Pizza Pinwheels

The best party appetizer you haven’t tried are these easy Pizza Pinwheels! Made with all your favorite pizza toppings and baked to perfection, these bite-sized treats are shareable delights.

A plate of pepperoni pizza pinwheels garnished with herbs.

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Pizza Pinwheels recipe

When you combine a fluffy crust, Italian herb and tomato sauce, spicy pepperoni and cheese, every bite is perfection. I mean, have you ever had a bad pizza? There’s nothing like a hot, melty, cheesy slice of ‘za with all your favorite toppings.

But who said every pizza had to be rolled out and sliced into triangles? These pizza rolls are made just like a pizza with all the same ingredients, only rolled up and sliced like cinnamon rolls. Bake them on a tray and they’ll puff up into bite-sized pizza wheels.

Pizza pinwheels are an easy appetizer to bring out at your next party — or make them for a quick pizza dinner!

More bar snack recipes: German Pretzels • Fried Pickles • Mozzarella Sticks • Chex Mix

Why you’ll love this recipe

Pizza rolls are the next best appetizer, and so simple! Here’s why I love this recipe, and you will too:

  • If you’ve ever made pizza at home, you can make these easy pizza rolls.
  • They’re filled with all the best parts of pizza. Feel free to customize this recipe with your favorite pizza toppings.
  • They bake up in just a few minutes. Serve them warm for the best results!
Mini Pizza Pinwheels with melted cheese and garnished with fresh herbs on a white surface.

Tools & equipment

To make your own pizza rolls, you will need a few basic pieces of equipment.

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin (if not stretching dough by hand)
  • Knife and chopping board
  • Small bowl
  • Brush (for brushing olive oil mixture)
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03/27/2024 05:51 pm GMT

Ingredients

If you’re ready to make these pizza rolls, here’s what you’ll need to snag at the grocery store:

  • Pizza dough: You can use store-bought dough or a pre-rolled tube of pizza crust, or you can make your own. I used my favorite pizza dough recipe.
  • Pizza sauce: Store-bought pizza sauce is just fine for this, or you can use homemade pizza sauce. Marinara sauce works too.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese: You can also use a gourmet pizza cheese or an Italian cheese blend here, or have fun with other types of cheeses.
  • Toppings: I used pepperoni slices for mine, but you could add roasted veggies, mushrooms, black olives, sausage or chicken. But whatever you do, don’t overload the rolls — you need the cheese to melt all over everything and stick to the breading so they don’t fall apart.
  • Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil works great. You can also use melted butter or any neutral-tasting oil, such as avocado or vegetable oil.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is delicious but I won’t knock you for using store-bought minced garlic — it’s my favorite cooking hack!
  • Pizza seasoning: Optional but a great way to add another burst of flavor. You can also use Italian seasoning.
  • Fresh basil: Fresh herbs add some color and flavor to these, but you can skip it if you like. Fresh parsley would also work well.
Pepperoni pizza pinwheels garnished with fresh herbs in a white dish.

Variations and substitutions

You can mix up these Pizza Pinwheels with your favorite pizza toppings.

Vegetarian pizza rolls: Skip the pepperoni and use black olives, chopped bell peppers and mushrooms instead.

Sausage pizza rolls: Use cooked Italian sausage instead of pepperoni.

Hawaiian pizza rolls: Add pineapple and diced ham into the mix.

How to make Pizza Pinwheels

Ready to make these pinwheels? Let’s take it step-by-step!

First, preheat oven to 400°F (20°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unbaked pizza pinwheels with tomato sauce on a cutting board.

On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll out pizza dough into a 10-inch x 14-inch rectangle.

Spread pizza sauce evenly on the dough, leaving about an inch of dough uncovered at the edges.

Uncooked pepperoni pizza pinwheels on a cutting board before baking.
Unbaked pepperoni pizza pinwheels with one half rolled up on a floured cutting board.

Top with shredded mozzarella cheese, then arrange pepperoni slices over the cheese.

Roll the dough up into a spiral log starting from the short end. As you roll, the filling may try to escape, so push any wiggly ingredients back into place as you go. Seal the outer edge of the log gently.

Uncooked pizza pinwheels and cheese-stuffed bread roll on a floured cutting board.
Unbaked pizza pinwheels on parchment paper ready to be cooked.

