Soft and deliciously stuffed with pizza toppings, these Turkey Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites are served with a marinara dipping sauce. This homemade appetizer is also kid-approved, making it the perfect family snack to share with your little ones!
If you have school-aged children, it's safe to bet that pizza is a big deal in your house. It certainly is in mine. When the discussion of Family Day snacks came up, I decided that stuffing homemade soft pretzel bites with pizza toppings was the only way to go. Enter these Turkey Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites.
Before I go into the full details of how these soft and fluffy pizza creations are made, I want to encourage you not to be intimidated by the process. This recipe comes with several steps however is incredibly simple to execute. It's so easy that children can help with certain steps (like adding the pizza toppings, for instance). Whatever work is involved, I promise that these Turkey Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites are totally worth it.
Why Turkey Pepperoni?
Why should you use turkey pepperoni instead of regular pepperoni? Simply put, compared to regular pepperoni, it's a healthier alternative.
Turkey pepperoni contains less grams of fat (1.1 grams of which are saturated). So basically, it has all of the spice and flavour of regular pepperoni minus the higher fat intake.
What You'll Need For These Turkey Stuffed Pizza Bites
The good thing about this recipe's ingredients is that you likely have most of them in your pantry.
- Instant Yeast: the use of instant yeast quickens the process. Technically speaking, the use of instant yeast would mean that you don't need to proof the yeast with warm water to prove it's alive. I opt to still include this step in the recipe to avoid issues. The particles are also smaller, which accelerates the process.
- Granulated Sugar: the sugar increases the yeast's activity.
- Warm Water: used to proof the yeast.
- Milk: I chose to use regular 2% dairy milk, however this can be swapped for whatever unflavoured milk-option you choose.
- Butter: be sure the butter is nice and soft before starting this recipe.
- Salt: I used kosher salt for this recipe.
- All-Purpose Flour: all-purpose flour offers an additional rising agent.
- Vegetable Oil: I used vegetable oil to grease my bowl, however canola oil works as well.
- Turkey Pepperoni: as mentioned above, turkey pepperoni is a healthier alternative to regular pepperoni. If you prefer the regular variety, there is no problem using it as a substitute.
- Mozzarella: I used regular mozzarella for this recipe, however if you prefer another type of cheese, go for it!
- Baking Soda: the baking soda is super important in the boiling process as it helps the pretzels remain soft during the baking process.
- Coarse Salt: I use coarse salt for sprinkling. Really, would it even be a pretzel without it?
- Marinara Sauce: for the dipping sauce, I went for a store-bought marinara sauce. Obviously, if you want to make your own, you're highly encouraged to do so! But for the sake of simplicity, I used a jar that I picked up from the store.
Soft Pretzels Are Superior
While I don't feel there is much room for debate here, I strongly believe that soft pretzels are superior to the crunchy variety. My kids won't even touch hard pretzels no matter what type of dip I pair them with. Soft pretzels are just better. This is a hill I am willing to die on.
Easier Than You Think
Do not let the long list of instructions fool you: this Turkey Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bite recipe is easier than you think. I can tell you from experience that pretzel dough is much easier to work with than bread, and it's essentially fool proof so long as you follow the steps listed.
Do you have children in the house? Include them in the making of this recipe! There are several steps that they can help with such as rolling the dough into balls, rolling out the balls, adding the pizza toppings and sprinkling the boiled balls with coarse salt.
Why Boil Them?
The process of boiling the pretzel bites prior to baking them is an important step. The baking soda added to the water keeps the pretzels soft during baking. Boiling the bites also creates a nice chewy interior to the pretzels, all while forming a crispy exterior. Do not skip this step!
This post is in paid partnership with Instant Brands and ThinkTurkey. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the businesses and brands that make Cashmere & Cocktails possible!
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Turkey Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites
- 1 Air Fryer This recipe uses an air fryer, however recipe can be made in a convection oven. See recipe notes for more information.
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Instant Yeast
- 2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup Warm Water
- 2 Tbsp Milk
- 3 tablespoon Butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 48 coins Turkey Pepperoni
- ½ cup Mozzarella, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup Baking Soda
- 1 tablespoon Coarse Salt
- 1 cup Marinara Sauce, store-bought
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, and cup of warm water. Using the dough hook, stir and let mixture stand for 5 minutes (until mixture starts to foam).
- Add the melted butter and milk to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed with the dough hook until combined.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt and all-purpose flour to the mixture. Using the dough hook, knead the dough for 8-10 minutes.
- Lightly oil the bottom of the Instant Pot insert. Place the dough in the insert, then flip it so the top of the dough is also lightly oiled. Using the sous vide setting, set the Instant Pot Duo-Crisp and Air Fryer to 90°F. Place the lid on top and leave the dough to rise for 30 to 45 minutes. More on that in a minute. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has sufficiently risen, removed it from the Instant Pot Duo-Crisp and Air Fryer and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Divided the dough into 24 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.
- Roll out each ball with a rolling pin. Add 2 turkey pepperonis and 1 cube of mozzarella to the center of the rolled-out ball. Fold each corner of the dough over the toppings and pinch firmly to seal. Repeat this step until all the dough balls have been stuffed.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer stuffed balls onto the baking sheet and cover with a warm, damp towel for 10 minutes.
- In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Once boiling, carefully add the baking soda.
- Using a slotted spoon, drop the dough balls into the boiling water for 30 seconds each. Place the dough balls back onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Using the air fryer function, preheat Instant Pot Duo-Crisp and Air Fryer to 350°F.
- Add ⅓ of the poached dough balls to the air fryer basket. Put the air fryer lid in place and air fry for 12 minutes. *Do not turn stuffed pretzel balls halfway.
- Repeat this step until all the Turkey Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Bites are cooked.
- Serve warm with a side of marinara sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
- For step 4, using oven's proof setting, preheat to 75°F. Place dough in a greased, oven-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. On the bottom rack, place a large baking dish with 1-2 inches of water. Place bowl on the middle rack of oven for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
- For step 10, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- For step 11, adjust baking time to 15-17 minutes.
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