Pizza parties in grade school, ordering delivery on Friday nights at home with family, grabbing a few slices at the mall with friends – something celebratory always comes to mind when I think about eating pizza, whether it’s the memory of a birthday or the excitement of a long weekend to come.
Eating pizza in any form is always a blissful experience for me. But it’s easy to get into a rut when this dish is on the menu more often than not.
Week after week, my husband I place an order at the same place down the street. This is despite his lactose intolerance (yes, he will actually risk physical discomfort to eat this delightful food as often as he can get it).
We usually choose between one of two topping choices that we love. The pie gets devoured almost completely, leaving just enough for leftovers to dive into the next day.
But sometimes, you don’t want to eat an entire pizza. You don’t want leftovers. You want to rediscover that feeling that you used to be overcome with when you were a kid, when pizza meant it was time to celebrate!
Funnily enough, in my adulthood, if I’m hosting a gathering at my place and I’m feeling lazy, my first instinct is to simply order a plain cheese and call it a day. Do you do the same thing?
Granted, this is perhaps not the best idea when you have a ton of other food vying for open table space…
But there is a solution.
These bites let me bring pizza to the party and live up to the hype of being a homemade, from-scratch food blogger at the same time. They’re perfect for sharing, they emerge golden from the oven rather than coming out of a cardboard box, and they’re easy to make.
In fact, I’d be willing to wager that these mini pizza bites are the easiest way to attain that cheesy flavor that you crave without picking up the phone to order delivery, or making pizza dough from scratch.
They’re perfectly poppable since they’re made in a mini muffin tin. Think handheld appetizers, designed for dipping into marinara sauce and devouring.
Everyone will flock to these bites as soon as they hit the table, so don’t be surprised if they disappear quickly. If you have time and oven space, definitely make a double batch.
This is a killer appetizer, but it also serves as a fantastic mid-afternoon snack, whether you are an adult or a child.
With just pepperoni and cheese, this recipe might seem basic. But the spices and fresh herbs make these bite-sized savory treats taste just like that traditional homemade pie from your favorite local joint.
You don’t have to spend hours tending to a homemade sauce, or waiting for dough to rise. Try this recipe, enjoy the delicious pizza flavor, and remember to celebrate!Print
Get ready for the next big thing in handheld deliciousness. Mini pizza bites are the poppable snack that satisfies your pizza craving.
- Cooking oil spray
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano (or 3/4 tsp dried)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup diced pepperoni slices
- 4 Tbsp grated Parmesan
- 2 cups marinara sauce, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking oil spray.
- Whisk flour and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.
- Add milk, egg, salt, herbs, and seasonings to the flour mixture, and whisk until combined. Stir in mozzarella and pepperoni until combined.
- Let stand 10 minutes.
- Stir mixture again and pour into muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over the top of each cup.
- Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.
- Warm sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat or serve cold with the bites for dipping.
Recipe adapted from Noble Pig.
- Category: Bite-Sized
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Appetizers
Keywords: pepperoni, mozzarella, pizza, party food, appetizer
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Remove the stems and chop the basil and oregano, if you are using fresh herbs.
Dice enough pepperoni slices to get 1/2 cup in total.
Shred the mozzarella and grate the Parmesan, if you need to. Or, use cheese that has already been prepped to save some time!
Though it might seem tempting to dice the cheese instead and use pepperoni that hasn’t already been sliced, you’d need to cut these into such a small dice in order to fit in the mini muffin cups that using pre-sliced meat and shredded mozzarella is the preferred option for this recipe, and I’ve found this method will yield the best results.
Lightly beat an egg, and measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed.
Keep in mind that this recipe calls for onion and garlic powder, not onion and garlic salt. Avoid using flavored salt, or the final product will be overly salty!
If you can’t find plain onion powder, you can grind dehydrated onions into powder yourself, using a mortar and pestle. I did this recently when I only had onion flakes in my spice rack, and it worked perfectly.
Spray a 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray, or brush each well in the pan lightly with oil.
Step 2 – Make Batter
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
Add the beaten egg, herbs, milk, salt, and seasonings to the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.
Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni until combined.
Set aside on the counter for 10 minutes, and preheat your oven to 350˚F.
Step 3 – Bake
Stir the mixture one more time before filling each muffin cup 3/4 of the way with batter.
Sprinkle each well with a small amount of shredded Parmesan to get even coverage on each.
Bake until puffed and golden, for approximately 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
Step 4 – Warm Sauce and Serve
While the bites are baking, warm the sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat, or in the microwave.
Serve the warm sauce alongside the bites for dipping.
Snack Now, or Snack Later
Maybe you don’t want to eat all of these fresh from the oven. Can you freeze and reheat them later?
Yes, you certainly can. Simply store the bites in an airtight container or freezer storage bag after letting them cool to room temperature.
These will keep for about 1-2 months in the freezer. Simply thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before you plan to enjoy them, or defrost on half power in the microwave. You can also use the microwave to reheat defrosted bites, or heat them up in the toaster oven.
For even more pizza inspiration, here are a few more delicious recipes:
- Easy Pizza Potatoes
- Grilled Zucchini Pizza
- Pepperoni Bread
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Neapolitan-Style Dough
- Pizza Pockets
When will you serve these mini pizza bites? Tell us in the comments below. And come back and rate the recipe once you try it as well!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on August 4, 2013. Last updated: October 7, 2020 at 19:17 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.