Serving up greens to little ones is often a tough sell, but when you package them in a fun format, it’s much less intimidating! This Mini Spinach and Cheese Pizza Roll recipe is packed with nutrition, but the cheese, and silly spiral shape makes them appealing to toddlers and big kids. We like to have these on nights when there are activities and commitments since they are so easy to warm up and serve.
How to Make Pizza Rolls from Scratch
You can take shortcuts with this pizza roll recipe by using store-bought whole wheat pizza dough and purchased pizza sauce. (Or you can of course make one or both from scratch!) And you can make these 3-5 days ahead of when you need to serve them to save a little time come dinner. We also like them tucked into a lunchbox!
If you want to make your own pizza dough, here’s how to do it.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe
Makes enough for 1 pizza or 1 batch of pizza rolls.
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Stir the yeast and honey into the warm water. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until the yeast has puffed up.
2. Add the flours, salt, and olive oil to a medium bowl. Stir in the water, adding up to 1/4 cup more if needed to make a smooth, sticky (but able to be kneaded) dough. Use your hands to knead about 10 times to bring it together into a large ball.
3. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let rest for at least one hour and up to 4. Proceed with the recipe at the bottom to make pizza rolls.
You can wilt the spinach quickly in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave for 30 seconds. Either is a fast and easy method that won’t loose many nutrients in the process. Chopping the spinach can be helpful for younger toddlers.
Layer all ingredients for these pizza rolls evenly, spreading almost to the edges. This ensures that each roll has plenty of yummy ingredients inside.
Easy Pizza Rolls
Pizza rolls may look difficult to make, but they’re actually easy—especially after you’d made them once and see how the process works. Since these pizza rolls bake up in a muffin pan in under 20 minutes, they’re almost fool-proof! (As you can see above, your slices do not need to be perfect.) After you spread out the dough into a rectangle and layer the ingredients on top, you simply roll it up into a log. Slice into 12 even slices and place into a greased muffin tin.
Spinach Pizza Rolls
It’s also a plus that this homemade baked pizza roll recipe has a dose of spinach inside—I’m always surprised that my kids eat these without complaint. I think it’s because the cheese and pizza sauce helps to soften the spinach…and to neutralize the scariness.
You can of course leave the spinach out for your family if you prefer. This pizza roll recipe is really good dipped in warm marinara sauce or served just on their own with a simple side of fruit or a veggie.
We love making this pizza rolls recipe for easy dinners or make-ahead lunches. They are moist enough for younger toddlers who are still learning to chew denser breads and they reheat nicely. When serving to younger toddlers, cut up with a knife or a pair of kitchen shears for easy eating.
Your toddlers may surprise you by going for the greens in these yummy pizza rolls!
- 5 ounces spinach
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 13-16 ounces pizza dough
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400° F and grease a muffin tin.Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and cook the spinach just until wilted. Remove from the heat and drain, pressing out all excess liquid.Use your hands to stretch the dough into an 11×16-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper.
- Spread enough pizza sauce over the dough to cover, then sprinkle on the spinach and mozzarella. Starting on one long side, roll the dough up carefully.
- Use a serrated knife to cut into 12 even slices. Place each slice into a prepared muffin cup, sprinkle with Parmesan, and bake for 18-20 minutes until the dough is baked through, the cheese is melted, and the tops are golden.
- Remove from pan, using a knife around the edges if needed, and let cool slightly before serving.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge or in a zip-lock freezer bag with as much air removed as possible in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve from frozen, place on a plate and microwave for 30-60 seconds or until warm.