Make Ahead Pizza Rolls

I saw a picture of these pizza rolls on Pinterest or it might have been Facebook, which is showing a lot of recipes lately.  It reminded me of the cinnamon rolls that I make ahead.  I remember I saw these pictures around Super Bowl Sunday.  Super Bowl Sunday, in this house, was almost a holiday.  My husband would take the kids out to do the grocery shopping and they could get whatever they wanted to snack on.  We would often have some people over,  planned or dropping by, it didn’t matter.  My husband liked to make his Bar-B-Que pork ribs and I would make stromboli or whatever caught my eye or tastes buds at the time.  He loved pizza and may have even order some pizza that day, too.  It was always festive, even if I really didn’t care that much for the game.  Well, this year, I didn’t figure out my recipe by Super Bowl Sunday and it didn’t matter because the house was pretty quiet.  Still, the idea of making food ahead of a gathering is exciting to me.  I don’t like being stuck in the kitchen while guests are mingling about.

If refrigerating cinnamon rolls the day before baking works so well, why not try it with pizza dough?  So, I did.  They turned out great.  The first batch didn’t have enough toppings inside.  I made sure to put more the second time around but the dough worked out great each time.

I made everything from scratch.  You don’ t have to but I recommend that you make the dough from scratch.  It’s especially easy if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer or another heavy duty mixer with a kneading paddle.  Years ago, I would always knead the dough by hand figuring that it would make it the best.  It’s a time honored method plus I enjoyed the workout.  I tried the dough hook on my mixer and found that the dough was actually better.  So, I threw out the traditional method and am very happy with the mixer method.  The pizza sauce can just be any marinara you have on hand.  Hope you try them next time you have a gathering.  Food always tastes bette when shared with friends.




1 pkg. Active Dry Yeast

1 1/3 cups Warm Water (105 to 115 degrees)

3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups Unbleached Flour

2 Tbls. Olive Oil

1 Tbl. Salt

Pizza Sauce

2 cans (8 oz.) unsalted Tomato Sauce

1 – 2 cloves Garlic, smashed with the blade of a knife

2 tsp. Olive Oil

1 Tbl. Chopped Fresh Oregano (I use Greek Oregano.  Italian Oregano upsets my         stomach.)

– or-

1 tsp. Dried Oregano


1 pkg. (16 oz.) Mozzarella

Pepperoni, Arugula, Mushroom, Olives or whatever you like.




Combine Water (take care of temperature) and Yeast in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of the mixer. Let stand about 5 minutes or until dissolved.


Add Flour, Olive Oil and Salt to Yeast and mix on low speed for a minute or until blended.


Change the mixer’s paddle to the kneading paddle and knead for 10 minutes on low to medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic.



IMG_4332Lightly oil a large bowl.  Put the dough in the bowl and roll it around to coat.  Then cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place.  In the winter when my house is cool, I put the bowl in the oven with the light on. Let it rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Meanwhile, start the pizza sauce.


Pizza Sauce


In a medium sauce pan, heat the Olive Oil on medium high.  Add the Garlic Clove and slightly brown on both sizes.


Remove the Garlic and add Tomato Sauce and Oregano.  Careful, the Tomato Sauce will splatter.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1/2 hour or so and set aside.


Once the dough has doubled, take off the plastic wrap and punch it.



Spread the dough with a roller and/or by hand into a large rectangle.


Spread Pizza Sauce, Mozzarella and whatever toppings you would like.


These are the pictures from my first attempt.  I’ve figured out that more Sauce, Mozzarella in slices, and overlapping layers of pepperoni makes for a better pizza roll.

Roll the dough, starting from the long end.  Then slice into 12 – 16 slices, depending on how think you want your rolls.


 Place them in slightly oiled 9 x 13 pans.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until 1 hour before serving.  If you are not making ahead, let rise now and follow the baking instructions.

One hour and 15 minutes before serving, take the pizza rolls out of the refrigerator.  Pull off the plastic wrap.  Place on a rack in the oven.  Place on the rack below the rolls, a pan filled 2/3 with boiling water. Leave for 30 minutes.  Empty the oven and set it to 350 degrees.  Brush the rolls with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.  Then set the oven to 425 degrees and bake until edges are crisp – 10 minutes or so.  Serve. Makes 12-16 rolls.




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