I've made my vegan pizza rolls even healthier and tastier by adding tons of veggies to them. It's a surefire way to have your pizza and make it work for--and not against--you! A vegan, soy-free, nut-free recipe.
If pizza is your undoing--it is mine--here's a way to eat it without any of the guilt and all of the fun.
My vegan pizza rolls recipe has lived on this blog for four years now, and they are an immense favorite, especially with my preteen, Jay.
Like most kids, Jay believes that pizza should be a food group he can live on and thrive, and like most moms, I disagree. These pizza rolls are a welcome compromise that make us both happy.
I made these much the way I have always made my pizza rolls, but I was excited at the idea of adding even more veggies into them after watching a Jamie Oliver video where he stuffed fresh vegetables into a "twister bread."
The veggies not only make the pizza rolls healthier, they make them much more delicious. I didn't hear any complaints from Jay. 😉
Making the dough
I used a very basic pizza dough recipe that I'll include in the instructions. You can make your own or make these rolls with storebought pizza dough.
The texture of these could vary based on what recipe you use. My recipe will make rolls that are chewy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, which is just perfect.
To make the dough, I used three cups of all purpose flour with a packet of yeast (2 ¼ tsp), water, a bit of sugar to feed the yeast, salt and a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
You will knead the dough, let it rise once for about an hour, then make the rolls and let those rise another hour. So if you're making these for lunch, get started around 9 a.m. And remember most of the time in between that and lunchtime is hands off time, when you're letting the dough rise.
Stuffing the rolls
To stuff the rolls, roll out the pizza dough into a rectangle about 18 inches by 12 inches. Slather on a pesto or marinara sauce, then add as many veggies as you can possibly get in. I will include a recipe for the vibrant sundried tomato pesto I used this time, but a marinara or basil pesto works just as well. Use this homemade vegan marinara sauce, which takes just minutes and five ingredients to make, or storebought.
On top of the pesto add about three cups of veggies. I used halved cherry tomatoes, spinach and chopped yellow and orange bell peppers. Zucchini, sweet peppers, parsley, any other quick cooking greens and veggies will work as well.
Finally, layer on some vegan cheese. This is optional, but as most kids can't imagine pizza without cheese, it helps. I used Daiya's mozzarella shreds.
Roll up the dough along the longer side, and pinch the seam to seal. Cut the long roll into nine equal pieces. Place them in a cast-iron or ovenproof skillet or baking dish sprayed with oil. A lot of my veggies fell out of the stuffing at this stage, but just pick them up and scatter them on and between the rolls. They'll look really pretty as they bake up.
The moisture from the fresh veggies also keeps the rolls from drying out, as some pizza rolls tend to do, so this idea is a certain win.
Vegan Pizza Rolls
For the pizza dough:
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 package)
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the sundried tomato pesto:
- 1 cup sundried tomatoes (packed in olive oil, preferably)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup walnuts (lightly roasted)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups vegetables (like bell peppers, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes or regular tomatoes, zucchini, baby spinach, etc. Chop into bite-sized pieces or slice)
- 4 oz vegan mozzarella shreds
- 2 cups vegan marinara sauce (instead of pesto)
Make the pizza dough:
- Place the yeast in a bowl with the sugar and 1 cup water. Whisk to mix and let it stand five minutes until frothy.
- Add the flour, mix, then add in the salt and the olive oil. Knead the dough, trickling in more water if necessary, no more than a tablespoon at a time, until you have a smooth, pliable ball of dough. Set aside to rise for an hour in an oiled bowl.
- Make the sundried tomato pesto:
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until you have a coarse paste.
Assemble the rolls:
- Spray or brush a 10-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet or a cake pan with oil.
- Roll out the pizza dough into a 16 by 12 inch rectangle. If it's too difficult to roll, cover the dough with a kitchen towel to let it relax, wait five minutes or so, and then roll it out.
- Layer the veggies over the dough, going all the way to the edges except one long seam where you will seal the dough. Scatter the mozzarella shreds, if using, over the veggies.
- With the long side of the rectangle facing you, roll the dough gently -- like you would a jelly roll, until you have a long cylinder. Press in the seam along the long side to seal.
- With a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into eight pieces. Place them in the skillet or baking pan. If veggies fall out as you lift the rolls into the pan, scatter them in the middle and over the top of the rolls. They'll look really pretty as they bake.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for an hour to rise.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the pizza rolls in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until golden. Remove, cool on a rack for five minutes, then serve by themselves or with marinara on the side
More fun recipes to make with kids:
Love these vegan pizza rolls? Check our more vegan kid-friendly recipes on Holy Cow!