Why should kids have all the fun? Deep dish pizza cupcakes are for everyone

Best of all? You only need 5 ingredients and 10 minutes to prep this cozy recipe

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published April 7, 2023 4:30PM (EDT)

Deep dish cupcake pizza (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Deep dish cupcake pizza (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

In "Quick & Dirty," Salon Food's Mary Elizabeth Williams serves up simplified recipes and shortcuts for exhausted cooks just like you — because quick and dirty should still be delicious.

I've always bristled at the notion of "kid-friendly" food. It isn't because I raised my own daughters on truffles and raw oysters. Like everybody else, they grew up on chicken nuggets and Kraft Mac & Cheese. It's the idea that certain foods are inherently juvenile which just seems silly.

When my kids were little, I would serve Sabrett pigs in a blanket and Velveeta queso at their birthday parties, and it was always the parents who demolished them first. Grownups deserve fun food, too.

I realized this last week when I was in an enormous suburban supermarket with animatronic singing bananas and the biggest, most tempting frozen foods section I had ever seen in my life. It was there that I became the last person in America to discover pizza cupcakes. I truly had no idea that little pizzas had progressed past the English muffin versions of my youth. Let me tell you: It was a revelation.

Pillowy, cheesy bite-sized pizza isn't officially a kid food, though the toddler I saw having a meltdown at Stew Leonard's made a compelling case for the treat's intended fan base. However, when I began researching how to create pizza cupcakes at home, that onerous phrase "kid-friendly" was never far behind. With my youngest away in college, I wanted pizza cupcakes just for me.

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I first considered making my own pizza cupcakes as a sort of stuffed popover, perhaps with an easy flatbread dough. Most of the recipes I found, however, called for canned biscuit or crescent dough. In the end, I decided this was one of those situations where store-bought biscuit dough couldn't possibly be improved upon. Why make life harder than it has to be?

While pepperoni and regular mozzarella are classics for a reason, I've decided here to up the glamour ever so slightly with bocconcini and smoky prosciutto. Consider it the culinary equivalent of a tucked-in shirt. You can, of course, go in any direction you prefer here. And while these would be a big hit passed around at your next party, they're equally suitable to enjoy while sitting around in your pajamas watching cartoons — as long as you save just enough room for a Snack Pack afterward.

* * *

Inspired by Bake Me Some Sugar and Eating on a Dime

Deep Dish Pizza Cupcakes
 8 servings
Prep Time
 10 minutes 
Cook Time
 10-12 minutes


  • 1 tube store-bought biscuit dough 
  • 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce for pasta or pizza
  • 8 mini mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
  • 4 slices prosciutto, cut lengthwise in half 
  • Your favorite jarred pesto



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and oil your muffin tin.

  2. Separate your biscuit dough into 8 individual portions. Add 1 to each muffin tin cup until you have used all of the dough.

  3. Using a spoon or your fingers, push the dough up and down along the inner walls of the cups. (This won't be precise.)

  4. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of sauce onto the dough. Nest the cheese in the sauce, then roll up the prosciutto and place it on top. Finally, spoon a dot of pesto on top.

  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden and baked through.

Cook's Notes

You may customize this recipe to your heart's content. Reach for shredded mozzarella if you prefer, omit the meat if meat isn't your thing or even add your favorite vegetables. Make this entirely your own because you're worth it.

Salon Food writes about stuff we think you'll like. While our editorial team independently selected these products, Salon has affiliate partnerships, so making a purchase through our links may earn us a commission.

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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Baking Deep Dish Pizza Food Mozzarella Pizza Pizza Muffins Prosciutto Quick & Dirty Recipe