These bite-sized Baked Pizza Pinwheels are a perfect game-day appetizer or fun family dinner idea! Made with just a few simple ingredients, you can customize these to be just the way you like your pizza.
This is one of my Appetizer recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
We’re big pizza fans… and I mean big. If I let them, my kids would eat pizza just about every day!
And believe me, I love pizza too, but they’re obsessed lol.
I have a few pizza style recipes here on the website, but this is a fun pizza twist on an appetizer.
Perfect for parties, game-day, or just a fun appetizer-style dinner, these little bite-sized pinwheels have everything you love about pizza.
A crust that’s crisp on the outside while soft on the inside, a pizza sauce that’s smooth and perfectly spiced, gooey cheese and somewhat spicy pepperoni!
Don’t worry if you’re not into pepperoni, you can 100% customize these pinwheels with your favorite toppings.
How to make baked pizza pinwheels?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Shape crust. Spread each crust out in a rectangle.
- Spread sauce. Add the sauce in an even layer, leaving a border at the top.
- Add toppings. Sprinkle Parmesan, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.
- Roll up. Roll the crust up from the bottom, into a log shape.
- Slice. Slice into 12 slices.
- Dip. Dip the bottom of each slice into cornmeal, then add to muffin pan.
- More cheese. Sprinkle a little more cheese over the top of the slices.
- Bake. Bake until golden brown
Slicing the rolled up pizza log into slices can be tricky. Use a very sharp serrated knife, or some unflavored dental floss (seriously, please make sure it’s UN-flavored – no one wants spearmint flavored pinwheels!). Slide the floss underneath the log, bring both sides up, cross them over each other, and pull tight. Easy slices!
Variations of this recipe
- Sauce – I love using my super easy, no cook pizza sauce recipe for these pinwheels, but if you’d rather use store-bought, that will absolutely work well. The two brands I love are Rao’s and Classico.
- Crust – to make this an ultra-easy appetizer, this recipe calls for refrigerated canned pizza crust. However, details about how to use regular pizza dough is listed in the “chef tips” section right below the recipe.
- Toppings – you can add anything to these pizza pinwheels that you would normally put on your pizza. I kept it simple with pepperoni and cheese, but feel free to add your favorites.
- Cheeses – if you like different cheeses on your pizza, feel free to add your favorites.
Sure are! My kids go crazy over anything remotely pizza related, and these pinwheels are super customize-able. So you can make them with exactly what your kids like, and I’m sure they’ll love them!
Absolutely. If you’re a fan of the classic “white pizza”, feel free to use a garlic butter “sauce” or my roasted garlic cream sauce. Bbq chicken pizza fan? Feel free to use bbq sauce, shredded chicken, red onion, etc.
Air fryers are a great option if your oven is being used for something else, or you don’t want to heat up your house. I’ve not specifically tested this recipe in my air fryer, so I can’t speak to the specific temperature or cooking time, but I’m sure these pinwheels would do well in an air fryer. If you try it, I’d love to know how it worked out!
Making pizza pinwheels ahead of time
I think these pinwheels taste best when made fresh, but they can be made ahead of time if you’d like.
They can also be prepped ahead, which is my preferred method.
- Sauce – if you’re making the pizza sauce, this can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated until ready to bake.
- Cheeses – the cheeses can be shredded ahead of time (if you’re shredding/grating your own), and measured ahead of time and kept refrigerated until ready to bake.
- Pepperoni – the pepperoni slices can be chopped ahead and kept refrigerated until ready to bake.
Leftover pinwheels should be refrigerated in an airtight container and eaten within 5 days.
Reheat either in the microwave or a 350°F oven until hot.
For longer storage, pinwheels can be frozen! Place baked and cooled pinwheels on a lined baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours, or until frozen.
Transfer frozen pinwheels to a freezer-safe container, label it with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat as desired.
I’ve had several of these pans for years, and they’ve held up so well! Not to mention they clean up like a dream.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 2 (13.8 oz each) cans refrigerated pizza dough I use Pillsbury classic crust variety
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups pizza sauce homemade or store-bought
- 2 cups pepperoni slices chopped
- 1 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese divided
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- fresh parsley or basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray 2 standard muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Line a large work surface with wax or parchment paper (for easy clean up). Add cornmeal to a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Open pizza crust cans and spread each crust out on the prepared wax or parchment paper, into a roughly 10×12 inch rectangle. I just use my fingers to make it easier, but you can use a rolling pin if you'd like. Place rectangles so the shorter edges are towards you, so the rectangles are oriented vertically.
- Spread about 1 cup of pizza sauce onto each crust, leaving about a 1 inch border at the top of each crust.
- Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese onto each crust, then top that with about 1 cup of chopped pepperoni on each crust.
- Sprinkle about 1 cup of mozzarella cheese onto each crust, reserving the last 1 cup of mozzarella for later.
- Roll a crust up, starting from the bottom, in a tight log shape. When you get to the top of the rectangle (where you left the border), stretch that dough up onto the roll and pinch the seam shut to seal it.
- Use as sharp serrated knife and slice the roll in half, then slice each half into 6 equally sized slices.
- Dip the bottom of a slice into the cornmeal, then place in the prepared muffin pan. Repeat with remaining slices. Repeat steps 6-8 with the other pizza crust.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese evenly over the pinwheels, then bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
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- Recipe makes 24 pizza pinwheels, with an estimated serving size of 2 pinwheels per person.
- If you’re having trouble slicing the log into slices, you can cover it loosely and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Refrigerated pizza crust may be substituted with 1 lb of frozen or fresh pizza dough.
StorageLeftover pinwheels should be refrigerated in an airtight container and eaten within 5 days. Reheat either in the microwave or a 350°F oven until hot.
FreezingFor longer storage, pinwheels can be frozen! Place baked and cooled pinwheels on a lined baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours, or until frozen. Transfer frozen pinwheels to a freezer-safe container, label it with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.