Simple Pizza Buns Recipe

With four kids to get out the door to school every morning, the smallest hiccup can turn the morning rush into a train wreck. Four sets of homework to pack in backpacks, four heads that need cute hairstyles, four sets of (hopefully matching) socks to find in a mountain of laundry. One misplaced piece of homework, or one head of bedhair that won’t cooperate, or one missing sock eaten by the dryer – can derail the whole morning.

Which is why lunch has to be simple.

I’m constantly on the lookout for quick and healthy lunch solutions for my kids. But with four kids, our lunches also need to be affordable. Not to mention lunches that the kids will actually eat!

Why Pizza Buns Are the Perfect Lunch for Kids

A few years ago, my sister-in-law shared a pizza bun recipe, and it’s become one of our top go-to lunch options. Here’s why:

  • Kids love pizza!
  • Pizza buns are an easy way to add a serving of meat and dairy to your kid’s lunch
  • I can make one batch during the weekend, store them in freezer baggie in batches of two, then pop them in the freezer to have them on hand for the mornings where we’re running behind schedule and need a quick lunch option

You’ll find the recipe below along with a quick how-to, a printable version of the recipe, and a list of some of my favourite online resources for kid friends {and healthy} meal ideas.

Note: I’ve tried a few different dough recipes, but this no-fuss dough recipe from  Our Best Bites  is the clear winner for this lunch.

Homemade Pizza Buns

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp yeast

1/2 tsp salt

3-4 1/2 cups flour

Instructions

In a bowl combine water, sugar and yeast. I usually throw these ingredients directly into my Bosch mixer. Let stand for about 10 minutes.

Add salt. Stir. Add half your flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour until dough pulls away from edges of the bowl when mixing and it isn’t sticky.

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Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until double in size. Remove dough from bowl. Separate into three equal parts.

Prepare pizza ingredients. Pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce or whatever other toppings you’d like to us.

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Take one portion of the dough and roll out on a lightly greased or floured surface. I typically spray my working surface with a little cooking spray or use a small amount of oil to keep the dough from sticking. Roll dough into a long skinny rectangle as you would for cinnamon rolls.

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Once your dough is rolled, you can begin layering your pizza ingredients starting with the sauce. Spread sauce over the dough leaving the very edge of one of the long sides of the rectangle free from sauce so the edge will seal when rolled up. Layer meat, cheese and any other pizza toppings you’d like.

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After all your pizza toppings have been added, begin rolling up the dough starting at the long side of the rectangle where the sauce is all the way to the edge – you want to leave that sauce free edge to be rolled up last. Roll all the way up and then pinch the edges to seal.  Now using a small length of dental floss, slice off equal sized rolls.

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Place rolls in a greased baking dish. Cover and allow buns to rise 30 minutes. Bake in the oven at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown.
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This recipe makes a large batch and what I do as soon as they’ve cooled is package them in freezer ziploks in quantities of two in the freezer. Having them on hand on those days when we need to grab lunch and go is the best thing ever!

I typically put the buns in the kids school lunches frozen, that way the meat and cheese stays chilled until lunch time. I pack all their lunches in these 3 compartment containers from Easy Lunchboxes. I absolutely love these containers! I add a few other healthy things to their lunch along with a little treat then put the containers inside their insulated lunch bags along with a freezer pack and that’s it!

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This recipe may not help you find that one striped sock that mysteriously disappeared in the dryer, but it will help you pack quick and healthy lunches your kids will love.

