Mini Pigs In a Blanket have been dominating the appetizer scene since the 1960s, and over half a century later, we still welcome them to the party with open arms. This recipe delivers an elevated version of our beloved American classic — it’s a made-from-scratch rendition, and you won’t believe just how easy it is.
Today, in addition to an easy recipe, we’ll also cover their interesting history and how they began their climb to fame, how many you’ll need to serve at your party and ways to keep them warm for guests, all the fun sauces you can serve them with, plus how to make them ahead (if needed), along with storage and reheating information.
AN AMERICAN CLASSIC WITH AN INTERESTING HISTORY
Mini Pigs in a Blanket are a fun appetizer in which tiny little cocktail sausages are enveloped in a dough and baked. These days, no game day spread could be considered complete without them.
What you might not know is, much like the other American classic, Deviled Eggs, before they were a game-day snack, they were elegant cocktail party fare. But, before they had even made their way to the starter section of the menu, they were a 1950’s dinnertime gem, one intended for the kids.
Sausage wrapped in some form of bread is a foodie concept that’s been around for centuries, however, the miniature rendition is a lit-tle less dated. If you ever wondered where the playful name “Pigs in a Blanket” originated (the “pigs” being the pork cocktail sausages and the blanket the breading that covers them up), it was likely in a cookbook written specifically for children, and this is where the recipe began its climb to fame.
The first known recipe for this famous appetizer was originally published in Betty Crocker’s Cook Book for Boys and Girls in 1957. The recipe quickly soared into popularity, and it has been considered a classic party appetizer ever since. In fact, us Americans love it so much, April 24th has been deemed National Pigs in the Blanket Day.
FOR BEST RESULTS, DO THIS.
There are plenty of recipes out there that call for canned dough, but if you want to make the all-time best Mini Pigs in a Blanket, there is nothing like a scratch-made rendition. The good news? The dough is likely going to be the easiest dough you’ve ever made in your life and the easiest you’ve ever worked with. It’ll be well worth the extra 10 minutes. Promise.
Once baked, the breading puffs up like a little, carbohydrated pillow, with a golden-brown exterior and a soft, fluffy inside. This breading, in combination with the salty, savory bite of cocktail sausage is more than out of this world — it’s heavenly.
HOW TO MAKE MINI PIGS IN A BLANKET
- Pat sausages dry and poke holes with tines of a fork.
- Whisk dry ingredients, and stir in milk and butter.
- Roll out dough into a rectangle on floured work surface.
- Cut dough into small strips and roll up sausages.
- Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
1. DRY AND POKE HOLES…BUT WHY?
Lit’l Smokies (or cocktail sausages) come packaged in a watery solution and should be dried off before rolling in the dough. To do this, pat them dry with paper towels. The next step in preparing the Lit’l Smokies is to prick each individual cocktail sausage with the tines of a fork. Pricking the sausages with the fork will prevent them from splitting under the high heat of the oven.
2. MAKE THE DOUGH (SO EASY)
The dough that encloses these Mini Pigs in a Blanket is what sets this recipe apart from all the rest. It’s simple, flavorful and seriously easy to make.
To make the dough, you’ll start by whisking together your dry ingredients: Flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then, you’ll simply add in the melted butter and milk, and stir to combine. You’ll find this dough incredibly soft and very easy to roll out and work with.
Once the dough has come together, you’ll transfer it to a floured work surface and pat it out into a rectangle. Then, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough somewhere between a 1/4″ and an 1/8 of an inch in thickness.
3. CUT THE BLANKETS AND ROLL THE PIGGIES
Lastly, you’ll cut the dough into tiny little rectangular “blankets” and roll up the cocktail sausages, pinching the seams to enclose.
4. BAKE AND SERVE!
The Mini Pigs in a Blanket are transferred to a baking sheet and after just 15 minutes in a 400° oven, they are ready to eat!
You should plan on guests eating anywhere from 3-4 per person. These Mini Pigs in a Blanket are especially delicious, so you might want to round up on the higher side.
This is an appetizer that should not be served cold, however, you can serve them at room temperature or warmed. And, they are, of course, amazing fresh out of the oven.
According to FDA guidelines, almost all perishable items have a 2-hour cap on sitting out. This means your Mini Pigs in a Blanket should not be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
If you’d like to leave them out longer than this, consider keeping them warm either in a crockpot or a chafing dish. But note, if you stack them warm, the bread might get a little soggy due to condensation. If you don’t want them to get soggy, avoid stacking them while warm and/or covering them while they are in a heated vessel.
