So, football season is in full swing, and no doubt many of you set aside most of the day on Saturday (and/or Sunday) to watch hour-after-hour of blitzing, crashing, and craziness. And no day of football would be complete without what my husband and I call “football-watching food.” Yes, this is a very specific food group that would never, ever show up in the food pyramid! It’s greasy, crunchy, often fried, and everything health professionals warn us not to eat. But it’s oh so good!
I don’t think it can be argued that pizza is one of the top five football watching foods. I’d be interested to know by how much pizza sales increase during football season. And what’s not to love? Greasy pepperonis and gooey mozzarella cheese can make even a strong man weak in the knees. Americans have a profound love affair with this simple, yet amazingly tantalizing food!
But maybe sometimes you want to mix it up and do something a little different for your football-watching food. Maybe class it up a bit. 🙂 Anyone can order a pizza, but that doesn’t take much creativity. Enter these Parmesan Pepperoni Roll-ups. All of the deliciousness of pizza rolled into bite-sized finger food. Perfect football-watching food!
These Parmesan Pepperoni Roll-ups were inspired by one of my local pizzerias. They have a similar appetizer on their menu, but it has spinach in it. Uh, why would I want my football-watching food to include spinach? Healthy foods have no place on the football-watching food table. Let’s be real here, people!
So, for these Parmesan Pepperoni Roll-ups, I went for pepperoni and lots of it. Because, well. . . pepperoni. ‘Nuff said. Nothing pizza-like is complete without it. Spinach? As if! And I got a little crazy and filled these rolls with shredded parmesan instead of mozzarella. A nice buttery, nutty cheese with just a bit of saltiness. Not only shredded parmesan, though. Shredded parmesan cheese AND creamy parmesan sauce! Insanity! Use whatever parmesan sauce you like. I used a three-cheese cream sauce for this post, but I’ve also made these with a garlic parmesan sauce. Honestly, I like the garlic parmesan sauce better, but I know some people aren’t so much for garlic.
Just a teeny disclaimer about cutting these yummy little roll-ups. I caution against using a serrated knife to cut the pieces. It will be very messy. Use something like a pastry scraper that will make a nice clean cut. You may have to slightly reassemble some of the little rolls after cutting, but it’s all good. The other option would be to cut the strips first and then roll them individually. Maybe cleaner, but it will take more time. Whichever way you prefer. There’s no right answer!
These Parmesan Pepperoni Roll-ups are the epitome of football-watching food! They’re doughy, they’re cheesy, and the slightly spicy (and slightly greasy) addition of pepperoni (not spinach!) rounds them out (no pun intended – well maybe) perfectly. Roll one up for your games this weekend!
- 13.8 oz . can refrigerated pizza crust dough
- 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese-based pasta sauce
- 3 ounces pepperoni cut into quarters
- ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese plus additional for topping
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 13x9 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Roll out pizza crust dough on a lightly floured surface until approximately 11” x 15” in size.
Spread the pasta sauce on the dough, leaving about ½” inch around the perimeter uncovered in all directions.
Sprinkle the cut pepperoni over the surface of the pasta sauce until evenly distributed. Repeat with the 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
Roll the dough lengthwise into a log. Use a pastry scraper or similar to trim off the ends and then cleanly cut the log into 15 pieces of equal width. (Do not use a serrated knife.)
Place the individual rolls into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with additional shredded parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.