Monday, February 27, 2012

Pizza Poppers!

This week will be a Pinterest-filled week of new dinner ideas. I often grow tired of cooking the same meals week after week, so new dinner ideas are always welcomed here! Sunday night I wanted something quick, easy and fun since it was still the weekend. For whatever reason, I have always preferred to cook my more labor-intensive meals during the week. It doesn't really make sense since my time is usually more limited then, but I hate cooking on the weekends. We usually go out to eat on Saturdays and oftentimes on Fridays too. I think it's because I loathe doing dishes and eating out gives me a break from those duties! ;) So, since it was Sunday and we didn't have leftovers to eat, I wanted something simple to throw together for dinner.

This recipe would actually be perfect for a party, but it makes a nice meal for kiddos too. It is adapted from a pin I found with just a short description and no concrete directions. They called them pizza balls, but I like Pizza Poppers better. :)

(Serving size: 4-6 poppers, Servings: 4-6)
  • 2-3 cans Pillsbury biscuits (depends on how many you want to make)
  • 1 bag (2 cup) Mozzarella cheese, shredded (I used ~2/3 of bag)
  • 1 lb pepperoni, diced
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Pam olive oil spray
  • 1 jar pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (temperature given on biscuit directions). Prepare muffin pans by spritzing with olive oil spray.

Dice the pepperoni into small pieces (~1/4" to 1/2" squares).

Separate biscuits. Put about 6-8 pieces of the pepperoni into the biscuit.

Top this with about 1 Tbsp of mozzarella cheese.

Roll everything together loosely into a ball.

Place ball into muffin tin.

Sprinkle with a little bit of garlic powder. Bake for 10 minutes.

Heat up a small amount of sauce for each person. Dip the balls into the sauce to eat. Enjoy while hot!

I was thrilled with how these turned out. I wasn't sure how long they were going to need baked at that temperature, but when I checked them after 10 minutes, they were perfect! They were just browned nicely on top and the cheese was melted perfectly. By using the olive oil in the pan, the bottoms crisped up nicely and reminded me of the crust on a deep-dish Chicago pizza. Yum!

The great thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can change the pizza ingredients to fit your family's or guests' preferences or even for the nature of the occasion. I decided to try pepperoni because it's your typical go-to pizza topping. I just bought a chunk of sandwich pepperoni from the deli at The Fresh Market and then diced it like I would any other meat. This worked well. I suppose you could also just buy pepperoni slices as an alternative and cut them up, but I think that might be more difficult than dicing a block of it. The biscuits tasted pretty good as the dough component, but next time I would like to try this recipe using actual pizza dough. I'll probably plan on making the dough in my bread machine, then separating it into equal size pieces similar in size to the biscuits. I would LOVE to have the recipe for Publix's pizza dough because it is so incredibly tasty. So, if anyone happens to have access to that, please share! ;) I think I might also try adding some other herbs or spices next time too. I think oregano or Italian seasoning might be a nice addition. While these are a great, fun food for kids, you can also make them fancier for entertaining an older crowd. Ingredients like prosciutto, fresh basil, feta cheese, fresh mozzarella or fresh garlic might be fun to try. Instead of using pizza sauce as the dip, a marinara sauce or bruschetta dip (i.e., something like diced tomatoes, minced garlic & onion, fresh herbs) would pair well with this more grown-up version of the poppers. The possibilities are truly endless!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did if you give it a try. It's a great one for those who love pizza and want something a little different than the usual pizza pie. As an added bonus, I also found that it was a great way to get my son to eat an ingredient that he normally doesn't - pepperoni! I know, my child is strange. He normally picks the pepperoni off his pizza...the only ingredient I didn't pick off my pizza as a child! He eats things a normal 2-year-old wouldn't touch, but refuses some typical foods a kid would normally like. Haha! But as you can see, he was happy to indulge in these! :) Makes this recipe a keeper for sure!


  1. Oh, boy! These looks amazing! What a great finger food for family and company alike. I am going to make these this weekend. Thanks for sharing! Allen.

    1. Thanks, Allen! They definitely make a perfect fast, fun finger food! :) I am hoping to experiment more with them soon. I think they will be even better using pizza dough. :)


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