Today, it’s time to enjoy some pizza in another form: spicy pepperoni pinwheels, friends!

My pepperoni bread recipe is delicious, but these portion controlled beauties are just as tasty, not hard to make, and are a real crowd pleaser.

Roll up your pepperoni with your favorite pizza sauce and mozzarella in homemade dough spiked with garlic and Italian herbs. So good, y’all!

For ease of browsing, here are all of my appetizers in one place. Thanks for stopping by!

Pizza pinwheels on a plate with marinara for dipping.

Why This Recipe Works

With homemade pizza dough flavored with Italian herbs and garlic, you get double the pizza flavor.

This dough is also more tender than standard pizza dough. This means when you take a bite, you get a bite and not a jagged tear.

With flat, standard pizza, this isn’t really an issue. You want some chew and some “bite back” from such a thin layer of dough.

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But when rolled into a pinwheel, it becomes a fight to take a bite when the dough springs back. So tender is the way to go.

How To Make Them

These are not hard to make at all, but it is a bit of a process. I’ll walk you through it.

First up, indredients:


Here’s what you’ll need.

Collage of ingredients for making my spicy pepperoni pinwheels recipe.
  • water: room temperature water is fine here
  • olive oil: softens the gluten and helps carry flavor
  • sugar: gives the yeast something to munch on to get started
  • salt: controls yeast growth and strengthens the crumb. Plus adds flavor. Salt is imperative, especially in bread
  • garlic powder: adds flavor. You can sub 1 clove finely minced fresh garlic or 1:1 granulated garlic for the garlic powder
  • Italian herbs: Reinforces the “pizza flavor profile.” If you have , you can use it here as well
  • bread flour: sub a higher protein all-purpose flour (like King Arthur), but you may need to cut back on the liquid just a bit
  • yeast: use instant yeast here so you can skip the proofing step. If all you have is active dry yeast, activate it with a pinch of the sugar and 2 oz (1/4 cup) of the water from the recipe and then pour it over the flour once all the rest of the ingredients are in your mixer.


Making the dough is easy.

Just add everything to your mixer bowl in the order specified in the recipe.

The reason the salt goes in with the wet ingredients and the yeast goes on top of the flour is to keep the yeast and salt separated until mixing begins and disperses all the ingredients.

Concentrated salt will kill yeast, so in the words of Living Colour, you gotta keep ’em separated.

Once you have your dough and it has risen once:

  1. Divide dough into 12 pieces
  2. Roll each into a long, thin rectangle
  3. Add a little pizza sauce
  4. Generously shingle on pepperoni
  5. Sprinkle a little mozzarella on the pepperoni
  6. Roll up jelly roll-style
  7. Place each pinwheel into a greased cavity in your muffin tin
  8. Let rise
  9. Bake
  10. Devour

Tips for Success

3 spicy pepperoni pinwheels on a plate ready for serving.

Make sure to grease (or pan spray) your muffin tin so your pinwheels don’t stick.

Use a very light hand with flouring your surface when you roll these out. You don’t want to make them tough with too much flour.

To be 100% sure, don’t use flour at all.

Instead, spray your surface with pan spray. The dough won’t stick, and you won’t be tempted to add additional flour.

You can use store-bought pizza dough if you prefer, although you’ll miss out on the extra flavor in the homemade dough.

Q & A

A basket of spicy pinwheel appetizers with marinara for dipping.

I’ve put together some answers to questions you may have about making this pepperoni pinwheel recipe.

Can I make these gluten free?

I am not a gluten free baker, but I know you can get pre-made gluten free pizza dough. You can certainly use that as your base. And here’s a recipe to make your own gluten-free pizza dough.

What if I don’t have muffin tins? Can I bake this as One Big Thing?

You could absolutely roll out the whole piece of dough into a rectangle, layer on pizza sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella, roll it up and bake it. Then slice it to serve. In that case. you’ll have made a pepperoni strombini. If you go this route, be sure to cut slits down through the dough and into the filling so it doesn’t explode in the oven as all the gases expand.

How long will these keep?

Keep them in a covered container at room temperature for no more than a day. Rewarm them to serve.

Can I freeze these?

Once you’ve baked and cooled them, you can freeze them if you like. The recipe only makes 12, though, so I think you should be able to polish them off in a day or two. If you must freeze them, once completely cool, place them in a freezer bag, and press out as much air as possible before sealing them. To thaw, allow to sit at room temperature and then reheat in the oven at 350F until hot.

Any shortcuts?

