and Tricks for this boudin balls recipe
- Use fresh boudin. This recipe will not work if you’re using the smoked kind because it will not be nearly as crumbly.
- Double or triple the recipe. Since these are bite-sized, they don’t last long! If you’re feeding a crowd, you will need more.
- How to store: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave, air fryer or the toaster oven until golden brown and crunchy again.
More recipes using boudin:
Ready for this recipe? Check it out below…
Baked Boudin Balls
- 2 lbs. fresh boudin
- 6 eggs divided
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 120g
- 2 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs 200g
- ¼ cup milk
Louisiana Dipping Sauce
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2-3 shakes hot sauce
- Cajun or Creole seasoning to taste
- Line a large rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Remove the boudin from the sausage casing into a large bowl.
- Break two eggs, and mix with a fork. Pour on top of the boudin.
- Massage the egg into the boudin until combined.
- Scoop the boudin and egg mixture with a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop onto the prepared sheet pan in a single layer until 40 boudin balls have been made.
- Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer, and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Before removing the boudin balls from the freezer, create your breading station with three separate bowls. (I like to use wider bowls for this process.) Pour the flour into one bowl, the panko breadcrumbs into another and the remaining 4 eggs into another. Add the milk to the eggs. Break the eggs and whisk with a fork.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Remove the boudin balls from the freezer.
- Place a boudin ball in the flour, and roll until coated.
- Transfer to the egg mixture and dunk until covered.
- Transfer the boudin ball to the breadcrumbs, and roll in those until completely coated.
- Place the breaded boudin balls onto the prepared sheet pan in a single layer with a little bit of space between each out to ensure browning. Repeat until all the boudin balls have been breaded.
- Spritz the boudin balls with avocado oil spray (or olive oil spray) before placing into the preheated oven.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the exterior of the boudin balls is golden brown and crispy.
- While the boudin balls bake, make the dipping sauce. Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire, 2-3 dashes of hot sauce in a bowl. Mix until combined. Taste and season with Cajun/Creole seasoning.
- Serve the warm boudin balls with the dipping sauce, and enjoy!