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Sep 10, 2016

Mini Pizza Bites {dairy + gluten free}

Easy, kid-friendly, on the go foods are one of my favorite things. There are so many times when we have to grab dinner in a hurry in order to get to one activity or another on time. Our freezer is usually stocked full of corn dogs, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, etc. as convenience foods for those nights when I don't want to cook and our boys can just make themselves something. But I don't like to resort to that too often if I can help it.

If I can come up with a recipe that doubles as a quick weeknight dinner and something I can pack for school lunches, it's perfect for us. These mini pizza bites are just the ticket. I've been wanting to experiment with this idea for awhile and I finally got the chance! I had the opportunity to try out GF Jules Pizza Crust Mix, and it is fantastic! It does take a bit of time to mix together and then let the dough rise, but it is so, so worth it.

Mini Pizza Bites {dairy + gluten free}

  • 1 package GF Jules Pizza Crust Mix (or other pizza dough as desired)
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce 
Garlic Oil:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dairy-free grated parmesan style topping (such as Go Veggies Foods brand vegan parm)
Optional additions:
  • pepperoni slices
  • dairy-free parmesan shreds or other dairy-free cheese alternative
  • any other pizza toppings you like
Prepare the pizza dough as directed on the package. I use the GF Jules Pizza Crust Mix and prepare as directed up until the point of rising the dough. At this point, I place the mixed dough onto a cookie sheet that's been covered with a piece of foil brushed with olive oil. I then allow the whole "ball" of dough to rise according to the package instructions, rather than forming it into a large crust shape.

Once the pizza dough has risen, divide it into balls. You will want 12 golf-ball sized pieces of dough, and another 12 that are roughly half that size.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press each of the golf-ball sized pieces of dough into the bottom of each well to form a mini crust. Spread a spoonful of marinara sauce over each crust and top with pepperoni slices, dairy-free cheese shreds, or any other pizza toppings you like. 

With the smaller pieces of dough, flatten each one slightly and lay it over the top of each mini pizza. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 8 minutes. Remove muffin pan from oven. 

In a small bowl, combine all of the garlic oil ingredients and spoon over the top of each mini pizza. Return the pan to the oven and bake 8 minutes more. Remove from oven once they are lightly golden brown and allow to cool slightly.

Serve warm with extra marinara sauce for dipping. Extras can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. To pack for school lunches, warm the desired number of pizza bites in the oven and place in a thermos to keep warm. My little one even likes these cold, so I don't worry too much about keeping them warm!

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