These pesto mozzarella stuffed dough balls make a perfect appetiser or party snack. They're easy to make with pizza dough and taste amazing drizzled with garlic and herb butter!
Note: This post was first published in 2016, I have now updated the photos and text to make it even more helpful to you when making these incredible stuffed dough balls!
Sometimes we just want a whole lot of carbs. Like even more than normal. A Friday night a few weeks ago was one of those occasions. We considered all the usual carb options.
Dough balls remind me of going to Pizza Express when I was younger. You UK peeps know the ones?
When Pizza Express used to standardly always have a buy one get one free deal on their main courses. Then of course you'd have a whole load of these doughy treats to kick everything off. So warm and dipped in that garlic butter, yes!
But, let's be honest, those dough balls were lacking a little something in the shape of cheese and pesto. So we decided to fix that by stuffing ours with red pesto and mozzarella.
And then smothering them in garlic butter before and after baking. Yes, that's right, garlic butter. You're welcome.
Can I tell you a secret? We ate these and THEN we ate lasagna. Slightly ridiculous.
Will and I are just a terrible influence on each other and, on the whole, I always always think I can eat more than I actually can. It's an annoying problem which leads to a lot of half eaten plates of food.
Why we love these dough balls:
- They make a great appetiser or party snack because they’re pretty much guaranteed to be a hit with everyone
- They’re full of amazing cheese and pesto flavour
- They’re so easy to make and you can use ready-made pizza dough if you don’t have time to make your own
- They’re suitable for vegetarians
- They can easily be changed according to what you like. Fancy a different type of cheese? Go ahead. Prefer green pesto to red? That will still work!
Pesto Mozzarella Stuffed Dough Balls Ingredients:
- Pizza Dough: We love to make a double batch of pizza dough every time so that we always have some in the freezer. If you want to make your own then you can use the recipe in this sriracha chicken bacon ranch pizza post, otherwise store bought will be fine
- Mozzarella: The perfect melty, stretchy cheese
- Pesto: We used red pesto which adds a delicious tomato flavour but they would be just as good with classic green pesto. Store bought or homemade will work equally well
- Garlic: For the garlic butter added before and after cooking
- Butter: I prefer to use unsalted so that you can control how much salt you'd like to add
- Herbs: We added a little chopped parsley for a delicious herby garlic butter
How do you make dough balls?
- Cut your pizza dough: Heat the oven then cut your pizza dough into 12 equal pieces.
- Make your dough balls: Flatten each piece of dough and add a spoonful of pesto and a cube of mozzarella to the middle of the circle. Wrap the dough around the pesto and mozzarella and shape into balls.
- Bake: Place each dough ball on a lined baking sheet. Melt half the butter and garlic together and brush the dough balls with the garlic butter. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Brush with garlic butter and serve: Melt the remaining garlic butter and brush over before serving.
Equipment you need to make this recipe...
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- Try different flavours: Instead of pesto try using a different sauce, chipotle paste would work really well or a tomato marinara style sauce
- Use a different cheese: If you don't want to use mozzarella you could try any melting cheese, cheddar would be good
- Make them sweet: Try adding a square of chocolate or a scoop of nutella to the middle of the dough instead of cheese and pesto, sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving
Want more? Try these other recipes using pizza dough!
- Quick and Easy Focaccia
- Leftover Pulled Pork Pizza with Kale
- Taco Pizza Rolls
- Roasted Butternut Squash & Pancetta Pizza with Rocket
- Shrimp and Arugula Pizza
- Rocket Pesto Chicken Skillet Pizza
Pesto Mozzarella Stuffed Dough Balls
- 1 quantity Pizza Dough (see notes)
- 100 g Mozzarella in 8 cubes
- 2 tablespoon Red Pesto
- 4 cloves Garlic crushed
- 4 tablespoon Butter melted
- Small bunch Parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan oven). Split the pizza dough into 8 balls. Flatten each one and place a little red pesto and a cube of mozzarella in the middle. Fold the dough around it and roll into a ball.
- Place each dough ball on a baking tray covered in grease proof paper. Mix half the garlic and melted butter together and brush each dough ball with the mixture. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, checking for doneness from 15 minutes onwards. Mix the rest of the butter and garlic with the parsley and drizzle over the dough balls before serving.
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