Pull-Apart Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Sliders

These quick and easy pepperoni pizza sliders make a perfect game day/party food OR a delicious dinner that’s a fun spinoff from traditional pizza night!

Pull Apart Pizza Sliders {Sandwiches}

Do you do the whole Super Bowl Party thing??

I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter.

Because whether you believe in a good football party (just here for the food!!) or not, you definitely need to find a reason to get these pull-apart pepperoni pizza sliders in your life.

They are buttery, cheesy, saucy (but no soggy bread – read on!), with a very definite, yummy pizza vibe.

Pull Apart Pizza Sliders {Sandwiches}

Baked cheesy slider sandwich recipes are all over the internet these days.

You know, the epic ham/swiss version (Brian’s fave) and every other variation under the sun (I’ll admit, some I’ve seen are a leeeetle bit suspect, as in, don’t be puttin’ canned fruit in my cheesy sandwich, ok?).

I’m sure *most* of the 1,348 recipes out there are pretty great, but I couldn’t live until you and I both had a cheesy, saucy pepperoni pizza version recipe.

It’s for us.

It’s for the children.

And it totally makes sense since I love pizza like crazy.

Pull Apart Pizza Sliders {Sandwiches}

These pizza sliders can be as easy or as not-easy as you want!

Storebought rolls, jarred pizza/marinara sauce, preshredded cheese? Yep, go for it.

But you know me, I’m always going to give you a serious push to throw some homemade components in there if you have the time/desire/inner craziness like I do.

And let me hop up here on my cheese soapbox for a minute, and let you in on a secret (that’s not really a secret because I harp on it all.the.time)..

…preshredded cheese won’t melt as well as cheese you grate yourself because it’s coated in a powdery substance to prevent clumping.

So…maybe…at the very least, if you want supremely creamy, smooth, melted cheese, grate your own?

Or at least think about it. And at the end of the day, do what your heart tells you.

Pull Apart Pizza Sliders {Sandwiches}

Since we’re on tangents today (just me? hmmm), let’s also talk about the potential for soggy bread here.

That was my biggest fear when I went about experimenting with pull-apart cheesy pepperoni pizza sliders. You have to have sauce, right??

And a good, healthy amount. But that sauce can’t be all over getting my bread soggy, or else I might have a mental breakdown.

Enter the brilliance of toasting the cut sides of the rolls with a garlicky, buttery mixture before assembling.

Yeah, it’s epic.

Because not only do you create a crusty barrier that prevents the sauce soggying up everything from the bread to your overall happiness, but you also get an amped up flavor profile from the toasted garlic bread going on.

Of course, if you really do like sandwiches/bread on the softer (dare I say, soggier) side of things, go ahead and skip the toasting step and/or increase the amount of sauce.

Again, follow your heart.

And I promise I’ll try to look past your love for sogged-up bread and try to remain friends.

Pull Apart Pizza Sliders {Sandwiches}

I’ve also given some notes in the recipe below about homemade vs. storebought rolls.

Spoiler alert: these French bread rolls make a great homemade alternative.

Spoiler alert #2: life definitely goes on if you snag rolls from your grocery store bakery (the sweet Hawaiian pull-apart rolls work really well).

And finally (I swear, I’m almost done), change up those filling ingredients however you like!

Just like any good pizza, these pizza sliders are infinitely adaptable (although no canned fruit, pretty please).

Pull Apart Pizza Sliders {Sandwiches}

One Year Ago: Yum Yum Bowls with Knockoff Cafe Yumm Sauce
Two Years Ago: German Pancake {Whole Grain Option} with Butter Syrup
Three Years Ago: Amazing Romaine Salad with Light Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Four Years Ago: Roasted Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Five Years Ago: Delicious Ground Beef {or Turkey} Stroganoff

Pull-Apart Pepperoni Pizza Sliders

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Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 12 slider buns/dinner rolls/pull-apart rolls (see note)
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) pepperoni, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 cup marinara sauce (I use this easy, no-cook homemade pizza sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) mozzarella cheese, shredded (preshredded won’t melt quite as well as cheese you grate yourself)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven broiler to high and make sure an oven rack is in upper third of the oven. Line a 9X13-inch pan with parchment or foil (or you can lightly grease with cooking spray, but I like to line the pan to make cleanup easier).
  2. Stir together the butter, garlic powder, oregano and basil.
  3. Slice the slab of rolls in half (like a hamburger bun). Place each half cut side up on a large baking sheet pan, and use 1/2 of the butter mixture to brush on the cut halves.
  4. Broil until golden and toasty, 1-3 minutes (watch closely!). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Change the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. 
  5. Place the bottom half of the rolls cut side up in the prepared 9X13-inch pan. Sprinkle the pepperoni evenly on top, followed by the cooked and crumbled sausage.
  6. Drizzle or spoon the pizza sauce across the top, and then sprinkle the mozzarella over the top.
  7. Top with the other half of rolls. Brush the top of the rolls with the remaining butter mixture.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the rolls are hot and cheese is melted.
  9. Serve warm!

Notes:

Ok, let’s talk rolls for a second. If you know me, you know I have to try the homemade way. When I use homemade rolls for these pull-apart type recipes, I use these most excellent French Bread rolls. The only difference is that I press them a little bit flat before they rise so they don’t bake up quite as tall as they usually do. I also bake them in a parchment-lined 9X13-inch pan, and then I use the same pan (don’t even clean it, keep the parchment in there) to assemble the pull-apart rolls. 

However, you do NOT have to go the homemade route. Any storebought slab of rolls (that are baked together so they pull-apart) will work. The Hawaiian sweet rolls are super popular for these types of recipes. 

If you don’t mind a little sog-factor, you can skip the broiling step (and up the pizza sauce). I can’t emotionally handle soggy bread, plus I LOVE the toasty garlic bread flavor in these rolls. 

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (inspired by lots of recipes online including a spread in Food Network magazine – that’s where the toasting comes in)