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Is there any food so universally loved as pizza is? These pizza bites are the perfect snack-sized treats that satisfy any pizza craving. They’re the ideal crowd-pleasing appetizer with just a bit more sophistication than your typical takeout — plus, they come together in just 15 minutes!
Personally, I can’t think of a better aroma to warm up my kitchen than that of a freshly-baked pizza. The combination of gooey cheese, robust tomato sauce, smokey meats, and garlic is one I wish I could put into a candle! Since I can’t do that, I’ve found that making these scrumptious mini pizzas is an excellent alternative.
This recipe comes from my great Uncle Jack, who always had them at the their house on Easter before the big feast and my mom always made them too at Christmas.
When it comes to holidays, family gatherings, or parties of any sort, I’ve learned that pizza appetizers are the best appetizers. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love a warm cheesy pizza, so these pizza bites truly are one of the best holiday appetizers.
Simple to make and packed with an enticing array of gourmet flavors in just one bite, they rival other great starters like roast beef cheddar rolls and spinach hash brown bites. Skip the frozen stuff and the takeout, and make an easy-yet-elegant snack that’ll fill everyone with comfort. Truth be told, I usually make a double batch of these and freeze half for another party or when friends drop by. Super easy for a quick nosh!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Mozzarella Cheese – The foundation of a great pizza is melty mozzarella! Use whole-milk shredded mozzarella — the higher quality, the better.
- Cheddar Cheese – Cheddar cheese also melts wonderfully, and it adds extra flavor and gooeyness to these bites. Substitute with shredded Colby, Monterey Jack, or Gouda.
- Sourdough Baguette – Sliced into bite-sized portions, this is your pizza “crust.” You may substitute with slices of focaccia, French baguette, or any other bread you like. Try to use a fairly doughy bread that can get toasty without becoming soggy from toppings.
- Tomato Sauce – Your favorite store-bought or homemade tomato sauce will do!
- Garlic Cloves – A classic pizza isn’t complete without the warm, sharp flavors of fresh garlic! Substitute with minced garlic or garlic powder if necessary.
- Green Onions – Chopped green onions add an herby, mildly oniony flavor to your pizza appetizers.
- Black Olives – A classic pizza topping that adds a salty, briny bite. Use chopped mushrooms, artichokes, anchovies, or any other olive instead!
- Salami – Chopped dry salami gives these bites a hearty, meaty, smokiness that brings everything together. Use crumbled sausage or pepperoni as a substitute.
- Green Chilies – Chopped up, these add the perfect bite of spice. Feel free to leave them off if you aren’t a fan of spicy foods.
- Sugar – A small teaspoon of sugar in the mix balances out all of the salty, robust flavors nicely. If using a sweeter tomato sauce, feel free to skip this ingredient!
HOW TO MAKE PIZZA BITES
- Slice & Chop. Prepare your ingredients by chopping veggies, slicing bread, and shredding cheese if necessary.
- Mix Up Your Ingredients. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the bread.
- Preheat Oven. Preheat to 425°F. See FAQ for air fryer instructions.
- Top The Bread. Spoon your pizza mixture atop each slice of bread, then place them on a baking sheet. To avoid cheese melting and sticking to your pan, line your pan with foil or parchment paper.
- Bake & Serve! Bake for 8 minutes or until the bread is as crispy as you like it. Serve while hot!
How Long Does It Take to Cook Mini Pizza Bites?
For these bite-sized pizza appetizers, 5 to 10 minutes in the oven is all the cook time needed. If you freeze these bites, you can simply pop them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes — no defrosting required!
What Can You Put on Pizza Besides Pepperoni?
While pepperoni is one of the tastiest, most popular pizza toppings, it certainly isn’t the only one! I prefer a pizza topped with a nicely balanced array of flavors to complement the tomato sauce and cheese.
Meats like sausage, salami, prosciutto, or ham are savory and salty toppings. Hearty veggies like olives, mushrooms, peppers, onions, or fresh tomatoes also work well.
Can You Make Mini Pizza Bites in the Air Fryer?
These bites can be cooked in the air fryer. Setting the air fryer to 350°F should toast the bread thoroughly while allowing the cheese to melt without burning.
Cook in a single layer for 5 to 6 minutes. This is a quicker cook time — you’ll have to bake in batches rather than on one large sheet, so keep this in mind!
Mini Pizza Bites
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 oz tomato sauce (or passata/puree)
- 4 oz green chilies (Hatch or Ortega)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 green onions chopped fine
- 2¼ oz black olives sliced
- 4 oz dry salami chopped
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 sourdough baguettes thinly sliced
- In a bowl add the ingredients and mix well.
- Slice the bread thin and get about 40-48 pieces total. Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Spread the pizza mixture evenly over all pieces and place on a lined sheet (See Note 1). Bake for 8 minutes and serve crispy and hot!
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.