This cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread is a crowd-pleasing appetizer. Use ready-made pizza dough from the grocery store and you’ll have this on the table in a snap!
I’m squeezing in a savory bake this week because this one was such a winner from the test kitchen. I simply could not wait to share. Plus, it’s something that a deserving dad might love for Father’s Day on Sunday. But honestly, I’d make it for no other reason than it’s totally perfect for snacking. Each little nugget of pizza dough holds melty mozzarella cheese and a single pepperoni slice. Get yourself some marinara for dipping and you’re all set!
You could make your own pizza dough for this (I like this one) but ready-made refrigerated or frozen pizza dough is a terrific shortcut. You’ll need 2 lbs. of dough, so pick up a couple of bags from grocery store. Don’t go for anything in a can – we’re looking for true yeasty-stretchy pizza dough for this recipe.
Roll & shape.
Roll out the dough to a rough 13×9-inch rectangle. Cold dough will want to snap back when you roll it, but don’t let it boss you around! You’re the boss of it. Pick it up and stretch it to size with your hands. See the video at the end of this post for a few visual cues.
Use a pizza wheel to cut the dough into 1 1/2- inch x 2-inch squares. It doesn’t have to be exact because the dough can stretch if needed. It should be large enough to fit a standard size pepperoni slice on a square.
Cube up a block of mozzarella cheese to about 1/2-inch square pieces. Place a pepperoni and a cheese cube on top of a dough square pinch the dough around it tightly. Repeat, repeat, repeat! This part went faster than I expected. There are a lot of dough squares to fill, but the end result is totally worth it!
Dress it up!
Mix up some olive oil, Italian herbs, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl, then toss in the filled dough pieces. Mix ’em around to make sure they’re coated on all sides.
Layer the pieces in a lightly greased bundt pan. When the pan is all filled up, lightly tamp them down with your fingers. Into the oven it goes!
After about 5-10 minutes, turn the bread out onto a large plate. Add your favorite marinara sauce and start dipping! The bowl of sauce in the center is pretty, but this bread gets eaten so fast it didn’t stay put for very long! As a result, you may prefer it on the side.
I opted for a simple sprinkle of Italian flatleaf parsley on this pepperoni pizza monkey bread, but you could load it up with more mozzarella, parmesan, black olives, – heck, anything! Pieces can be pulled off with appetizer picks, or pulled apart with fingers.
This ended up as our lunch instead of being an appetizer. One pan will feed about 6 very hungry adults, or 10-12 as a party appetizer. I imagine this would be perfect as a game day snack, or even make-ahead tailgate party food. Actually, I can’t think of an occasion that I wouldn’t make this for. I kind of want it for my birthday next month. Enjoy!
Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread
This cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread is a true crowd-pleasing appetizer. Use ready-made pizza dough from the grocery store deli and you’ll have this on the table in a snap!
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
- 2 lb. frozen or refrigerated pizza dough thawed if frozen
- 5 oz. package pepperoni slices
- 8 oz. block low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese cubed to 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf Italian parsley optional
- Marinara sauce for serving
Lightly coat a 10 cup bundt pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Set aside.
On a floured work surface, roll out 1 lb. of pizza dough using a rolling pin to roughly a 13×9 –inch rectangle. Cold dough will want to snap back, so pick up the dough and stretch it with your hands, working it to form the rectangle. Or, let the dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to loosen.
Cut the rectangle using a pizza wheel or large chef’s knife into 1 1/2-inch x 2-inch squares (or thereabouts).
Place a single pepperoni and a single cheese cube on top of dough square. Fold (and stretch if needed) the dough edges inward and pinch the edges together tightly. Repeat with remaining dough squares.
Toss the stuffed dough pieces in the olive oil mixture and layer into the bundt pan.
Repeat the rolling/shaping, cutting, and filling with the second 1 lb. pizza dough. Toss in the remaining olive oil mixture and transfer the pieces to the bundt pan. Tamp the pieces down gently with your fingertips.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Let the bread stand in the pan at room temperature while the oven preheats.
Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, or until it is well-puffed, fragrant, and golden brown on top. Let the bread cool in the pan 5-10 minutes before turning it out onto a large serving plate. Serve with marinara sauce on the side.
If you don’t have a bottle of Italian seasoning on hand, you can make your own blend using 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme. This will equal the 2 tablespoons needed for this recipe.