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 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 package)
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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!
I just want to let you know that I tried this today and absolutely loved it. I have been a vegan for almost 2 months and never knew this stuff could taste so good. While I still have cravings for a good steak once in a while, recipes like this keep me from cheating so thanks so much :).
David, so glad you tried it!
I think this will be my next bread experiment after the wonderful pull apart rolls. I do have some store brought pizza dough at the moment. Do you know approximately how much I'd need for this recipe?
Hi Krithika, it depends on the amount of pizza dough you have-- hard to advise without knowing that. You can surmise it would be the amount needed for a large thin crust pizza.
Hi Vaishali how are you? First of all, sending over my warmest wishes for the latest additions to your family (or should I say babies 🙂 It is heart warming to see this little dog getting all the love he deserves after what he has been through and God Bless You Folks for this 🙂 Regarding the pizza rolls....I love the recipe, can I make this in advance and pack it for school lunch...Will it stay soft for a long time? I am sure my kids will love this. Take care dear. My hugs to Jay 🙂
Hi Gita, you can make them in advance. Refrigerate them, then pop them in the oven for a few minutes to freshen them up. They should remain soft when your kids open their lunchbox. 🙂 Thanks for your kid words on Billy and Lily.
Looks delicious! Just a quick question: can just plain all-purpose flour be used in place of bread flour?
Hi Ashleigh, yes, you can use all purpose but your crust will be a little chewier. Bread flour makes it crisper.
Vaishali - congratulations on your family bringing Billy and Lily into your home. They are both beautiful and so in need of a loving home. I loved your comments regarding rescue especially "What it boils down to, for me, is this: if we truly want to help animals, we need to think more about the animals and what they need, and less about the politics of where they came from..." My dream some day is to have a home and yard big enough to adopt and foster as many dogs as the state will allow me. I'd like to give them all a safe, kind, loving home. The sad reality is that there are as many problems with housing all homeless animals in no kill shelters and extreme over crowding as there is with euthanasia. Is it better to keep multiple dogs in the same cages, many of them spending years of their lives in a shelter without the love and security of a home? Many shelters are without the funding to care and feed properly for the never ending flow of animals through their doors. As much as I love animals, I often believe it may be simply better to release these poor animal from what is essentially a lifetime prison sentence by humanely euthanizing them. Both are horrible choices but what is best for the animals? It would be best not to have so many breeders pumping out designer, full breed dogs while there are SO many looking for homes. It would be best if we could pass laws in this country that would allow families who care for 'dangerous breed dogs' to keep their beloved (mostly) pit bulls at home with them instead of being forced to surrender their animals to shelters. It would be best to have better spay/neuter programs to stop this overcrowding in the first place, particularly among cats. Pet lovers are wonderful people and we do ourselves and our animals a better service by standing together rather than judging each other. We should stand together to solve these problems. I do not like that PETA finds itself in the position to have to put so many dogs down, but I fully support all the wonderful things this organization does worldwide. We are a better world because of PETA. We are better for loving animals. ~Julie Burge - Ohio
Thanks for your comments, Julie. I agree that it is very important we animal advocates work together and stand together.
Great recipe, great response too. I'm no longer surprised but still always puzzled when animal advocates turn their scrutiny on each other. Imagine how much more effective we could be if we all focused on the change we're trying to make in the outside world instead of critiquing each other?
Hi Alan, agreed!
This is so interesting! I've been following your site from Arkansas, but my husband and I were also Washington Humane Society, Washington DC fosterers and home checkers -- late 90s to 2001. Glad to hear things are better now for the animals there now! We were not vegan then, but we have been for 6 years now. As the primary cook in our family, I have SO marveled at your wonderful recipes and beautiful pictures -- and how it's all free! You're just amazing, and I love the bits of your life interspersed with the recipes. Congratulations on the new fur babies!
I've followed your site (and recommended it to others) for a couple of years now, but this is my first comment. It's wonderful to know there's another Washington Humane Society former foster family turned vegan. And I have been long overdue in expressing my appreciate for your site. You're a genius who gives it away for free. Thanks for all you do!
Hi Kelly, how lovely to hear from someone else who fostered for WHS. All of our dogs and cats, before Billy and Lily, came from there, and each one was magnificent! Thanks for your kind words about the blog and me-- you are lovely. 🙂
You are a kind and generous soul, thank you for all that you do! I always look forward to your posts and the goodness of humanity within them.
Thanks for your kind words, Kimberly.