Cocktail Sausages are a quick and easy finger food with a sweet, sticky sauce. Perfect as an appetizer, game day snack or party food they go down a treat. Prepare to pop the bowl on the table, blink and they will be gone 😉! These little sausages are fun, easy to eat and simple to make!
Whilst *almost* the same the biggest difference you will find across countries is the size and name of the mini sausages. Little sausages, crockpot little smokies, cocktail franks, little smokies, cocktail weenies and cheerios are all names for delicatessen style mini sausages.
The ones we are using for the recipe and photos throughout the post are 'chipolatas'. Sometimes called breakfast sausages. They can often be seen on a 'big breakfast plate'.
These are more along the lines of a meat sausage than a processed meat sausage and a smaller size than a standard long sausage.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Easy recipe: when it comes down to it, we are making a simple sauce and then cooking sausages in that sauce. It is a simple, straight forward recipe that doesn't required any advanced cooking techniques or methods.
- All ages: these mini sausages can be devoured by anyone and by those of all ages. The sweet chilli sauce has more of a 'sweet' taste than a 'chili' taste and the other ingredients combine to mellow the overall flavor of the sauce.
- Quick: this is a party sausages recipe that does not take long to come together. If you are feeding a crowd and have a lot going on in the kitchen it can be handy to have a fast recipe that gets sorted and the guests fed quickly so that you can move onto the other dishes.
- Simple ingredients: more than a few of us will have what is needed to make the sauce in the pantry and fridge as it is. Then you only need to pop to the local grocery store to get the sausages.
- Taste and texture: there is the juicy, moist pork sausage and the sweet honey sauce encasing it. More than just a sausage but not as time intensive as a recipe like pigs in blankets or sausage rolls.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Butter: unsalted is best. We use this as a starting point in making the sticky sauce for the sausages.
- Soy sauce: an excellent pantry staple sauce that is versatile and lends itself to being paired with many other ingredients. This is regular soy sauce, not dark soy.
- Lime juice: from a store bought bottle is fine or you can juice a lime if you don't mind the extra time. The addition of a little citrus in the sauce gives the flavor a little zingy boost.
- Honey: this is the 2nd primary ingredient for the sauce. It helps to create the 'glue' so that the sauce will stick to the sausages even long after they have been removed from the pan they were cooked in.
- Chipolatas: about half the size of a regular sausage, these are cute little mini sausages that come in beef and pork varieties.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making my recipes. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by making the sauce.
- Melt butter (Photo 1)
- Add sweet chilli sauce (Photo 2)
- Add honey (Photo 3)
- Add soy sauce (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Cocktail Sausages
We start the recipe by making the sauce for the sausages.
To do this place a large frying pan on the stove and turn the heat to high. Add the butter and let it melt. Then turn the heat down a little and add the sweet chilli sauce. Next pour in the honey, soy sauce and lime juice.
- Add the lime juice (Photo 5)
- Stir to combine (Photo 6)
- Add mini sausages (Photo 7)
- Cook for 15 minutes (Photo 8)
Stir the sauce ingredients together so that it has a consistent texture.
Then take a pair of kitchen tongs and place the mini sausages into the bottom of the pan.
Cook the chipolatas for around 12 to 15 minutes, rotating and stirring as you go. Try not to let the sauce sit for too long without stirring as it can burn.
- Transfer the cooked sausages to a strainer (Photo 9)
Once the sausages are cooked, you can use kitchen tongs to transfer them a strainer.
The reason we do this is because we don't want to take the residue sauce into the serving bowl (hot sticky mess!).
So transferring them to a strainer and then into a bowl means we don't have that sticky mess in the bowl that we will serve the sausages from.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
A toothpick or mini skewer and a napkin is all you need for these! They will fly off the plate fast.
As the texture of the outside of the sausages is sticky a lot less licking of fingers will be needed if they can be pierced and eaten in a couple of bites.
Plus they will be easier to grab with the skewer and not slip out of your fingers.
I find the sauce on the sausages enough as it has a great sweet and sticky flavor, but I am not one to stop you if you want more sauce.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the sausages in an airtight container in the fridge. They can be kept for 3 days and are best reheated before being consumed.
How to Freeze
You can purchase the chipolata's and freeze them ahead of the time you want to make them. But I don't recommend freezing leftovers of the recipe.
