|Puffs of tender dough filled with cheese and pepperoni, and served with a side of homemade spicy Rotel marinara sauce, are perfect little bites for entertaining or just for snacking.|
Stuffed Pizza BitesQVC host David Venable was noshing on some little stuffed pizza bites during a recent Sunday In the Kitchen with David show in late January. The show was centered around appliances and tools for making recipes that were football centric for the Super Bowl. I already have a terrific sausage bread that can be varied to make pizza bread, but those little bites just looked so darned good that I knew I had to make them. Of course, as always, I took quite a few liberties with his recipe, but David was certainly the inspiration behind these little bite sized jewels pictured here.
The first part of the year is always my "work my way through the freezer" time, where I try to use up what is in the big stand-alone freezer, before hitting sales and stocking up again. After seeing that show, I remembered that I had some Rhodes dinner rolls that I had purchased with the intention of making something that I've now long forgotten what. In fact, I also had shredded mozzarella and pepperoni in the freezer, and everything else is a pantry staple for me, so I didn't even have to go to the store to bring you this one. Gotta love that!
I had the best intentions of bringing this treat to you far enough in advance that you could get the ingredients to make these for your Super Bowl party, but as often happens I fell behind. These are so stinkin' good that I really have to insist you try them, if not now, then very soon. I really think that you will love them and they'd be just as good for movie night as they would for a party.
Here's how to make them.
While I kneaded up my rolls to make a dough, I recommend using my homemade pizza dough, or a frozen loaf bread for this, over biscuit dough, though any of the above will work just fine. If you use frozen dough, just follow package directions for thawing and rising. When ready, prepare my homemade marinara sauce and hold it over low heat when finished. You can of course, also use a commercial sauce, but the kick from the Rotel in my sauce pairs so well with these bites that I hope you'll try it. It is really super easy to make and no fuss. While that is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously spray two 12-cup muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle - roughly about 9 by 13 inches in size. You may also substitute homemade bread or pizza dough of course, refrigerated commercial pizza crust, or even biscuits. If you're using the rolls, just knead them together, then roll out.
Use a pizza cutter to cut into 24 somewhat square shaped pieces. Don't worry ... they don't have to be perfect because we're gonna stretch it over the filling anyway to make little packets.
Place a couple tablespoons of water in a small bowl to use for sealing the dough. Add a pinch of Mozzarella in the center of each dough square.
Top with one slice of pepperoni. I used turkey pepperoni here because that's what I had in the freezer.
Pull one corner over the filling and dab the tip of it with water. Pull the other corner over that and repeat with the remaining corners, stretching the dough over to form a packet and sealing with the water as needed. Sorry I didn't get you that step by step.
Pinch together any seams and place into the muffin tin, seam side down. Repeat with each square. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
While they are baking, combine the melted butter with the olive oil, Italian seasoning, dried parsley, garlic powder and Creole seasoning. Remove rolls from the oven and brush immediately with the butter and olive oil mixture.
Quickly sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Work quickly while they are hot so that it sort of adheres to the roll.
Place marinara sauce in a dipping bowl on a platter surrounded by the pizza bites. These are good at room temperature, but they are amazingly delicious served hot, right out of the oven with the warm marinara.
Recipe: Stuffed Pizza Bites©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: 24 pieces
- 1 recipe homemade pizza dough, or frozen bread dough (like Rhodes), thawed
- 2 cups homemade marinara sauce, or equivalent jarred sauce
- 1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 24 slices of turkey or regular pepperoni
- 1 tablespoon of butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon each Italian seasoning, dried parsley and garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of big flake Creole seasoning (like Zatarain's Big & Zesty) or 1/4 teaspoon of a fine ground Cajun or Creole seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
- 3 tablespoons of finely shredded Parmesan cheese
Thaw dough according to package directions and allow to double in size. When ready, prepare the marinara sauce; hold over low heat when finished. While that is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously spray two 12-cup muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle roughly 9 by 13 inches in size. Use a pizza cutter to cut into 24 squares. Place a couple tablespoons of water in a small bowl to use for sealing the dough. Add a pinch of Mozzarella in the center of each dough square and top with one slice of pepperoni. Pull one corner over the filling and dab the point with water. Pull the other corner over that and repeat with remaining corners, stretching the dough over to form a packet and sealing with the water as needed. Pinch together any seams and place into the muffin tin, seam side down. Repeat with each square.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. While they are baking, combine the melted butter with the olive oil, Italian seasoning, dried parsley, garlic powder and Creole seasoning.
Remove bites from the oven, brush immediately with the butter and olive oil mixture and quickly sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Place marinara sauce in a dipping bowl on a platter surrounded by the pizza bites. Good at room temperature but especially good served hot right out of the oven with the warm marinara.
Cook's Notes: I used the Hunt's 8-ounce tomato sauce with basil, garlic and oregano in my homemade marinara sauce. May also substitute pizza sauce if you like. For the dough, you may substitute 12 count frozen roll dough, thawed, 1 (13-7/8 ounce) can of refrigerated prepared pizza dough (like Pillsbury) or 3 (8 count) cans of biscuits, rolled to flatten. If using frozen roll dough, thaw and gather into a ball before rolling out, or flatten individually.
Pull Apart Bread Version: Thaw the rolls (or substitute biscuits) enough to make them pliable but not enough for them to rise. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick spray or butter thoroughly. Prepare the bundles as above, except roll them in the melted butter and olive oil mixture. Layer into the bundt pan, sprinkling the Parmesan cheese between layers. Set aside in a warm place, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, and let rise until rolls have doubled. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or until rolls are lightly browned and cooked through. Check at 20 minutes and loosely tent with foil to prevent overbrowning. Turn out onto a serving platter and serve with marinara or pizza sauce.
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