4.0 from 3 reviews
Pizza Buns
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3-4½ cups flour
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine water, sugar and yeast. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt. Stir. Add half your flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour until dough pulls away from edges of the bowl when mixing and it isn’t sticky.
  3. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until double in size. Remove dough from bowl. Separate into three equal parts.
  4. Prepare your pizza ingredients. For the pizza buns pictured we use garlic sausage, mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce, but anything goes! This is going to be just like making cinnamon buns from here on out – only with pizza fixings!
  5. Take one portion of the dough and roll out on a lightly greased or floured surface. I typically spray my working surface with a little cooking spray or use a small amount of oil to keep the dough from sticking. Roll dough into a long skinny rectangle as you would for cinnamon rolls.
  6. Once your dough is rolled, you can begin layering your pizza ingredients starting with the sauce. Spread sauce over the dough leaving the very edge of one of the long sides of the rectangle free from sauce so the edge will seal when rolled up. Layer meat, cheese and any other pizza toppings you’d like.
  7. After all your pizza toppings have been added, begin rolling up the dough starting at the long side of the rectangle where the sauce is all the way to the edge – you want to leave that sauce free edge to be rolled up last. Roll all the way up and then pinch the edges to seal. Now using a small length of dental floss, slice off equal sized rolls.
  8. Place rolls in a greased baking dish.
  9. Cover and allow buns to rise 30 minutes.
  10. Bake in the oven at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown.
For more back to school inspiration and lunch ideas check out these posts

Family Friendly On-the-Go Lunch Ideas

Family friendly on-the-go lunch ideas

Rudolph Christmas Lunch

Rudolph Christmas Lunch

Simple Back to School Photo Tips

Simple back to school photo tips

Budget Friendly Family Command Centre and Homework Station

Budget friendly command centre and homework station

Staying organized throughout the school year: Printable Chore charts

Printable chore charts and daily checklists

Documenting School Year Memories with Pocket Style Scrapbooking

Documenting school year memories with pocket style scrapbooking
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Rebecca
Rebecca Cooper is a 38-year-old wife and mother of four from Alberta, Canada. As a photographer, crafter, author, and blogger, she finds joy and fulfillment in celebrating everyday moments. She loves to read and eat chocolate, and is a firm believer in afternoon naps. Rebecca shares her family’s adventures, photo tips, simple craft projects + more right here at Simple as That.
Rebecca
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Comments

  1. says

    Yum. Love the idea. We use the same containers for lunch. I also use muffin liners for treats and other goodies. I like the idea of just pulling them out of the freezer. thanks for sharing.

  2. says

    I love this recipe! My son has a dairy allergy, so I will simply omit the cheese. He will love it, and it will expand on his penchant for eating the same 5 lunches every week. For us, celery and peanut butter is a good go-to when we are short on time. I keep some celery cut up and quickly drop them into his reusable container with a center well. I can’t wait to try this!

  3. Mary Claire Cook says

    These are adorable, I love the photography. Makes me want to have little ones to pack cute lunches for, I suppose husband will have to do for now!

  4. EasyLunchboxes (Kelly Lester) says

    Hi Rebecca! Wow – Thank you so much for featuring your amazing pizza buns in my EasyLunchboxes! Of course, I’ll be sharing them with my lunch-packing community now :) They’re too FAB! And good news – I am working to get my EasyLunchboxes up on Amazon.ca and Canadians will be able to purchase them with FREE shipping! Should be live within about 3-4 weeks :) Your blog is GORGEOUS. Thank you again Rebecca! – K.

  5. Nadine Karen says

    Thank you for the recipe ! I made these today and they are delicious! My husband raved for about 20 minutes while he demolished 6 of them. 😉

  6. Tyler and Kristin Smith says

    I keep forgetting to tell you when I see you so I’m telling you HERE – Brody commented today that one of his lunch helpers had “marshmallows” in their lunch and how cool he thought that was. I knew Emily was one of his helpers, so I figured that picture above is her lunch?!
    I’m definitely going to try those pizza buns. I’ve been looking for a recipe! Thanks.

  7. Chantel Klassen says

    These pizza buns look delicious and so easy to pack in a lunch! And I’m very excited to read in the comments that they will be coming to Amazon.ca in a few weeks! Whoop! As soon as they are in I’m going to be purchasing some!

  8. Tonia says

    I have loved your blog for such a long time and finally had to make a comment. I think my boys will love these. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas and knowledge!

