It seems that every time I cook something my mind begins to think of a dozen variations I could create based on what I’ve just made. I’ve always been that way, but ever since starting this blog I feel like it happens even more than it used to! I know my fellow blogger Karen is the same way – perhaps you are too.

In my last post I talked about making zeppole on New Years Eve and that started me thinking about using pizza dough for savory snacks made in the air fryer. The zeppole are pan fried in oil which I believe helps all of that powdered sugar stick to them and while they don’t really soak up that much oil, it’s probably a bit healthier to not fry up everything you eat!

I played with a few variations when it came to size and cooking time and this is the version that I thought worked out best. As I was testing the idea out it occurred to me that this really is one of those fun kinds of recipes where you could come up with endless combinations to fill them with.

Just like with the zeppole, start out by making a batch of your favorite pizza or basic bread dough, or take the shortcut I mentioned and check your local grocery store for premade pizza dough. For this batch I went with a whole wheat pizza dough.

Divide the dough into pieces and roll them into balls about 1 1/2 inches in size – one pound of dough was enough for me to make one dozen. Next, flatten each ball out into a circle about 3 inches in size – they should look like mini pizza crusts at this point. I worked on parchment paper to help prevent the dough from sticking to my work surface.

Now the fun begins… choose your combination of fillings for each piece and then carefully close the dough up around the filling and pinch the seam firmly closed on the bottom. You should end up with a ball around the same size as when you started. Next, brush each piece well with olive oil and add some garnish to the top if you wish. Garnish is a nice way to add an additional complementary flavor and also if you are making more than one variety, it can help you tell them apart!

Place each piece in the air fryer basket, set the temperature to 350 degrees and cook them for 10 minutes. After about 5 minutes of cooking, open the air fryer and move each piece a bit to make sure they aren’t sticking – the olive oil will help prevent this, but it never hurts to take the extra step. After 10 minutes your creation should be a nice golden brown color.

Allow them to cool for 2 or 3 minutes and then slice each one in half before serving. Add a dipping sauce or two for an extra layer of fun – perhaps tomato sauce, olive oil with salt and pepper or ranch dressing. They make a great appetizer or snack, but they could just as easily be left whole and served for lunch.

Left: Turkey, American cheese and fresh flat leaf Italian parsley garnished with coarse black pepper
Center: Mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil garnished with Himalayan pink sea salt
Right: Mozzarella cheese garnished with dried oregano

Even now as I wrap this up I’m thinking of more combinations! Chicken, bacon and cheddar… Spinach and feta… Steak, mushroom and onion… The list goes on and on! I hope you enjoyed this recipe idea and if you give it a try, I’d love to hear about the combinations you came up with in the comments section!

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