Adult pizza rolls

These are not your average pizza rolls. These are a decadent, savory cinnamon roll with no cinnamon whatsoever and tons of pizza flavor. The recipe makes roughly 10 massive rolls and takes a long time but is 100% worth the wait. Let’s get into it:

pizza rolls 2

The Dough: adapted from Amy Droubay’s (@NeuroticMom) cinnamon roll recipe:

  • 1/2 cup milk (I use whole milk, but whatever you have is totally fine)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or another 1/2 cup of milk will work)
  • 1T instant dry yeast
  • 2T sugar (or 1T honey if you don’t have sugar)
  • 4T very soft butter (but not totally melted)
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 cups of flour*
  • 2t salt
  • 1t black pepper
  • 1t garlic powder

*I used high gluten flour because I have a ton. I’ve also made this with all purpose flour and it’s basically the same (I just used a little more AP flour than I did with the high gluten flour)


Get a whisk attachment on your stand mixer (you can also do this by hand. It’ll be a really great workout). Warm up the milk and heavy cream so they’re warm but not hot. Pour the milk and cream into the mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over. Add the sugar. (If the yeast doesn’t start to smell and look foamy, get new yeast and start again.)

Add the soft butter and egg and whisk on low for 1-2 minutes to incorporate. Add 1/2c of the flour and whisk on low.

Switch to the dough hook and add 1/2 cup of flour, the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a dough is formed. You may not need all 4 cups. Stop adding flour when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is not sticky at all to the touch.

Use the dough hook to knead the dough for 5-7 minutes on medium-low. Then, knead by hand for 3-5 minutes. Check the dough by doing the “window pane” test: pull off a little bit of dough and stretch it. The dough should not break right away, and it should stretch thin enough so that you can see some light through it. If it breaks easily, keep kneading. The gluten needs to develop more.

Oil the mixing bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place. Let dough double in size (20-40 minutes depending on how warm your house is. About 20 minutes in the oven on the bread proof setting).

Prepare the filling.

The Filling!

  • 1/4 of an onion, chopped
  • 4-6 sliced garlic cloves
  • 1/4-1/2t red pepper flakes (or none if you don’t like spice)
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (not fresh– it’s too wet and the dough won’t cook)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan (it doesn’t have to be good quality. Don’t tell anybody I said that)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pepperoni (use as much or as little as you want-or none)
  • 4 chopped pepperoncinis (these aren’t spicy, they’re more for brightness. You could substitute 1t lemon zest, 1t lemon juice, some pickled jalapeños, or even 1/2t of whatever vinegar you have)
  • 1t Italian herb mixture (things like oregano, basil, maybe marjoram? I’m not totally sure, but I know that oregano is important to achieve the pizza taste)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra things you’ll need:
  • More mozzarella and parmesan for topping the rolls (not necessary, but delicious)
  • Garlic butter (1 stick of butter, 4-5 cloves chopped garlic, dash of red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup chopped parsley)
  • A pan with edges lined with parchment paper on the bottom and up the sides (mine is 9″ x 13″ and was the perfect size)
  • A 325°F oven (for after the rolls are cut and have risen a second time)


Saute the onion in a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes (I also added black pepper at this point because cooking it makes it spicier and more flavorful). When the onions are softened, add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. When you can smell the garlic, toss in the spinach, a pinch of salt, a good amount of black pepper, and stir until the spinach is wilted. Set the mixture aside to cool.

Mix all of the ingredients for the filling together (including the sauteed spinach mixture). The filling shouldn’t be too wet-if it is, add some more parmesan and/or mozzarella.

Combining the dough and the filling

So…these are essentially cinnamon rolls. Here’s what you’ll do:

After the dough has doubled in size, roll it out on a floured surface with a rolling pin or wine bottle. You want this to be very thin (only 2-3mm thick), and roughly rectangular shaped. I trimmed the edges off of my dough to form a perfect rectangle. This is a really helpful step, please do it.

Spread the filling thinly over the entirety of the dough. This isn’t something you want to pile on. Spread it evenly. Roll the dough tightly: roll the long way so you have many normal sized rolls and not four super thick rolls. (There’s a picture at the bottom if you’re confused. Yes, it’s a picture of Amy Droubay. I love her.)

Cut the rolls into 1″ pieces by using unflavored dental floss or a serrated knife (I use a knife. Use a sawing motion–more of a gentle cutting, definitely not a pushing down motion). Place the rolls onto the prepared pan. Give the rolls about 1″ of space on each side, as they will proof again. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to double in size (again, 20-40 minutes). They’ll get even bigger when they bake. You’re in for a treat.

Bake at 325°F for 25-30 minutes covered loosely with foil. Crank the heat up to 375°F, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, uncovered (but watch them. If they get too brown, re-cover them with foil).

The rolls will begin to brown lightly around the edges. At this point, make some garlic butter: Add about a stick of butter and 4-5 chopped garlic cloves to a pan. Heat that up until the butter melts and smells like garlic. Option to add a dash of red pepper flakes. Finish with 1/4 cup of chopped parsley.

Spoon the garlic butter all over the rolls. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown.

Serve these immediately with marinara sauce for dipping.



How to roll long-wise, ft. Amy Droubay:

how to roll cinnamon rolls

Hers really is the perfect recipe. If you want to make classic cinnamon rolls, make these.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Geri Lawhon says:

    These pizza roll look really good. Thanks


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