Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other appetizer recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Cheese-Stuffed Pizza Bites Recipe

These pizza bites are a delicious combination of pizza dough wrapped around a simple three-cheese filling. Once baked, the bites pull apart into individual serving sizes that are perfect when paired with pizza sauce. Make these as an appetizer or for a big Game Day, and watch them disappear right away!

Why this recipe works.

There was a time when the idea of cheese stuffed into pizza crust seemed like the best invention. The idea that not only could cheese be on the pizza but the boring crust could also be oozing with cheese seemed like pure genius. The only problem was the stuffed crust was almost too much and took away from the pizza. Why not make the best of both worlds? Small pizza dough bites stuffed with a cheese mixture that are dipped in your favorite sauce. These bites start with foolproof pizza dough. The dough comes together quickly and needs minimal time to rise. The filling is a mixture of ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella that combine for the best flavor and creamy melting texture. The ingredients are simple and straightforward for bites that are sure to be everyone’s favorite.

Marble surface with white oval baking dish filled with baked pizza bites with small white bowl filled with marinara dipping sauce to the side.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Sugar is a cheater way to get the yeast to work a bit quicker. But it also balances out the flavor of the dough and gives the overall dough a bit of browning during baking.
  • Olive oil tenderizes the dough while adding a hint of richness. The oil coats some of the protein in the flour, which in turn will create a more tender bread.
  • Italian seasoning is a quick way to add herbs for seasoning. Any purchased spice blend will work and takes away from having each individual herb on hand.
  • Garlic powder blends with the cheese mixture better than raw garlic and adds a sweet garlic flavor.
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese is different from than pre-shredded variety. The fresh will seem hard to shred but will have a richer flavor with better melting capability.
  • Ricotta cheese has more flavor than pre-shredded mozzarella. The fresh mozzarella maintains a rich flavor and melts perfectly.
  • Parmesan cheese adds a nutty flavor that every pizza needs. When possible, always freshly grate parmesan instead of using the pre-grated.
White marble surface filled with all ingredients needed to make pizza bites including Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, flour, salt, butter, spices, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Prepare the dough. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and salt. Mix these three ingredients together until both the sugar and salt are dissolved. Then add in the olive oil, all-purpose flour (reserving some to be added later), and instant yeast. Use a dough whisk or a fork to mix together the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. The dough will be wet at first and quite sticky. Add in the reserved flour and mix it in until the dough creates a cohesive mass and clears the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and knead the dough by hand to develop additional gluten and create a smooth texture with a bit of tackiness.
  1. Let the dough rise. In the same bowl that was used to mix up the dough, add a drizzle of olive oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl and then flip it over so that both sides are coated in the oil. Place a cloth over the top of the bowl and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size.
  1. Prepare the cheese filling. Grate the fresh mozzarella on a cheese grater into small pieces. To a bowl, add the ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, shredded Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. Mix all of the ingredients together well-combined and set aside.
  1. Fill the pizza bites. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Divide the dough into 24 equal-sized dough balls, either by eye or using a scale. Then flatten each piece of dough into an approximately 4-inch round circle, fill it with a scoop of the cheese filling, and wrap the edges around the cheese. Pinch the seams to ensure that the dough does not separate, and place each ball into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  1. Let the dough rise again. Once the baking dish is filled with all 24 pizza bites, cover it with a cloth and allow the dough to rise once more. The dough will not rise as much as it did the first time. Once the dough is touching each other, the dough should be ready to go.
  1. Bake the pizza bites. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Mix the three ingredients together and brush over the top of the dough. Place the baking dish in the preheated 375°F oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and serve immediately with pasta or marinara sauce.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • When preparing the water to add to the pizza dough, make sure that the temperature is between 100F and 110F. If yeast is added to water that is too hot, it can inhibit the yeast and potentially lead to a failed dough.
  • Make sure to reserve about the last ½ cup of flour to be added after the first mixing. Dough is a unique substance in that the time of year, humidity, and other room conditions can all affect how a dough performs. Reserving some of the dough ensures that too much dough is not added all at once.
  • To know when the dough is ready to be worked with after it has risen, simply place a finger into the dough. The dough is ready if the imprint remains and does not spring back.
  • To get the most precisely-sized dough balls, use a food scale. Simply weigh the entire dough, then divide it by 24 to get the approximate size of each dough ball. Before filling the pizza bites, it may be best to weigh out each dough ball in case some dough needs to be removed and added to others at the end.
Hand holding cheese pizza bite dipping into a small white bowl filled with marinara sauce.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can I make these pizza bites with purchased pizza dough from the store?