    • Healthy Helene says

      Yes! I’m going to jump in and say that of course you can make them with whole wheat. I haven’t had “white death” (white flour) in my house for about 10 years. I have never found a recipe that couldn’t be made with whole wheat as opposed white flour. It tastes better and is MUCH healthier (not only is there more fibre but the original nutrition is intact and doesn’t need to be added back in…ie “enriched”). You might need to use just a tiny bit less flour but today’s whole wheat flour is so finely milled that you can probably just go ahead and substitute an equal amount. I hope perhaps the creator of this recipe will switch, too! Once you eliminate the white stuff from your house, your family will get used to the better versions of your favourites!

    • kendra says

      Hi, for another idea you could.. make a wrap with cream cheese and sandwich meat and roll it tight and cut into small pieces. My toddler likes that. U can use cheese sslics too and any meat

  9. Ashley says

    Trying the today! I noticed that you didn’t have any flour on the surface you were rolling on. How was is possible? I’m waiting for mine to come out of the oven and I must have used too much flour because I can see it on the rolls.

  10. Lotte says

    Hi, I love love love this idea for lunches! I was just wondering, can you give me a better idea of how big you rolled the dough out to be? Rolling things out without dimensions makes me nervous

    • says

      Oh boy….I’ve always just eyeballed it Lotte! 😉 Maybe as big as a 9X13 in pan or a bit bigger. The rectangular shape is more important than anything. The bigger the rectangle the bigger your pizza buns will be. :)

  11. says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’m so excited to try these for my hubby’s lunches.

    I have a couple questions though. I assume the yeast you’re using is the quick rise yeast. Is that right?

    And the meat, do you pre-cook it, or will it cook through in the oven? I’m squimish about serving undercooked meat, but rubbery overcooked meat isn’t that appealing either…

  12. says

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  13. ErinCF says

    Yum!! Made these for our lunch at home today. Made then with 100% whole wheat and used a veggie loaded tomatoe sauce (basically pureed spaghetti sauce) with some extra basil and oregano. Very delicious I look forward to adding these to the lunchbox rotation.

  14. Deb says

    Made the Pizza Buns today to feed my 9 year old & his friend as an after school snack. OMG, the boys just gobbled them up! Kid Tested & Approved! I am so excited and wondering what other combinations I could use! THANK YOU! I am a little apprehensive about freezing them for his school lunches because his lunch period is at 11 am (school begins at 8:15 am) and I am not sure if they will be defrosted in time.

  15. Audrey says

    Love the pizza bun idea! I would add though that it takes a long time, plan on the entire evening, but the good part is it will cover several lunches over time. I would suggest refrigerating dough a few minutes before rolling and flouring the surface to avoid sticky dough. Mine was too warm on the first third, too thin, and they would not stand up or form a round bun shape. After learning that lesson, it was better. I also did not roll dough as thin, used less toppings and rolled with a slight pick up method to keep toppings from pushing to edge. I then cut them nearly an inch and a half thick to help them stand up. Looking forward to these and hoping next time with these adjustments they will look like yours! Yours are beautiful!

  16. Dorothy says

    Thank you so much! Have made this a number of times and kids go ga-ga over them, fresh from the oven and frozen for lunch the next day. Both work beautifully and have made last minute lunch-making a breeze! Especially if combined with previously frozen mini-muffins. 😉

  17. Cindy says

    Hi there,

    Your blog is gorgeous. I am visiting today for the first time and my rolls are rising as my oven preheats! My question is, what size of pans do you fill for one recipe? I see in the one photo you had 3 glass pans, are you doubling the recipe? How thick do you slice the rolls?

  18. Jen says

    I tried these today but had a bit of a struggle with knowing the size! In the end I had made them too tall, say about 2.5 inches and they took forever to cook. I ended up having to take them out of the pan, turn them upside-down onto a baking tray and bake for a little longer just to get the bottom cooked.
    Anyway after all that they were DELISCIOUS!!!! I will definitely make them again but now I know that the three balls of dough should give me roughly 48 – 56 scrolls instead of 24. (Is there anyway to make an amendment to your original post to give an idea as to how big you roll your dough and what size roughly you cut them into? Would have saved me a lot of time :) thanks for the recipe

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