Cut off the two jagged ends and discard them or bake them separately. Slice the log into 12 1-inch slices and arrange them 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Applying sauce on rolled dough for pizza pinwheels with a blue silicone pastry brush.
Freshly baked pepperoni pizza pinwheels on parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together minced garlic and olive oil. Brush the olive oil mixture onto the exposed dough on the rolls.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly and garnish with chopped basil before serving.

Freshly baked pizza pinwheels sprinkled with sesame seeds on parchment paper.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:

  • You can customize this recipe with your favorite pizza toppings. The possibilities are endless, whether it’s roasted veggies, pesto sauce or different types of cheese. Just remember not to overload the rolls to make sure the cheese melts evenly and holds the rolls together.
  • If the pizza dough springs back while stretching or rolling, let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to work with.
  • Keep an eye on the rolls while baking to ensure they reach the perfect golden brown color. Depending on your oven, baking times may vary slightly, so check them around the 10-minute mark to avoid overcooking.
A plate of pizza pinwheels garnished with herbs.

Food & drink pairings

Serve these with a dipping sauce if you like! Ranch dressing and marinara sauce are perfect choices. You can also dip them in this delicious cheesy pizza dip.

They’re a great snack to enjoy on game day with other finger foods like chicken wings and mozzarella sticks.

And since pizza goes with beer, why not have a beer cocktail like a Black Velvet or a Beermosa? Red wine is also delicious with Italian food, so a big batch of red sangria would be great for sharing too.

When to serve them

Pizza rolls can be a quick dinner instead of making a whole pizza. But they’re also a great snack and appetizer for so many occasions:

  • movie night
  • game day or tailgates
  • house parties
  • birthday parties
  • Italian dinner parties
A single piece of pepperoni pizza pinwheel with a bite taken out, garnished with fresh basil, next to a plate of whole slices.

FAQ

How do you get pizza dough to stretch more?

While pizza dough should be refrigerated, it doesn’t stretch while cold. If you are rolling it or stretching it and it keeps springing back, leave it alone for a few minutes to warm up, then try again.

Why do the fillings come out when I roll the dough?

As you roll, it’s natural for the fillings to seep out of the roll. Roll slowly with one hand, using the other to press any rogue pepperoni and cheese back into place gently.

More pizza-inspired recipes

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

A plate of pizza pinwheels garnished with fresh herbs.

Pizza Pinwheels

Yield: 12 rolls
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Pizza Pinwheels bring all the pizza flavor (and a lot less mess) to your appetizer table.
5 from 1 vote
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ingredients

  • 1 ball pizza dough or 1 tube pizza crust, unrolled
  • ¼ to ½ cup pizza sauce
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 20-24 slices pepperoni
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon pizza seasoning
  • 6 leaves fresh basil chopped, for garnish

instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (20°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll out pizza dough into a 10-inch x 14-inch rectangle. (Approximate is fine!)
  • Spread pizza sauce evenly on the dough, leaving about an inch of dough uncovered at the edges. If the pizza dough keeps springing back on you, let it rest for a few minutes and then try again.
  • Top with an even layer of shredded cheese, then arrange pepperoni over top.
  • Using the short end of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a spiral log, being careful to push any wiggly ingredients back into place. Gently press the outer edge into the dough to seal the log.
  • Cut off the two jagged ends. (You can discard the end pieces or bake them as well.) Slice the log into 12 1-inch slices.
  • Arrange the slices 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, stir together minced garlic and olive oil. Brush the olive oil mixture onto the exposed dough on the rolls. Sprinkle with pizza seasoning.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Let cool slightly and garnish with chopped basil before serving.

notes

If the pizza dough springs back while stretching or rolling, let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to work with. Pizza dough is easier to work with when it’s had time to come to room temperature. 
You can customize this recipe with your favorite pizza toppings. The possibilities are endless, whether it’s roasted veggies, pesto sauce, or different types of cheese. Just remember not to overload the rolls to make sure the cheese melts evenly and holds them together.
Keep an eye on the rolls while baking to ensure they reach the perfect golden brown color. Depending on your oven, baking times may vary slightly, so check them around the 10-minute mark to avoid overcooking.

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nutrition information

Yield: 12 rolls

amount per serving:

Serving: 1roll Calories: 117kcal Carbohydrates: 16g Protein: 4g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 327mg Potassium: 31mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g Vitamin A: 54IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 17mg Iron: 1mg
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