Who doesn’t love pizza? These easy pizza pinwheels are five-finger fun for the whole family! Super tasty and super versatile, you can load them up with endless combinations of sauce and toppings for everyone to enjoy. They’re easy to make, and even easier to eat.
Even after years of enjoying Friday Night Pizza Nights – and creating plenty of tasty, healthy variations the whole family loves – I can’t say that things don’t still get a little messy from time to time. 🧹It comes with the gooey, melty, slippery, saucy territory. 🍕 And frankly, it’s a big part of the fun.
Like all hand-held dishes, these easy pizza pinwheels were inspired by the desire to enjoy one of our family favorites in a slightly easier (and cleaner) way. And I don’t want to send shockwaves 😱 through this community, but they also opened the door to sneaking in pizza outside of Friday dinners.
Pizza Pinwheels are designed to be both grab-and-go or sit-and-savor treats that work perfectly as a lunch, dinner, or snack 🍽.
Whether you gobble ’em all up at dinner, freeze a bunch and reheat a couple at 2 am cuz you know #momlife, or toss a few in the kids’ lunchbox, these are definitely hitting a spot 🤤!
Reasons to Love these pizza pinwheels
- toddler, kid and adult-friendly
- easy to make
- hidden veggies
- can customize with favorite fillings
- great for school or packed lunches
- great for lunches, snacks or dinner
- can be made gluten and dairy-free
- Pizza Dough: you can use homemade, store-bought, whole wheat or gluten-free pizza dough in this recipe.
- Pizza Sauce: I used this amazing hidden veggie pasta sauce for these rollups, but you can use any pasta or pizza sauce you prefer. If you are using a store-bought pizza sauce, then you can mix 1/4 cup shredded carrots or peppers into the sauce before spreading, or use this spinach basil pesto.
- Mozzarella: you can shred your own or use pre-shredded mozzarella from the store. I used pre-shredded cheese.
- Parmesan: a must in my book. I like to sprinkle a little onto the pizza before rolling up also right on top of the pinwheels right before baking.
- Toppings: you can use any topping you want in these rollups. See below for lots of fun options and combinations.
- Gluten-Free: use a trusted brand or make your own using gluten-free one for one flour.
- Dairy-Free: vegan cheeses have come a long way in their replication of taste, texture and behavior (Melty! Bubbly! Stretchy!) so try plant-based mozzarella or parmesan style shreds. If that doesn’t appeal, you can absolutely still have delicious pinwheels sans cheese!
Homemade vs Store-Bought Dough
This debate is easily settled by asking yourself one simple question: Do I have the time and/or inclination to make my own dough? Trust me – and trust yourself – there are no wrong answers here.
- Roll out Dough: Roll out your room-temperature dough on a lightly dusted surface into a rectangle. Even thickness and shape is important!
- Spread Sauce: Schmear the dough with saucy goodness, leaving an inch of uncovered dough on the top and bottom of the long sides. (If you’re just using olive oil, brush on to coat twice.)
- Add the Cheese: Next, sprinkle on your cheese, avoiding clumps. Again, ‘even’ is the key. If you’re not using cheese, skip to your toppings.
- Toppings: When adding your toppings, the trick is not to stack them since you’ve already got a layer of sauce and cheese. Scatter evenly – since you’re rolling it up, you’ll definitely get some of everything in each bite.
- Roll it Up: Roll it up as tightly as possible, avoiding gaps between layers.
- Slice into Pinwheels: Cut into even slices using a serrated knife or pizza cutter, and place on a baking sheet.
- More Cheese: Sprinkle with a pinch more of parmesan.
- Bake: Pop the pinwheels into the oven and bake until golden.
- Done: Serve warm or set aside to come down to room temp for freezing.
Pizza Pinwheel Variations
- Hidden Veggie Sauce or Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Spinach Basil Pesto
- Barbecue Sauce
- Spinach + Artichoke Sauce
- or just brush with olive oil!
- Veggies: bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach
- Cheese: mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, cheddar, “jack” cheeses, feta
- Meats: pepperoni, ground sausage, chicken, bacon crumbles
- Classic: Hidden Veggie Sauce + Pepperoni + Mozzarella
- Veggie: Tomato Sauce + Bell Peppers+ Onions + Mushroom + Mozzarella
- BBQ: Barbecue Sauce + Shredded Chicken + Cheddar Jack
- Italian: Pesto + Ground Sausage + Bell Peppers + Provolone
- Greek: Olive Oil + Tomato + Black Olives + Feta Cheese
Tips for Making the Best Pizza Pinwheels
- Dough: if you are struggling with your dough, let it sit for 5-10 minutes on your counter and let it come to room temperature. This should make it easier to roll out.
- Rolling the Pizza Up: try to keep the dough tight as you roll up the dough, this will make sure the rolls stay intact while baking.
- Slicing: Use a pizza cutter or serrated knife to keep your filling intact.
- Toppings: a little goes a long way with these rollups, don’t overcrowd the pizza with too many toppings or it may be hard to roll-up.
Cooking with Kids
Both toddlers and kids will have a blast making these pizza pinwheels!
- Can help roll out the dough, spoon on the sauce and sprinkle on the cheese and whichever (if any) toppings they want.
- Toddlers can help place the sliced pinwheels on a baking sheet.
- Kids can preheat the oven.
- They can roll out (may need a little help from you to get it thin enough) the dough, spread the sauce and sprinkle on the cheese and toppings.
- They can carefully slice the rolled pinwheels and place them on a baking sheet.
- With adult help, kids can place the baking sheet into the hot oven and set the timer.
How to Store and Freeze
You can store cooked pizza pinwheels in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for 2 months. Make sure to let them come down to room temperature before storing in an airtight container or freezer bag.
To reheat, simply pop them into the microwave for 30 second intervals until warm (my microwave takes 90 seconds). Or place them on a baking sheet and warm them in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes.
DID YOU MAKE THESE EASY PIZZA PINWHEELS?
I’D LOVE TO KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT! LEAVE A COMMENT AND A ⭐️ RATING BELOW 👇
Easy Pizza Pinwheels (hidden veggies!)
- 1 pound pizza dough at room temperature, homemade or store-bought
- 1/2 cup hidden veggie pizza sauce, or any homemade or store-bought brand
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
- 1/3 cup parmesan
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil.
- Lightly flour a cutting board or counter. Roll out the dough into a rectangle shape roughly 18 inches by 12 inches. If the dough is not staying rolled out, leave it on the counter for 5-10 minutes to reach room temperature.
- Spread the pizza sauce over the entire pizza dough, leaving an inch margin on the top and bottom of the dough.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella over the pizza sauce. Add any extra toppings. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the parmesan.
- Starting at the bottom of the long side of the pizza dough, roll tightly upwards until you have a log shape. Gently push the seems together. Using a serrated (bread) knife, slice the dough into 2-inch sections. For thicker pinwheels, aim for 12 slices. For thinner pinwheels, aim for 16 slices.
- Place the pinwheels on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until just golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet.
- Serve and enjoy!