These Homemade Pizza Rolls with Pesto are one of my favorite family recipes to keep on hand in the fridge or freezer for quick dinners, especially on nights when the kids have activities. They have a veggie right in the mix and the cheese and pizza flavor make the whole package a bit hit with the kids!
Pizza Rolls Recipe
Pizza rolls are a staple in our house because they only involve a few ingredients and they have comforting bread and cheese and nutritious greens tucked into the pesto. And in just a few minutes, you can make the base for these pizza rolls. We like to use whole wheat pizza dough, but you can really use whichever type you prefer.
They’re perfectly portioned for a toddler’s mealtime (though my big girl and husband can eat 2-3 in one sitting!).
Homemade Pizza Rolls with Pesto
Pesto counts as a vegetable in our house and it’s one of the best ways I’ve found to get my kids to eat kale and spinach. When you blend greens with Parmesan and olive oil, it magically transforms into a delicious spread that pairs amazingly well with pizza dough and cheese (or pasta, of course). These homemade pizza rolls are so delicious that your toddlers may actually enjoy eating their veggies!
How to Make Homemade Pesto
While you can use any store bought pesto, whether it’s made with basil, spinach or kale, homemade pesto with greens is easy to make. Here’s how to do it. (And you can use any leftovers with pasta!)
- Gather your ingredients. (photo 1)
- Add them to a blender. (photo 2)
- Blend until very smooth. (photo 3)
- Place into a jar if not using right away, or use in the recipe! (photo 4)
Ingredients in this Pizza Rolls Recipe
To make this recipe, you’ll need these ingredients, which you can pick up at any grocery store. I like to use baby kale if using kale since it’s usually more tender.
- Pizza dough
- Kale or spinach pesto
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Sliced salami
TIP: Use thinly sliced salami to make sure it’s easy to eat and bite into for little ones once cooked.
How to Make Pizza Rolls Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the process involved in making this recipe. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of the rolling and slicing!
- Make the pesto.
- Preheat the oven and stretch the dough into a rectangle .
- Spread on pesto, sprinkle with mozzarella, and top with salami if using.
- 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, and bake!
TIP: I like to make this recipe on a piece of parchment paper to keep the clean up after easy.
Can I use homemade pizza dough?
Sure, you can make it yourself or use store-bought. We usually make it at home since it’s fairly easy, but I also realize that it’s usually super inexpensive to buy so go that route if you want to save yourself some time!
TIP: You’ll find our method for making homemade pizza dough in the Notes section of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
Pizza Rolls with Salami
I don’t always include meat in our pizza rolls, but salami is an easy add since it’s already sliced thinly and you don’ t have to cook it. You can omit it if you don’t have it on hand or if you have vegetarians in the family. For younger toddlers, you may want to cut up the rolls with a pair of kitchen shears to ensure that they (and the salami) is easy to chew.
Homemade Baked Pizza Rolls
Whether you make these homemade pizza rolls as a make-ahead option for lunch or dinner, or stash them into the freezer for those days when you are out of lunch ideas, I think you and the kids will love them. In many ways, they are even easier to make than regular pizza and once you do the rolling and slicing once, you’ll be a total pro. Plus: It’s so nice to serve up veggies that are actually fun to eat!
We’d love to hear your feedback if you make this recipe, so please comment below!Print
You can use store-bought pesto if desired in place of the homemade version below.
- 1 bunch kale or spinach
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, almonds, or pine nuts
- 1/4–1/2 cup olive oil
- 13–16 ounce pizza dough
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces thinly sliced salami, optional
- To make the pesto: Add the kale or spinach, lemon juice, Parmesan, garlic, sunflower seeds, and ¼ cup olive oil to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, and adding more olive oil as needed to make a smooth consistency. (If your blender came with a stick, use it to help press the down!)
- Preheat the oven to 400° F and grease a muffin tin.Use your hands to stretch the dough into an 11×16-inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper.
- Spread enough pesto over the dough to cover, then sprinkle on the mozzarella. Add salami if using. 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, 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.
Use thinly sliced salami.
Make the pesto ahead of time if that makes pulling the recipe together easier.
Serve with a simple side of fruit or another veggie to make an easy meal.
Homemade Pizza Dough: Add 2 teaspoons instant yeast to 1 cup warm water. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar and let sit 5 minutes or until the yeast is puffy. Stir into a large bowl with 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup all purpose, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Let sit, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for about an hour before using.