This Mini Spinach and Cheese Pizza Roll recipe is packed with nutrition—and even greens!—but the cheese, and silly spiral shape makes them much more appealing to toddlers and big kids! And you can make them in about 30 minutes and stash them in the fridge or freezer for future meals.
Serving up greens to little ones is often a tough sell, but when you package them in this fun format, it can be much less intimidating! These pizza rolls are one of those foods that I like to have on hand on nights when there are activities and commitments since they are so easy to warm up and serve. Plus, they even go from freezer to table in less than a minute when made and stored frozen!
Pizza Roll Recipe
This recipe takes the classic flavors of pizza and rolls them up into muffin-size pizza rolls that are a little crispy on the outside and tender and cheesy on the inside. I like to add a little fresh spinach to my pizza rolls to amp up the nutrition—especially since I find that my kids don’t care as much about greens when they’re in a recipe that they otherwise love.
Ingredients in Pizza Rolls
To make this recipe you’ll need:
- Pizza dough
- Pizza sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
TIP: You can use homemade dough and pizza sauce, or use store bought to make these totally from scratch, according to your preference. See the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for all of the info.
How to Make this Pizza Roll Recipe Step-by-Step
Here’s how to make this pizza roll recipe:
- Cut up your spinach leaves into smaller pieces.
- Spread the pizza dough out into a rectangle using your hands or a rolling pin. Layer all ingredients for these pizza rolls over the dough evenly, starting with the pizza sauce, then spinach, then cheese. Spread almost to the edges. This ensures that each roll has plenty of yummy ingredients inside.
- Rolling from one long side, roll the dough up into a log. Slice into 12 even slices and place into a greased muffin tin.
- Bake until lightly golden brown and gooey!
TIP: Place the dough on parchment when forming it into a rectangle to avoid having it stick to the counter.
Spinach Pizza Rolls
You can make this recipe with a lot of wilted spinach or just a little fresh and cut up spinach. It’s up to you and it works both ways. You could also try using finely chopped up broccoli or even kale instead of spinach.
Mini Pizza Rolls
These pizza roll ups are a great lunchbox component or go well with a simple side of roasted veggies and fruit. We sometimes have them for family dinner and I serve a simple salad alongside for us parents and sliced cucumbers for the kids. We all love them.
Can I make these pizza rolls ahead?
Yes, just let them cool completely after baking. Then, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer in a zip top bag for up to 3 months. Reheat for 30-60 seconds in the microwave. When serving to younger toddlers, cut up with a knife or a pair of kitchen shears for easy eating.
Why did my pizza rolls stick to the pan?
The best advice I can give for this is to grease your muffin pan well and use a nonstick pan. The older muffin pan I have works a lot less well than the newer nonstick one I have, which doesn’t stick at all when I make these.
The insides of my rolls seem a little undercooked—why?
If you make sure to dry the spinach (if you wilt it) and spread the pizza sauce evenly, this shouldn’t be an issue. But if it is, you can cover your rolls in the oven with foil and bake for an additional 4-6 minutes.
Tips for Making the Best Pizza Rolls
- Use homemade dough or fresh store bought dough like the kind they sell at Trader Joes.
- Spread the dough out into an even rectangle so there’s (mostly) an even amount of dough in each sliced roll.
- Use store bought pizza sauce or homemade. I like to cook down my Marinara Sauce until it’s thick and spreadable.
- Wilt a package of spinach or cut up fresh spinach.
- Do your best to cut the slices evenly.
- Grease your pan well.
- Let them cool for about 5 minutes in the pan before removing them to give the cheese a chance to firm up a little.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!
Be sure to grease your pan well and roll the dough up fairly tightly around the fillings for best results. (But it’s okay if they don’t look perfect when they go into the pan!) This recipe was updated in September 2019 to ensure that the middles of each roll cook through.
- 1 cup baby spinach, roughly cut or chopped
- 13–16 ounces pizza dough
- 3/4 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 very well, including around the top of each cup since the cheese may spill out a little.
- Use your hands to stretch the dough into an 11×16-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper.
- Spread pizza sauce over the dough to cover, then sprinkle on the spinach, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Starting on one long side, roll the dough up carefully and fairly tightly to enclose the toppings. (It might be a little messy, but it’s okay!)
- Use a serrated knife to cut into 12 even slices. I start in the center, then make a cut in the center of each piece, and then finish slicing to get the most even results.
- Place each slice into a prepared muffin cup and bake for 22-26 minutes until the dough is baked through, the cheese is melted, and the tops are golden.
- Let cool for 3-5 minutes in the pan to allow the cheese to firm up slightly, then transfer to a wire rack or a plate to serve. (You may need to use a a knife around the edges of the pan if the cheese spilled over.)
- 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.
Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Stir 2 teaspoons yeast and 1 teaspoon honey or sugar into 1 cup warm water. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until the yeast has puffed up. Add 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons 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. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let rest for at least one hour and up to 4. Proceed with the recipe.
Use homemade dough or fresh store bought dough like the kind they sell at Trader Joes.
Spread the dough out into an even rectangle so there’s (mostly) an even amount of dough in each sliced roll.
Use store bought pizza sauce or homemade. I like to cook down my Marinara Sauce until it’s thick and spreadable.
Wilt a 5 oz package of spinach in 1 tbsp warm olive oil in a skillet, then squeeze out all of the liquid, OR simply cut up 1 cup fresh spinach.
Do your best to cut the slices evenly.
Grease your pan well.
Let them cool for about 5 minutes in the pan before removing them to give the cheese a chance to firm up a little.