Yes, pizza dough from the store will work perfectly for these pizza bites. Additionally, this dough can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator until ready to be assembled.

Is there any benefit to using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour in this recipe?

Bread flour has a higher protein rate than all-purpose flour. The higher protein can give more stability and structure to the dough. This recipe does not require that extra structure, but bread flour can be used in place of the all-purpose.

How long do these pizza bites last once baked?

This recipe is best served fresh, as the cheese will be perfectly melted inside the bread immediately after baking. The leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 7-10 days after baking and reheated when served.

White oval baking dish filled with baked pizza bites with golden tops with one sitting on its side showing the interior texture.

Watch how to make this recipe.

YouTube video

More Game Day recipes

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

White oval baking dish filled with small pizza bites with one missing showing golden tops of dough all on white marble surface.

Cheese-Stuffed Pizza Bites

4.75 from 4 votes
These pizza bites are a delicious combination of pizza dough wrapped around a simple three-cheese filling. Once baked, the bites pull apart into individual serving sizes that are perfect when paired with pizza sauce. Make these as an appetizer or for a big Game Day, and watch them disappear right away!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 24 bites

Ingredients

For the pizza dough

  • 1 cup warm water (100°F to 110°F)
  • 2 tsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp (1 pkg) instant yeast

For the filling

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese shredded
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese shredded
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

For the melted butter

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the water, sugar, and salt. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the olive oil, flour, and yeast. Using a fork or a dough whisk, combine the mixture into a shaggy dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth, 6-8 minutes. Once the dough is smooth, form into a ball. Oil the bowl with 2 tsp of olive oil. Roll the dough in the oil and place it in the bowl. Cover and set in a warm place for 1 hour.
    1 cup warm water (100°F to 110°F), 2 tsp white granulated sugar, 1 tsp kosher salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 ¼ tsp (1 pkg) instant yeast
  • Once the dough has risen, punch down and release the air bubbles. Butter or grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. Stir to combine, ensuring all the cheeses are evenly mixed. Set the mixture aside.
    1 cup ricotta cheese, 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • Using a scale or by eye, divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten each ball into a 4-inch circle and add 2 tbsp of the cheese filling. Wrap the dough around the filling and pinch the seam tightly. Roll into a ball and place in the prepared baking dish. When all the pizza bites are formed, cover them and allow them to rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • While the dough is rising, melt the butter. Add the remaining Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Once the dough has risen, brush it with the prepared butter mixture.
    4 tbsp unsalted butter, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Place the brushed pizza bites in the preheated oven. Bake until the bites have a golden brown crust, 30-35 minutes. Once baked, remove the pizza bites from the oven. Allow the bites to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • When preparing the water to add to the pizza dough, make sure that the temperature is between 100°F and 110°F. If yeast is added to water that is too hot, it can inhibit the yeast and potentially lead to a failed dough.
  • Make sure to reserve about the last ½ cup of flour to be added after the first mixing. Dough is a unique substance in that the time of year, humidity, and other room conditions can all affect how a dough performs. Reserving some of the dough ensures that too much dough is not added all at once.
  • To know when the dough is ready to be worked with after it has risen, simply place a finger into the dough. The dough is ready if the imprint remains and does not spring back.
  • To get the most precisely-sized dough balls, use a food scale. Simply weigh the entire dough, then divide it by 24 to get the approximate size of each dough ball. Before filling the pizza bites, it may be best to weigh out each dough ball in case some dough needs to be removed and added to others at the end.

Nutrition

Serving: 1biteCalories: 131kcal
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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5 Comments

  1. I definitely want to make these for Super Bowl Sunday. Can I make these the day before, refrigerate, then next day bring to room temperature and bake? I have a crowd coming for the game and so much to prepare.

  2. 4 stars
    I made this last year (2023) during Super Bowl but it didn’t rise well. But my kids still devoured it! I almost didn’t get to taste it. I will be making this again this year. Hopefully, no mishaps this time! Thanks for the recipe!