Missing Gumby's pizza delivery from your college days?? This copycat Pokey Sticks (or Pokey Stix if you prefer) recipe only takes 10 minutes of hands-on prep time and is the perfect appetizer for homemade pizza night with your family. Don't forget to serve it with ranch for dipping!
College memories and Gumby's Pizza go hand in hand. Our late-night pizza orders were never complete without an order of Pokey Sticks to go with them.
When we started our Friday Night Pizza Parties at home, I asked my family to brainstorm all the different flavored toppings we could try.
My husband immediately said: "You should make homemade Pokey Stix!" and the memory made me laugh and immediately add it to the next round of pizza baking.
If you've never heard of Pokey Sticks before, they are a garlic butter cheesy breadstick made out of pizza dough.
The pizza dough is rolled out like a regular pizza but then topped with the garlic-butter mixture and shredded mozzarella cheese. Once baked, it is cut into long, skinny rectangular pieces instead of the traditional triangle-shaped pizza slices.
Their unique shape makes them the perfect dunkers for a bowl of warm marinara sauce or a serving of ranch dressing.
Why This Recipe Works:
- We start with our favorite homemade bread maker pizza dough which makes the perfect amount for 1 pizza and 1 pokey sticks. Just add a large salad and you've got your whole dinner ready to go.
- The breadsticks bake in less than 15 minutes and are the perfect appetizer while your regular pizza is baking.
- They are perfect for picky eaters who don't enjoy traditional pizza toppings.
What You Need to Make This:
The ingredients for this copycat recipe are very simple:
- 1 batch of pizza dough: Homemade or storebought, just use enough for 1 12-inch pizza.
- Grated parmesan: You don't need anything fancy, whatever brand you have.
- Butter, Garlic Salt, Italian/Mediterranean Herb blend, Onion powder
- Shredded mozzarella cheese: We strongly prefer a block of fresh mozzarella hand grated with a box grater. It melts much more smoothly than the pre-shedded bag.
- Provolone cheese slices: This cheese melts perfectly and adds just a little bit more flavor.
How to Make This
For pizza night, you'll want to preheat your oven to 450°F with a pizza stone in the center of the oven for 30 minutes.
While the oven preheats, you can prepare your pokey sticks:
Add the melted butter, parmesan cheese, and seasonings to a bowl and stir them to combine and make a thickened garlic-butter paste.
Roll out the pizza dough and brush the outer edge with a drizzle of olive oil. Need more help? Read my tips on how to roll pizza dough here.
Spread the garlic-butter mixture over the top of the pizza dough, stopping at the edge where the olive oil is.
Grate 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle it over the garlic butter sauce.
Then, tear up 1 or 2 slices of provolone cheese and tuck them into the gaps all over the top of the pizza.
Bake your breadsticks in the oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
For more help, be sure to read my tips for how to get your pizza in and out of the oven here.
How to Cut the Pokey Sticks Shape
The main difference between pokey sticks and a white pizza is the shape the finished pie is cut for serving.
- Cut the pizza in half down the center.
- Rotate the pie a quarter turn and cut in half again.
- Using the center cuts as your guide, cut the pizza into long, skinny rectagular pieces about 1.5-inch thick.
Pokey sticks were usually delivered with takeout cups of marinara sauce or ranch dressing for dunking.
We loved them warm and fresh. We also devoured them cold straight out of the fridge.
You can make that choice depending on the level of college memory accuracy you're trying to achieve. Ha!
While I love the canned bread products that brands like Pillsbury and Trader Joe's make, this recipe is best with a fresh pizza dough if you want that college delivery pizza texture. However, the garlic butter topping would still be absolutely delicious on whatever dough you use to top it.
The bags of pre-shredded cheeses from the grocery store are treated with a special ingredient to prevent caking in the bag. That ingredients prevents a smooth melt like the fresh mozzarella can.
White pizza is usually made without tomato sauce and has a garlic sauce base. While this recipe is very similar to a white pizza there are two key differences:
1. White pizza has significantly more cheese than this recipe.
2. White pizza is cut into triangles and this is served as a bread stick.
More Pizza Recipes You'll Love
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- ½ of our homemade pizza dough recipe or enough pizza dough for 1 12-inch pizza
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 - 2 slices Provolone cheese
- Make our favorite homemade pizza dough in your bread machine. Use half of the dough to make the pokey sticks and the other half to make another pizza of your choice.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F with a pizza stone in the center of the oven for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out by hand on a piece of parchment paper. (Tips for rolling pizza here.)
- Brush the outer edge of the dough with olive oil.
Prepare the Toppings:
- Add the butter to a microwave-safe bowl and heat on HIGH for a minute. Whisk it quickly with a fork to make sure it is fully melted.
- Add the parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and onion powder to the butter, and stir to combine with the fork. The mixture will be thick.
- Spread the garlic butter mixture over the top of the pizza dough, leave a 1-inch border around the edge.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the butter mixture.
- Tuck ripped portions of Provolone cheese over the top of the mozzarella.
Bake and Cut the Pokey Sticks:
- Slide the pokey sticks, still on the parchment paper, onto the hot pizza stone in your oven. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
- To cut the pokey sticks in their traditional shape cut the pizza in half down the center. Rotate the pizza a quarter turn and cut it in half again making 4 quarters. Using the center cut as your guide, cut the dough into 1.5-inch sticks from the middle out towards the edge.
- Traditionally pokey sticks are served with cups of marinara sauce and/or ranch dressing for dipping.
A note on pizza dough:
We love using homemade pizza dough because it is quick and easy with our bread machine. If you don't want to fuss with that on your own, most grocery stores sell premade pizza dough. Be sure to check the quantity of dough, you want a ball that makes a 12-inch pizza.