Homemade Stuffed Pizza Bites

Homemade Stuffed Pizza Bites

When my husband and I were first married (eons ago!) I was intimidated by the use of yeast in recipes so if we were to have any sort of homemade pizza in our home it came from a horrible dry pizza mix you add water to or the canned refrigerated version.  Since we had very little money, I rarely splurged on a luxury like canned pizza dough but when I did, there was a favorite my husband liked;  Pizza Pockets.  Large rectangles full of pepperoni and mozzarella cheese sealed on the edges with a fork.

Over the years I've made the pockets a few times (and I'm happy to say I've mastered yeast by now) but I guess by the time our family was full of teenagers it was just easier to make pizza into... pizza.  Last night I made pizza bites by request from my 16 year old daughter.  Instead of large rectangles, they were made into smaller 2-bite rounds.  I also splurged on the canned pizza dough, which made them SO fast and easy to whip up.  I used mozzarella sticks because they are easier to slice and fill the pockets, whereas grated or shredded mozzarella tends to go all over and want to poke out the edges.  You can use smaller Hormel style pepperoni which will fit perfectly, but I use deli pepperoni, which is large so I had to quarter mine.  Play with the recipe.  Make it yours.

Homemade Stuffed Pizza Bites

1 can refrigerated pizza dough or homemade dough for 1 crust
6 mozzarella sticks, string cheese or about 1 1/2 cups of grated or shredded
Pepperoni pizza slices (or your choice of filling; sausage, etc.)
2 T butter
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1 scant t bottled minced garlic)
1/2 t dried Italian Spice mix
3 T grated Parmesan cheese

Roll out the crust to a rectangle on parchment paper or a lightly floured surface.  Cut it in half, then each half in half, and again.  This gives you even columns.  Now slice into 3 rows.  You should have 24 pieces roughly square shaped.  Top each with a couple slices pepperoni or a little bit of your favorite filling and about 2 or 3 pieces of mozzarella cheese, depending on how small you sliced them.  Fold the corners together and pinch the edges to form a ball.  Make sure they are sealed so the cheese doesn't leak out when cooking.  Place seam side down in a greased or sprayed 9X9 ish sized baking pan.  I used a round deep dish pizza stone.  Now melt the butter, garlic and seasoning in a small cup or dish in the microwave and spoon or brush over the balls of dough in the pan.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 425 for about 16 minutes or until golden brown and done.  Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Filling each dough square/rectangle with pepperoni and mozzarella

Sealed into little balls, in a baking dish, topped with butter and ready to bake!

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