Definitely. Start with store bought pizza dough if you’d like. You could even use crescent rolls. Do sprinkle some garlic powder and Italian seasoning on the dough and roll it in to really amp up the flavor. You can also use ready made pizza sauce if you don’t want to make your own. Use preshredded mozzarella rather than dicing or shredding your own.

Any ways to vary this?

To get the “flower” effect, you really need thin, round slices of some sort of cured meat, but it doesn’t need to be pepperoni. Use soppressata or salami. If you don’t care about the flower effect, use finely crumbled sausage or any of your favorite pizza filling. Make sure to either slice them thinly or dice them up small so you still get a nice roll. Instead of pizza sauce, vodka sauce would be a really nice substitution.

A Note About Measurements

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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT
5 golden stars for rating recipes

Spicy Pepperoni Pinwheels Recipe | Progressive Eats

Jennifer Field
These spicy pepperoni pinwheels are easy to make and really delicious. A fun twist for pizza night or any night! Please note that prep time doesn’t include the total of about 2 hours and 15 minutes of rising time.
5 from 3 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Time for Making Dough and Rising 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Italian-ish
Servings 12
Calories 203 kcal


For the Dough

  • 4.25 oz room temperature water
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian herb blend (your favorite)
  • 7.4 oz bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast

For the Spicy Pepperoni Pinwheels

  • All the dough
  • about 100 slices your favorite spicy pepperoni
  • 4 Tablespoons your favorite marinara or pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought) plus more for dipping
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh mozzarella chopped in very small pieces (you can also use shredded part-skim mozzarella, if you prefer.)


For the Pizza Sauce

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add all the ingredients to your mixer in the order listed.
  • Turn on the mixer to low speed and mix until all the flour is incorporated.
  • Turn the speed up to medium-low to medium speed and knead until the dough is soft, smooth and very stretchy, about 10 minutes. The dough should completely clear the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Form the dough into a ball, put it back in the mixer bowl, brush it with some olive oil or spray with a bit of pan spray.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Press the gases out the dough and divide into 12 even pieces of about 1 oz each.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 9″ rope and then flatten it so you have a long, thin rectangle about 1″ tall and 9″ wide. It does not have to be perfect.
  • Spread about 1 teaspoon of marinara or pizza sauce all along the center of the strip of dough.
  • Place a whole slice of pepperoni at one end of the dough. The “bottom” of the pepperoni should be even with the bottom of the strip of dough. The top of the pepperoni should peek over the top of your dough rectangle.
  • Overlap 7-8 more slices of pepperoni by about 1/2 so you end up with a strip of dough covered by round shingles of pepperoni.
  • Scatter about 1 teaspoon of the minced up mozzarella along the bottom half of the pepperoni, then roll up the dough, jelly roll style, into a pinwheel. Place each pinwheel in the well of a muffin tin and cover with some plastic wrap.
  • Shape the rest of the pinwheels in the same fashion.
  • Spray with pan spray, cover and let rise in a warm place until just about doubled in size again, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown and gorgeous, 20-25 mins. The internal temperature should be 200F-205F.
  • Let cool for a few minutes and serve warm with extra heated marinara/pizza sauce for dipping.
  • Enjoy!

Did You Make Any Changes?


Serving: 1gCalories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 360mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g
Keyword appetizers, hot appetizers, pepperoni pinwheels, spicy Italian pinwheels
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

Delicious, right?

And very easy to eat, let me tell you!

Enjoy these spicy Italian pinwheels, friends. Take care, and have a lovely day.

basket of hot appetizers with dipping sauce

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  1. I don’t know what is wrong with me but I’ve never liked Pepperoni; it’s probably why I quickly gravitated to white pizza instead of the more traditional variety. That being said…there is no reason I couldn’t incorporate something else in the pinwheel creation; you say pepperoni and I think prosciutto! I do love they way they turned out and they would be a great summer party item.

    1. Thanks Barb! Pepperoni is one of those nostalgic things for me. The flavor reminds me of watching the player piano at Shakey’s pizza when I was a kid. I know that any cured meat would love to take pepperoni’s place in these little guys, though!

  2. Ma ma Mia!! I can imagine stuffing my face with these. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. So creative ! But then I expect no less from you. Hugs and Love

  3. 5 stars
    I am very confident to say that I know these savory treats will not disappoint! I make your pepperoni bread very often, but not often enough for my family! I will be making these very soon! Thank-you… Again!

  4. I would like at least 6… Lord, these sound yummy! Victoria would go mad for them!

    1. They really have been so much fun and outside the box, Jeanette! It was a good exercise for me–I don’t even use mine for cupcakes or muffins. They just…sit there. :/

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