PIGS IN A BLANKET DIPPINGS SAUCES
You can serve Mini Pigs in a Blanket with just about any variety of sauces, but Ketchup and yellow mustard are most commonly served alongside this classic appetizer.
- Yellow Mustard
- Dijon Mustard
- Hot Mustard
- Honey Mustard
- BBQ Sauce
- Comeback Sauce (a spicy mix of mayo and ketchup)
- Ranch Dressing
YOU CAN MAKE THEM AHEAD!
When it comes to entertaining, make-ahead recipes can be a life-saver. You can easily make these Mini Pigs in a Blanket the night before and serve them the next day. Actually, you can make them up to 3 months in advance!
STORING AND REHEATING
Store your baked and cooled Mini Pigs in a Blanket in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and they stay will good for up to 3 days. If you’d like to enjoy them for any length of time beyond this, you should consider freezing them.
Mini Pigs in a Blanket freeze beautifully, and all you need to do to freeze them is allow them to cool to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight, freezer-safe container or a freezer-safe zip-top, gallon-sized bag. However, if using a container, try to use one that houses them snugly, but not such a tight fit that they are crammed to the point of breaking. If using a zip-top bag, be sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing.
You can heat refrigerated Pigs in a Blanket by microwaving them, placing them in a crockpot on warm for 20-30 minutes, or reheating them in the oven. To reheat them in the oven, place them on a baking sheet in a 350° oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
To reheat frozen Mini Pigs in a Blanket in the oven, place them on a baking sheet in a 350° preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
The ease of these Mini Pigs in a Blanket should not be underestimated. I’ve served them on multiple occasions, both as party food and as a rainy day to-do for my kids, and every time, I’m a little surprised at how quickly they come together — homemade dough and all.
Grown-ups and kids alike love seeing a platter of them on the table, and you truly can’t go wrong serving them on any party spread, but the last time I made them, it was actually intended for a kid-friendly lunch.
I had both daughters in the kitchen with me (a four-year-old and an eight-year-old). My youngest daughter helped me whip up the dough, while the oldest pricked the holes in the cocktail sausages. We rolled them up together and it was a fun and extremely delicious kid-friendly project for the kids — just as Betty had intended it to be, I’m sure. Please, enjoy!
5 MORE PARTY APPETIZERS YOU’LL LOVE
- Swedish Meatballs are an easy appetizer you can throw together fast by simply enlisting the help of frozen meatballs and whipping up a velvety smooth Swedish Meatball Sauce! It comes together quick and easy on the stovetop in just 15 minutes.
- Irish Nachos are where potato skins and nachos collide and the aftermath is seriously delicious. They feature crispy roasted potato rounds, a melty Cheddar sauce, crispy bacon, sliced green onions, and sour cream.
- Mini Muffin Corn Dogs come together in less than 15 minutes and make for excellent party food! Perfect for grown-ups and adults.
- Pizza Bagel Bites will take you on a trip down memory lane! Featuring miniature bagels, marinara, cheese, and pepperoni baked to perfection.
- Pulled Pork Sliders are great for feeding a crowd and come together easily in the crock-pot.
- Crock-Pot Queso with Taco Meat is the ultimate cheese dip! Loaded with Velveeta Cheese, taco-seasoned ground beef, and more.
- Party Cheese Platter with Sausage is a simple no-cook appetizer everyone loves. Learn how to pick meats and cheeses to please your crowd and arrange them like a pro!
Homemade Mini Pigs in a Blanket are easy to make and the perfect appetizer! Featuring savory cocktail sausages baked in a gorgeous golden, crust.
- 1 (12-14 ounce) package of Lit'l Smokies or Cocktail Sausages, patted dry
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus a pinch -- separated
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 400° and have ready a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Pat the sausages dry using paper towels and with the tines of a fork, poke two sets of holes in all of the cocktail sausages. Set aside until ready to use.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add milk and butter and stir until combined.
On a floured work surface, pat out the dough, dust it with flour and using a rolling pin, roll it out into a rectangle, about an 1/8" of an inch thick.
Cut lengthwise strips, about 1" wide. Then cut 2 1/2-3" sections across the strips. You should have about 20 rectangular strips. Combine any dough scraps and repeat with what's left. Place a cocktail sausage at the end of each strip and roll it to close. Place seam-side down on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all are assembled.
Bake for 15 minutes, serve, and enjoy!
Makes 26-30 Mini Pigs in a Blanket.
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