Homemade Pizza Buns Stuffed with Pepperoni

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Homemade pizza buns are an easy dinner idea served with a side salad but also make a fantastic party appetizer for a hungry crowd. Filled with pizza sauce, chopped pepperoni, and shredded mozzarella cheese, you can easily play with the fillings to make your own perfect party bun!

A dinner plate with two pizza buns and caesar salad.

Pizza is its own food group in our family and a weekly menu item in our rotation. It is by far my husband's favorite food.

Since we enjoy pizza so often, I love to play with different homemade pizza recipes to mix things up.

These easy homemade pizza buns are stuffed with pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, and chopped pepperoni, my husband's all-time favorite pizza toppings.

They are rolled and baked just like cinnamon rolls in the oven but the pizza dough could be made in a countertop stand mixer or your bread machine! I've included instructions for both methods to give you plenty of options.

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Why This is the Best Recipe

This is the best homemade pizza buns recipe because:

  1. Countertop OR Bread Machine: No matter how you want to prepare the dough, I've got the method instructions for you.
  2. Fun Pizza Fillings: You can use my pepperoni and cheese ingredients or swap in your own favorite pizza toppings. Be sure to see my list of easy variations at the bottom.
  3. Golden Brown and Crispy: You're going to love the texture of these baked pizza buns for sure!
  4. Healthier than Delivery Pizza: When you control the quality of the ingredients and make it from scratch, you get to avoid all those preservatives and artificial flavors.

Ingredients

The ingredient list for this recipe is surprisingly easy and short!

  • Bread Flour: If you don't have bread flour on hand, you can use all-purpose flour as a substitute but just know that your pizza buns will be a little less chewy. For the best pizza texture, you want to use the bread flour.
  • Olive Oil
  • Milk
  • Kosher Salt
  • Instant Yeast
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Italian Herb Blend
  • Garlic Salt
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Pepperoni

Prepare the Homemade Pizza Dough

If you want to make the pizza dough in your stand mixer, the method is very easy.

Heat the milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 30 seconds on HIGH. Stir carefully and heat in 10-second increments until the milk is just barely warm to the touch.

Add the milk, olive oil, salt, bread flour, and instant yeast to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Mix everything together on medium speed until the dough forms, about 3 minutes.

Scrape the paddle attachment down and replace it with the dough hook.

Continue to knead the dough until it is smooth and soft, another 3 - 5 minutes.

Brush a little bit of olive oil all over the sides of a large, clean bowl.

Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover it and allow it to rise until has doubled, 60 - 90 minutes.

Bread Machine Variation

If you have a bread machine (one of my all-time favorite kitchen appliances!), and you want to make the pizza dough there for ease, you can absolutely use my favorite bread maker pizza dough recipe here.

This recipe has been perfected for use in the bread machine. Just follow the instructions there and then finish with the assembly and baking instructions here.

Prep the Pizza Sauce

The best homemade pizza sauce is so easy you won't believe it.

Simply start with plain canned tomato sauce and add a custom mix of herbs. It will take just a minute to prep.

You'll only need 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce for this pizza bun recipe but I suggest you go ahead and make the full batch of my favorite marinara pizza sauce so you have extra leftover for dipping your pizza buns in!

Roll the Buns

Once the pizza dough is finished with the first rise, it is time to roll it out, fill it, and prepare the pizza buns.

The method for rolling is the same as instructed in my orange rolls recipe if you need a better visual guide.

Prepare a work surface for rolling the dough by sprinkling a bit of bread flour over the surface.

Gently press on the dough to deflate it and then transfer it to the working surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 12 x 18-inch rectangle.

Spread the prepared pizza sauce evenly over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the cheese and pepperoni in a nice even layer over the dough.

Starting with the long end, carefully roll the dough into a tight log.

Spread parchment paper on two large baking sheets.

Slice the dough log into 12 even pieces and place them on the prepared baking sheets, cut side up.

Gently flatten each bun to about 1-inch tall.

Cover the pans with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for 60 - 90 minutes.

This is what they looked like right before I covered them in plastic wrap:

The pizza buns have been placed on a parchment lined baking sheet to rise.

Baking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

If your pizza buns still need a little help with the second rise, you can place the pans on the stovetop. The heat of the oven warming up will help the rise along.

The dough should be nice and puffy:

The dough has risen and the pizza buns are nice and puffy.

Bake the pizza buns for 25 - 30 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.

The pizza buns are golden brown and crispy looking.

Make Ahead Tips

If you want to prep the pizza buns in advance, you can assemble them as directed and then cover them in an airtight container and refrigerate them before the second rise.

