Pizza Poppers, or mini pizza bites, are a fun and kid-friendly finger food for your next party! Mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce are stuffed inside pizza dough and baked in an irresistible butter herb sauce. Pizza poppers can be customized to include your favorite pizza toppings, like pepperoni or sausage. Ready in less than 20 minutes, they are a delicious snack that adults and kids can't get enough of!
Last week my little ones were extremely excited to make a new fun pizza recipe. As excited as we are for pizza night, "pizza poppers" sounded extra fun for my kids. There was lots of running around the kitchen in excitement!
Pizza poppers are a change from the homemade garlic knots that we make a little too often. You can bake pizza poppers with the dough squished together as pull apart pizza bites, or simply bake them in individual dough balls. They are fantastic either way!
They're an easy party food that both kids and adults go crazy for. But they are also a fantastic snacking food for a lazy weekend or movie night with the family. For special occasion parties, like the Super Bowl or Valentine's Day, shape the dough balls into a football or heart for added fun.
They take only minutes to prepare using basic pizza ingredients and a few minutes to cook. You can have them ready to serve in less than 20 minutes.
Even better, they do not have to be served fresh out of the oven. Pizza poppers taste just as great when warmed up in the toaster or microwave the next day. If you make them ahead of time for parties, they are delicious at room temperature. You don't have to worry about timing them to be ready as your party starts or keeping them in a warmer.
MORE FUN RECIPES TO TRY!
To make pizza poppers, you need:
- Can or package of pizza dough: I find the best pizza dough to use is a classic dough versus a thin crust. Pillsbury brand classic crust is my favorite!
- Pizza sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Garlic butter sauce: this is a combination of melted butter, salt, garlic powder and parsley
- Pepperoni slices: or other toppings of your choice
- Parmesan cheese
In addition to popular pepperoni as a pizza topping, ham, meatballs, and sausage make great mini pizza bite stuffing.
If you want to go meatless, try spinach and ricotta, spinach and feta, chopped tomatoes, diced peppers, or tomato and basil. You can also make plain pizza bites with just the pizza sauce and mozzarella.
Making pizza poppers is simple and fun. Let your kids help!
STEP 1: Roll or spread the dough and cut into 24 squares.
STEP 2: Separate the squares and add about 1 teaspoon of pizza sauce onto the dough. Top with a few teaspoons of mozzarella cheese, or more if you'd like them super cheesy. If you're adding pepperoni slices or other "toppings, add them now.
STEP 3: Fold the corners of the square diagonally over each other. Press the seams together to pack all that delicious cheese and sauce inside. Flip the pizza balls over so the seams are facing down. Place the pizza dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do so in any shape you'd like, but have them touching each other to create a pull-apart bread. You can leave a small hole in the middle for a bowl of pizza sauce if you'd like! If you'd rather not make this a pull-apart recipe, place them on the baking sheet about 1 inch from each other.
For game day or the Super Bowl, I shape mine into a football.
STEP 5: Once the pizza poppers are arranged on the baking sheet how you'd like, make the herbed butter sauce. Melt the butter and mix it with salt, garlic powder, and parsley. Brush generously onto the uncooked pizza bites, coating all sides. Feel free to also sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.
STEP 6: Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
STEP 7: Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a serving dish using an aluminum pizza peel or other large spatula.
Helpful Recipe Tips
Using an aluminum pizza peel is ideal. This giant spatula is perfect for easily removing pizza from a pizza stone in the oven and transferring it to a cutting board and would work very well here.
If you don't have a pizza peel, carefully loosen the pizza poppers from the parchment paper using a spatula. Slide them off the parchment paper and onto a serving platter carefully. This may be easier with 2 people, so grab some help!
Keep at room temperature for up to 4 hours or in the fridge for about 5 days in an airtight container. They freeze very nicely, so if you have a lot leftover or want to make a big batch to freeze, store them in plastic freezer bags for up to 6 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave, toaster, or air fryer.
Serve fresh out of the oven or at room temperature with a side of pizza sauce for dipping. Allowing them to stand at room temperature for 10 or 20 minutes lets the butter sauce soak into the dough, making them even more mouth-watering. Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese once out of the oven if you'd like!
- Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into a square and cut into 24 small squares.Place the dough squares onto a baking sheet.
- To each dough square, add 1 teaspoon pizza sauce, 1-2 teaspoons mozzarella cheese, and 1-2 pepperoni slices (or other topping). Fold the corners and tuck into each other to form a ball.
- Arrange the pizza balls on the baking sheet so they are touching each other in any shape you'd like. Hint: leave a hole in the center to fit a bowl of pizza sauce for dipping!
- Combine the melted butter with the salt, garlic powder, and parsley. Brush generously onto the pizza balls. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until pizza bites are golden brown. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.