Pizza Puffs are cute little bite sized treats that are perfect for happy hour, appetizers, lunch, or game day nibbles while watching football! They’d also be great for a pot luck or after school snacks!
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Tailgating snacks month
Welcome to the 8th annual October is tailgating snacks month for 2021! This is an event I look forward to every year. It’s so much for me to make these delicious snacks and treats for you.
This year, in keeping with my goals of remaking some of the older recipes on Life Currents, I’m starting the month with these little nuggets of pizza goodness. This is a recipe I first shared in 2013, and is adapted from Rachel Ray. I have updated the pictures, information, and recipe itself for a better reader experience.
I have some great recipes lined up for you this year! And, at the end of the month I’ll share a roundup of all the tasty treats that have been collected, so be sure to keep an eye out for that!
These appetizers are super quick and easy to make, and you probably have all the ingredients on hand to make them. It’ll only take you minutes to whip up a batch.
Where did pizza puffs originate?
After doing some research into “What are pizza puffs”, I quickly learned about the Chicago pizza puff, which is very similar to a calzone, only it’s typically deep fried.
My version is not Chicago style. In fact, mine are much more like fluffy savory mini pizza muffins.
What should I serve them with?
Serve these pizza bites with your favorite sauce for dipping.
Easy and quick, but best of all, this Homemade Pizza Sauce is Delicious, and is my recommendation for what to serve these with. You can thin the pizza sauce with a little water to make it easier to dip the puffs into if you want.
Marinara would be lovely as well! Or, simply use your favorite jarred spaghetti sauce.
Garlic butter dipping sauce is another house favorite for these morsels.
Happy hour appetizer ideas
How to cook pizza puffs
Be sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card below for ingredients amounts and detailed instructions.
These little nuggets of pizza goodness are super easy to make! You’ll love being able to whip them up quickly.
Whisk together the flour and baking powder, and whisk in the milk and beaten egg. Note, I like to whisk small batters with a fork.
Stir in the remaining ingredients (mozzarella, bell pepper, shallot, herbs and spices, and pepperoni). Let stand for 10 minutes.
Place the muffin pans on a large cookie sheet to provide some stability. Stir the batter and divide evenly among the mini-muffin cups. Bake up until nice and golden.
Serve pizza puffs with your favorite pizza sauce for dipping.
Changes to the recipe
When I make these, I make a half batch vegetarian with Red Pepper and Shallot Pizza Puffs.
And I make half the batch pepperoni pizza for my husband. When I do it this way, I use 2 ounces pepperoni. If you want to make a whole pepperoni pizza puffs batch, use 4 ounces. Or, just leave the pepperoni out entirely. Personally, I don’t think it needs the pepperoni at all!
You can substitute any cheese for the mozzarella if you want
Add in cooked and crumbled sausage
Switch up the veggies to your favorite. If you use veggies with a high-water content like mushrooms, be sure to sauté them first, to cook out all the extra moisture.
Spice it up a bit and add in ¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
You can use 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning instead of the basil and oregano
Want to bake these in paper muffin cups? You sure can, just be sure to lightly spray each paper cup with non-stick spray before filling so they release from the paper after being baked.
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Be sure to lightly beat the egg in a small bowl before adding to the mixture. This helps to incorporate the egg into the batter.
I like to fill the muffin cups using cookie dough scoops. It makes it easy to get a similar amount into each cup, also it makes for easy clean up.
I bake these in silicon mini muffin pans. Place the pans on a cookie sheet for baking for more stability. Once baked, the Pizza Puffs should pop right out of the pan, and there’s no need for oiling the pan at all. If your Puffs need a little encouragement to release from the pan, I’ve found it’s best to run an offset spatula around the outside of the puff. After that, it should release.
If you don’t have a silicone muffin pan, be sure to grease your pan well, or they will stick! To help release them from the pan, run an offset spatula around the outside of the puff and gently lift them out.
You can test for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center of one of them. If it comes out clean, they are ready.
Can these be made ahead?
These can be made ahead and frozen. Freeze the baked puffs in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. To reheat, bake the frozen puffs on a baking sheet in a 350° F degrees oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
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Pizza Puffs Recipe
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded (about 1 cup)
- ½ red bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 – 4 ounces pepperoni cut into quarters, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Oil a regular 24-cup mini-muffin pan. If you're using a silicone mini muffin pan, oiling isn’t necessary.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and beaten egg. Stir in the remaining ingredients (mozzarella, bell pepper, shallot, herbs and spices, and pepperoni). Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Place the muffin pans on a large cookie sheet. Stir the batter and divide evenly among the mini-muffin cups. Bake at 375° F, until puffed and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Serve pizza puffs with your favorite pizza sauce for dipping.