They will keep for 24 hours in the fridge.

When you want to bake them, let them rest on the counter for 90 minutes before you put them in the oven so they can complete the second rise.

Freezing Tips

These pizza buns are also freezer-friendly.

Assemble the buns as directed and place in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers so they don't stick together.

Freeze them before the second rise.

To bake them, let them thaw in the fridge overnight and then come to room temperature for 90 minutes before baking.

Variations

Pepperoni and cheese is our family's favorite flavor for pizza buns, but you could play with so many delicious variations:

  • Cheese Pizza Buns: If you've got picky eaters, this is such an easy recipe to make just-cheese. Add a little more mozzarella or consider an Italian cheese blend for more flavor.
  • Sausage and Peppers Pizza: Brown bulk sausage (hot or sweet) and add chopped onions and peppers to the pan to soften.
  • Hawaiian Pizza: Drain a can of pineapple tidbits and add chopped Canadian bacon to the filling.
  • Veggie Pizza: Make vegetarian pizza buns with a mix of chopped broccoli, mushrooms, and diced tomatoes.
  • Spinach Alfredo Pizza Buns: Use jarred or homemade Alfredo sauce instead of the pizza sauce and sprinkle chopped baby spinach and diced chicken.
  • Buffalo Chicken Pizza Buns: Use my 3-ingredient buffalo sauce and diced chicken. Crumbled blue cheese would be amazing, too.
  • Barbecue Chicken Pizza Buns: Use your favorite bbq sauce or my easy homemade bbq sauce recipe in place of the pizza sauce. Add diced chicken and cilantro.
  • Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza Buns: Use the simple ingredients from my chicken bacon ranch pizza for a creamy alternative.

Serving Suggestions

The pizza buns are on a plate next to a green salad with croutons.

If you want to serve the pizza buns for a fun dinner, just add a simple green salad and/or some raw veggies and dip. These marinated tomatoes would be a wonderful addition.

If you've got super-hungry people at your table, you could add a batch of garlic bread or our favorite cheese sticks.

📖 Recipe

A dinner plate with two pizza buns and caesar salad.

Homemade Pizza Buns

4.50 from 2 votes
These easy stuffed pizza buns are made with a homemade pizza dough and then rolled like cinnamon buns and baked in the oven with your favorite pizza toppings. The recipe features an easy dough that can be made in a stand mixer as well as my favorite bread machine pizza dough variation.
TOTAL TIME 2 hours 45 minutes
PREP TIME 20 minutes
RISING TIME 2 hours
COOK TIME 25 minutes
YIELD 12 pizza buns

Ingredients
  

For the Pizza Dough:

  • 1 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, cut into quarters

Instructions

Prepare the Dough

  • Heat the milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 30 seconds on HIGH. Stir carefully and heat in 10-second increments until the milk is just barely warm to the touch.
  • Add the milk, olive oil, salt, bread flour, and yeast to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix together on medium speed until the dough forms, about 3 minutes. Scrape the paddle attachment down and replace it with the dough hook. Continue to knead the dough until it is smooth and soft, another 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Brush a little bit of olive oil all over the sides of a large, clean bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover it and allow it to rise until has doubled, 60 - 90 minutes.

Prepare the Pizza Buns

  • Prepare a work surface for rolling the dough by sprinkling a bit of bread flour over the surface. Gently press on the dough to deflate it and then transfer it to the working surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 12 x 18-inch rectangle.
  • Stir the Italian herbs and garlic salt into the canned tomato sauce. Spread it evenly over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the cheese and pepperoni in a nice even layer over the dough.
  • Starting with the long end, carefully roll the dough into a tight log.
  • Spread parchment paper on two large baking sheets. Slice the dough log into 12 even pieces and place them on the prepared baking sheets, cut side up. Leave at least 3 inches between buns.
  • Gently flatten each bun to about 1-inch tall. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for 60 - 90 minutes. They will be nicely puffed.

Baking Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the buns for 25 - 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  • Serve warm with a cup of warm marinara for dunking if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make-Ahead Notes:

The pizza buns can be assembled up to a day in advance and stored in the fridge, covered. Allow up to 90 minutes for them to do the second rise and come to room temperature on the counter before baking.

Bread Machine Variation:

If you have a bread maker and would prefer to make the pizza dough that way, you can skip the dough part of this recipe and use my favorite bread machine pizza dough recipe instead. The rolling, filling, and baking instructions would be the same. 
COURSEPizza
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A plate of pizza buns next to a photo of the buns rising on a baking sheet.

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