They are better repurposed instead. For example chopping into small pieces and adding to a sandwich, salad or as a pizza topping.
How to Reheat
The microwave is the best way to reheat leftovers.
Simply pop the mini sausages onto a plate and cover them with cling wrap and then heat them on high for 1 to 2 minutes.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- The cocktail sausages you see in the photos throughout the post are pork chipolatas. You can use beef chipolatas as an alternative.
- In place of the honey, you can use the equivalent amount of maple syrup.
- You can use barbecue sauce in place of the sweet chilli sauce to the equivalent amount.
- You can add a little sriracha sauce if you want to add a little heat to the sauce. (Hot stuff baby 😍).
- For another flavor combination try the Honey And Mustard sauce that I use for the full sausages in that recipe.
- If you don't have fresh herbs at home to chop and garnish with, you can toast some sesame seeds and use those sprinkled on top.
- This sauce combination won't work so well with cherrios (the small red sausages from the deli section). They get cooked differently to higher protein ratio meat sausages and would burst apart if being cooked in the sauce as per the recipe steps. Save the barbecue and tomato sauces for dipping them in.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- You want to keep things moving in the pan so that the sauce doesn't have too long to sit without being stirred. The risk is it burns if left too long.
- The sauce (as it is sticky) can also set in the pan once you have removed the sausages and become difficult to clean. Avoid this problem by filling the frying pan with water as soon as you have removed the cooked sausages.
- Re the above point a non stick pan is much easier to use to make the recipe as the sauce thickens as it cooks. If however, you don't have a non stick pan, another method you can use is to melt the butter in the microwave (heatproof jug) add the remaining sauce ingredients and then add the sausages to the pan and coat them in the glaze using a basting brush. This will solve the clean up issue with a non stick pan quite well. I say this as we don't want oil in the recipe. Butter, yes, oil no.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cocktail sausage?
A cocktail sausage is a party snack made using mini sausages. There is a lot of variety in terms of the ingredients and recipe variations be the sausages wrapped in pastry, covered in sauce, slow cooked in sauce or oven baked in sauce.
What are small frankfurts called?
Small frankfurts are called 'cherrios'. These are small red sausages sold from the deli section that usually only required a minute or 2 in boiling water to cook.
What do Americans call frankfurts?
Americans refer to 'frankfurts' are 'weiners' or 'hot dogs'.
What are hot dogs called in England?
One nick name given to sausages or hot dogs in the UK is 'bangers'. Such is the case with the ever popular recipe for 'bangers and mash'.
😍 More Easy Snack Recipes
Everyone loves snack food here and there and sometimes the snacks can be even better than the main event! Here are some more recipes that will kick off any party in style:
- Crispy Fried Mushrooms
- Roast Beef Sliders
- Mini Meatballs
- Miniature Hot Dogs
- Chicken Ribs
- Cheese and Bacon Pinwheels
- Air Fryer Stuffed Jalapenos
- Roast Beef Roll Ups
- Rolled Sandwiches
- Jalapeno Pinwheels
Its time to get our little sausages on my friend with slick saucy yum! You can also find all of my appetizer recipes in the one spot.
Cocktail Sausages (Mini Sausages)
- 40 grams/3 tablespoons butter unsalted
- ½ cup/ 125ml sweet chilli sauce
- ¼ cup/60 ml honey Note 1
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 600 grams/16 pork chipolatas (mini sausages) Note 2
- Sauce: place a large frying pan on the stove and turn the heat to high. Add the butter and let it melt. Then add the sweet chilli sauce, honey, soy sauce and lime juice. Stir these to combine and then reduce the heat to medium-high.
- Sausages: add the cocktail sausages to the sauce and cook them, moving them around in the pan and rotating sides for around 15 minutes.
- Cooked sausages: once cooked, use kitchen tongs to lift the sausages up and out of the pan and into a strainer. This eliminates taking excess sauce into the serving platter.
- To serve: add the cooked sausages to a bowl for serving and sprinkle them with finely chopped parsley. Provide mini skewers or toothpicks for serving.
- Note 1 - Honey: you can use maple syrup in place of the honey to the equivalent amount if you wish too.
- Note 2 - Mini sausages: I like to use pork chipolatas to make this recipe. You can do the same or use beef chipolatas.
- Portion size: this does depend on how many people you are serving. Generally 2 of this is a good guide for parties.