Yeah, so back to school… that’s where we are now, huh? Summer’s over and now we’re all trying to remember what structure feels like. And I think as parents, we all struggle with making sure our kids eat healthy food, especially when they’re back in school. But I also like to make sure my kids have fun with their school lunches (mine are 7 and 4). And that can be a challenge. I like them to have things that they enjoy eating, but are also things that I’m comfortable with them eating.
Plus, we all get in lunchbox ruts from time to time, right? This should help that…
Pizza is just one of those universally loved foods, especially for kids. But it can be a little tricky to cut down on the mess of lunchbox pizza, or at least it is for my kids. Mine have come home covered in sauce. Red shirt stains are not the most fun thing to see on your child when you pick them up from school. So I created this recipe that allows my kids to enjoy their pizza…but in a compact and fun, unique way. They’re perfect for school lunch boxes! (Also awesome for parties if you make them smaller…just sayin’.) Bonus? They’re easier and quicker to make than pizza, can me made in bulk ahead and frozen, and are also pretty darn healthy.
And I call them Pizza Muffins.
Did I weird you out? Don’t be weird. Come back. Listen… It’s not like I put pizza in with your breakfast muffin, it’s just a big muffin that tastes exactly like pizza. And then you can dip it in marinara sauce. Change how your brain thinks of a muffin and you’ll get it… It’s just a batter vehicle for any flavor you wish- sweet or savory.
And the best part about this recipe (besides the obvious yummy/cool factor) is you can make these flavored with anything you want- whatever your favorite pizza toppings are, add them right in! So what I’m giving you below is a standard cheese pizza muffin recipe that you can either keep as is, or add to it to customize for your family.
For instance, this week for my kid’s lunch boxes, I made the recipe as is, and poured the batter into my muffin tins, but stirred in chopped turkey pepperoni into half of them for my son. (My daughter prefers her pizza as plain as day.) So this was really easy to split the flavors in half just by stirring something into three of the batter cups. But I’ve made ‘Hawaiian’ style pizza muffins before where I switched out half the mozzarella for cheddar and stirred chopped pineapple and cubed ham into the whole bowl of batter… spinach would be good, mushrooms… I could go on but I feel like you get the drift.
So these can be eaten warm at home, made smaller for parties, or you can pack ’em cold. (Cause cold pizza it totally a thing.)
That’s a pretty well balanced lunch right there- but it’s also a lot of fun. And sometimes we need a break from the sandwich. That’s why these are perfect!! I feel really good about sending these in to school with my kids because I know it’s something that will bring a smile to their faces… and also to mine.
WHOLE WHEAT PIZZA MUFFINS
In a large mixing bowl, mix the following dry ingredients…
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp kosher salt (less if you’re to be adding salted ingredients and / or you’re sodium sensitive as always 😉
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp granulated garlic (not garlic salt)
Whisk to combine. (Pay special attention to removing any baking powder clumps… those are nasty things to chomp down on.)
In a large liquid measuring cup/glass add the following…
1 cup milk/half&half etc.
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
Whisk to combine- mix to fully break down the ricotta and beat the eggs into the milk.
Pour wet into dry. Mix well.
Add in 2 cups shredded mozzarella and mix with a spatula until evenly distributed.
Pour (or scoop with a greased ice cream scoop) into the greased cups of a jumbo muffin tin (they have 6 cups per tin).
(Stir in any add-in’s you want now into the individual cups to customize if you’d like.)
Sprinkle each with some grated parmigiano reggiano (it’s about 1/4 cup total for the 6 muffins)
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the tins.
Allow to cool in the pan until you’re able to easily remove them and continue to cool on rack.
Thanks for reading! XOXO