Thursday, September 19, 2013

Homemade Pizza Bites (Freezer Friendly)

We love homemade pizza at our house.  In fact, we rarely (if ever) buy a pizza elsewhere because we think ours are way better anyway (not to mention less expensive).  

A few months ago I had this idea to make pizza bites using my Pampered Chef mini muffin pan thingy.  We ate some (and enjoyed them), but I also tried freezing some and defrosting them a couple days later for lunch and was super surprised at how great they turned out.

1.  Preheat oven to 450 F.  

2.  Start with a basic pizza dough.  We regularly use THIS recipe because it is pretty quick to prep and doesn't require the dough to rise much at all (maybe 15 minutes total).  It's really tasty.

3.  Roll dough into small balls.  If you have a press thingy made for the mini muffin pan, use it to push down in the middle of each ball of dough to cause the dough to spread to the sides and create a well in the middle (dip it in flour to keep it from sticking).  If you don't have a press tool, you can just use your fingers or a spoon to spread the dough out around to the edges.

4.  Pour a small scoop of sauce into each hole.  We usually just use regular pasta sauce, either store bought or homemade.  Don't add too much; remember that your dough will rise when baked.

5.  Sprinkle shredded cheese over the tops.  We use whatever cheese we have on hand.

6.  Leave as is or add a small slice of pepperoni or other topping on top.  

7.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crust is done and cheese has melted.  Depending on how much dough I've used in each spot, the time can certainly vary, so just watch them so that you don't burn them accidentally.  

8.  If eating right away, scoop them out and enjoy warm.  If you are freezing them, allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes, then pull them out and lay them in a flat layer on a dish and place in the freezer for about an hour.  Once they feel slightly frozen, you can pull them off the dish and place them in a Ziploc bag and leave them in the fridge.

9.  To defrost, place in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until they are warm throughout.  

My kiddos really like these pizza bites.  I like that it is an easy lunch for the days when I just don't want to have to actually "make" something :)  I always love having easy options in my freezer.  

What are your favorite easy lunches to serve your kiddos?

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