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Pumpernickel Sausage Cheese Toasts (Hanky Panky Recipe)

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This Hanky Panky recipe has a silly name, but not a silly taste! Ground pork sausage and melted cheese are piled atop slices of pumpernickel or rye bread and baked for an easy, crispy, satisfying appetizer.

A bite taken out of browned melted cheese on a slice of pumpernickel bread sprinkled with chopped parsley

I have been making these little sausage and cheese pumpernickel toasts for more than 20 years, so when I tell you that they've never failed me – you can believe me! My father and I used to make huge batches and keep them in the freezer for those nights when cooking feels impossible, and we'd just eat platefuls of these while we watch Monty Python.

The moral of the story is that these are an excellent appetizer and easy no fuss meal for busy nights!

What is a hanky panky?

The hanky panky recipe that I grew up making is a tasty little appetizer made of pork sausage and Velveeta on top of pumpernickel cocktail bread.

While it's not the most attractive looking (or pleasantly-named) recipe, it's fricking delicious.

We would always make a boatload of these and keep them in the freezer so that all we had to do was pop them in the oven when we needed a little snacky-snack.

Browned melted cheese on a slice of pumpernickel bread sprinkled with chopped parsley

… and that's the name they chose?

I'm with you on that. It's a seriously odd choice.

Never in my life had I heard this referred to as a “hanky panky” recipe until describing them to a friend in Georgia one day. I lost it when he told me that's what his family called them.

… then I did a quick Google search and found that he wasn't alone! It's a hilarious name, and frankly, that just makes this recipe even better for me. To be fair, “pumpernickel sausage cheese toasts” is quite the mouthful.

I honestly don't even know what we called these when I was growing up. I don't even think we referred to them by a name, and just said “those cheesy sausage things”.

But I had heard them referred to as “old fashioned Polish mistakes” before. Why? I haven't the slightest clue. Your guess is as good as mine.

Ingredients for hanky panky sausage appetizers

  • Pumpernickel cocktail bread: If you can't find the cocktail bread, you can use a thick-sliced loaf of pumpernickel and slice 6 pieces into halves.
  • Pork sausage: Can swap this out for ground beef, ground turkey, whatever you'd like! It's a 1:1 quantity swap.
  • Velveeta cheese: It's hard to substitute different kinds of “real” cheese to get the same texture and flavor as Velveeta. But if you'd feel better about making your own, give this DIY Velveeta recipe from The Cheese Knees a try.

How to make hanky panky appetizers

They're not difficult to make, but they do involve both the stovetop and the oven.

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Distribute slices of bread evenly across a large baking sheet, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook pork sausage until browned. Break it apart with your spatula while it cooks so that it forms small crumbles. Carefully drain off excess fat.
  3. Add Velveeta cheese, stirring over low heat until melted completely combined with the sausage. Add pepper to taste, if desired.
  4. Evenly distribute the mixture across all the slices of bread.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops have browned and the cheese is bubbling.
Brown sausage combined with melted cheese bubbling in a frying pan

Variations

It's easy to customize this recipe to your liking, so here are some ideas of different ways to spice things up (literally and figuratively):

  • Swap in a different meat: Ground beef, ground turkey, whatever you'd like! It's a 1:1 quantity swap.
  • Add some more spices!
    • Garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon)
    • Minced garlic (1 clove, or measure with your heart)
    • White pepper (1 teaspoon)
    • Red pepper flake, to taste
    • Oregano (1 teaspoon)
    • Top with chopped parsley
  • Speaking of spices, what if you tossed the meat with homemade Italian seasoning while cooking? Oooooo!

FAQs

How to store hanky pankys

Once they've cooled to room temperature, transfer all the toasts to a baking sheet and place it in the freezer for 1 hour.

Then transfer them all to a freezer-safe storage bag and store in the freezer until ready to serve, for up to 2 months.

How to freeze hanky pankys

Prepare the toasts are directed, but instead of baking in the oven you will place the baking sheet in the freeze for at least 1 hour. Transfer all the toasts to a freezer-safe storage bag and store in the freezer until ready to serve, for up to 2 months.

Luckily, you can bake these directly from the freezer! Just preheat oven to 425°F and bake on a baking sheet directly from frozen for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Leaving a comment and star rating is a great (and free) way to support Stress Baking. After you've enjoyed this recipe, click on the stars below and leave a comment to share your experience – thank you!

Pumpernickel Sausage Cheese Toasts (Hanky Panky Appetizer Recipe)

4.86 from 7 votes
This Hanky Panky recipe has a silly name, but not a silly taste! Ground pork sausage and melted cheese are piled atop slices of pumpernickel or rye bread and baked for an easy, crispy, satisfying appetizer.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Distribute slices of bread evenly across a large baking sheet, and set aside.
    36 slices pumpernickel cocktail bread
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook pork sausage until browned. Break it apart with your spatula while it cooks so that it forms small crumbles. Carefully drain off excess fat.
    1 pound pork sausage
    ½ pound Velveeta cheese
  • Add Velveeta cheese, stirring over low heat until melted completely combined with the sausage. Add pepper to taste, if desired.
    Black pepper
  • Evenly distribute the mixture across all the slices of bread (about 1 tablespoon on cocktail bread, and about 3 tablespoons on half slices).
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops have browned and the cheese is bubbling.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Storage: Once they've cooled to room temperature, transfer all the toasts to a baking sheet and place it in the freezer for 1 hour. Then transfer them all to a freezer-safe storage bag and store in the freezer until ready to serve, for up to 2 months.
Make ahead and freeze: Prepare the toasts are directed, but instead of baking in the oven you will place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Transfer all the toasts to a freezer-safe storage bag and store in the freezer until ready to serve, for up to 2 months.
Baking from frozen: Preheat oven to 425°F and bake on a baking sheet directly from frozen for 15-20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 335mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

The provided nutrition information is generated by an automatic API and does not take variations across specific brands into account. This information is provided as a general guideline and should not be treated as official calculations. Learn more here.

Recipe created by Leslie Kiszka

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    We love having Hanky Panky on the weekend as a fun dinner! This recipe is so good & easy! I add a little Worcestershire in also.

  2. 5 stars
    So I tried your recipe for these this evening, and they were absolutely delicious! I think they’re an excellent blend of tasty sausage, creamy cheese, set on a wonderful bread flavor base, and you’ve added just the right amount of spice to leave me wanting more! And as a side note, your memory is excellent. When you were a kid we referred to these as “those cheesy sausage things.”