These soft, flavorful gluten free pizza bites are ready for the oven in minutes. Add some pepperoni, or switch up the spices to suit your tastes.
Why small bites are a win for everyone
First of all, and perhaps most importantly for busy families, miniature foods make it really easy to grab them and go. Ideally, we sit down at the table together for 3 square meals a day. But hahahahahaha ? who can do that? We do the best we can, and then we give ourselves some room to be human.
Second of all, it’s a great way to get smaller kids who inevitably go through periods of pickiness, to try “just a bite or two.” It’s less of a commitment! Oh, and since these tender gluten free pizza bites are yeast-free like my yeast-free gluten free pizza dough, they’re even less of a time commitment and of course more portable.
Use a mini muffin tin or standard size muffin tin
I very much like to make them in a miniature muffin tin, but of course, they work just as well in a standard 12-cup muffin tin. The diced cheese tends to bubble up and out of the wells during baking, but once everything cools down a bit out of the oven, the bites come up and out of the wells quite easily.
You can line the muffin tins with cupcake wrappers, and you’ll get a puffier, nicer shaped pizza bite. To make sure the paper wrapper won’t stick to the baked bite, spray it very lightly with cooking oil spray before filling it.
Make ahead tips
These pizza bites freeze very nicely and then defrost well in the refrigerator or on the counter, and are pretty much guaranteed to please everyone in the family. Not to mention how ridiculously easy it is to make up a big batch, with little to no advanced planning. Sometimes, you just need an all-around “win.”
I’ve also managed to make these very allergy-friendly with a few quick substitutions (please see the ingredients and substitution section just below). I’ve made these gluten free pizza bites with my suggested dairy-free substitutes a number of times, and they aren’t as beautiful, but they taste great.
I love having these on hand in the refrigerator for an after-school snack or a supplement to pretty much any dinner. Just put them in a tightly sealed container and they won’t dry out for days
Ingredients and substitutions
These are surprisingly easy to make dairy free. I’ve made them myself using nondairy milk (unsweetened almond milk is my favorite nondairy milk for cooking and baking), replaced the mozzarella cheese with vegan mozzarella (my favorite brand is called Violife, but Daiya is also really good), and replaced the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with miniature pepperoni pieces (or chopped larger pepperoni).
You can easily replace cow’s milk with any unsweetened nondairy milk. My favorite is unsweetened almond milk for its fat content and relatively neutral flavor.
The two eggs in this recipe should be able to be replaced with two “chia eggs,” each of which is 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel. I haven’t tried it myself, though, and you’ll see flecks from the ground chia in the pale bites but it shouldn’t add much if any taste.
Garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano are my three go-to Italian-style spices. You can replace them with whatever sounds good to you, though.
I prefer to use dried spices in baking, as they’re more potent in their dried form. Feel free to sprinkle fresh spices on top of the pizza bites before serving, though.
Gluten Free Pizza Bites
2 1/4 cups (315 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese or semi-hard cheese like Asiago, diced (use vegan cheese for dairy free)
3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated or shredded, or miniature pepperoni pieces
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) milk (nondairy is fine), at room temperature*
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (optional)*
1/3 cup Tomato Sauce, plus more for dipping (optional)
*If you don’t use the optional butter, increase the milk to 1 2/3 cup (13 1/3 fluid ounces)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Using a cooking oil spray, liberally spray the wells of a 24-cup miniature muffin tin or a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, basil, garlic powder, and oregano, and whisk to combine well. Add the diced mozzarella cheese and 2/3 of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or miniature pepperoni, and toss to coat. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk, eggs, and optional butter, and mix until just combined.
Fill the prepared wells of the muffin tin nearly all the way full with the batter, and smooth the tops with wet fingers. For some more flavor, spoon about 1 teaspoon of tomato sauce on top of the batter in each well, and smooth the top a bit. Sprinkle the tops of each with a pinch of the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or a few miniature pepperoni rounds, pressing down gently to help it adhere. Place the tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake until puffed and very pale golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, except for melted cheese (about 20 minutes for the minis, 25 for the standard size ones). Allow the bites to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before removing and serving warm, with tomato sauce for dipping. Repeat with the remaining batter, tomato sauce, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or pepperoni. Store any leftovers at room temperature and refresh in the microwave or taster oven. Wrap tightly and freeze for longer storage, then defrost at room temperature and refresh.
Adapted from Rachael Ray. Recipe originally published on the blog in 2015. Recipe tweaked slightly, most photos and video new.