This post was updated in February 2016.
If you ever find yourself in a Southern Indiana grocery store and see a young couple standing in the frozen novelties section shouting, “I LOVE TOTINO’S PIZZA ROLLS” at one another, stop and introduce yourself because that would be me and my handsome husband.
*waves* Hi, we’re dorks.
It all comes from this commercial, which is all kinds of ridiculous and hilarious. And that means it is fair game to turn into a Johnston Household Inside Joke. We scream “I LOVE TOTINO’S PIZZA ROLLS” way more than I feel comfortable admitting. Some of my very best slumber parties in middle school were punctuated by the burn of too-hot pizza roll filling on my tongue. Pizza Rolls are little deep-fried nostalgia packets. Delicious and sentimental!
Unfortunately, Totino’s Pizza Rolls don’t love me (or more accurately, my body). They are so delicious and junkfooderific, but my body just doesn’t seem to do so well with processed foods like these anymore. Even if my mind believes everything in moderation (including the occasional pizza roll dinner), my body doesn’t seem to want to get on board. So alas, I made my own. Are they exactly the same? No. Do they squash my nostalgia-driven pizza roll cravings? Absolutely!
When I first decided to try my hand at my own pizza rolls, I struggled with trying to figure out how to do the crust/pocket/dough in a way that was delicious, healthy and efficient. I wasn’t about to make my own dough and roll out 40,000 mini squares. Inspiration finally struck when I made baked mozzarella sticks—wonton wrappers! PERFECT.
Wonton wrappers are typically used when frying, but they also bake up beautifully. They get crispy and golden and hold onto filling like a champ. My grocery store (the one where you’ll find me screaming about pizza rolls) sells them in the natural foods cooler near the tofu and other meat substitutes.
For the filling, you can go in whatever direction makes you happy. I’ve made these without meat, and they are quite tasty, but my absolute favorite way to make them is supreme style with sausage, mushrooms, peppers, and diced pepperoni. A word of warning, if you do go the supreme route, you’re going to result in some greasy pizza rolls. Just dab the grease off with a paper towel and happily go on with your day. Even with the homemade tweaks, I still wouldn’t consider these an everyday healthy option. Everything in moderation!
And yes, we definitely started shouting, “I LOVE JOHNSTON’S PIZZA ROLLS” while consuming these. It’s our bit. We’re gonna go with it. Take it on the road. We’ll make millions!