Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Vegetarian and Rustic Mini Party Pizzas

These very tasty vegetarian mini party pizzas are perfect for easy entertaining as finger food, or to eat on a lazy weekend for brunch with a salad, or as an appetizer. They can also be very economical and use up bits and pieces leftover in the refrigerator as the ingredients can be quite versatile, as you would find on most large pizzas. They don't need to be vegetarian either, add some finely chopped bacon, salami or ham as a topping, and add mushrooms or anchovies if you wish as well. The presentation can be quite rustic, as the small puff pastry shapes are never going to be uniform, even though they start out that way. I made up this batch when I was craving a slice of Italy with some pizza, and show me someone who doesn't love pizza flavours. Friends were coming over for drinks, so I made a batch of these for some simple and delicious finger food. The filling can be chopped up and mixed in advance, the night or the morning before, and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. 

It's Summer in Europe, the USA and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, and casual entertaining with friends has started. My son who is living in France with his beautiful family, says that currently the Summer weather is lovely following a wet and miserable Winter, and people are celebrating and entertaining outdoors. Here in tropical North Queensland it's still warm and sunny in between rainy showers, so life isn't that different, we are still entertaining outdoors even though it is technically our Winter. We are waiting for the first real cold snap with excitement.

 These Party Pizzas are so easy, that I feel a bit guilty about writing them up as a recipe. Do you sometimes just crave for something really tasty like pizza, but don't feel like making your own dough or visiting the supermarket to buy ready made pizza bases, or spending the money to buy take away pizzas? These are the easiest bite sized pizzas I have ever made. They may be just bite sized, but they have BIG-sized flavours, with zero effort. In fact you will feel as if you have had a night off from cooking and everyone will be happy to pitch in and help. Mr. HRK is is happy to cut the pastry sheets into squares for me while I oil up the muffin tins. So much of the preparation can be done in advance.

If you are planning some large scale entertaining, 90 little pizzas can be made from a 10 pack Puff Pastry box, and I have done this in the past for a party. They disappeared very quickly. Very economical when catering. This recipe is for 18 pizzas which Mr. HRK and I have been known to enjoy over a couple of days. Just increase the quantities as needed. These would also be perfect to take to work for lunches with a salad, if you are able to heat them up in a microwave. Perhaps though you are happy to eat them cold, some close members of my family are happy to eat cold pizza. I prefer it warmed up though.

Let's Cook:
Preheat your oven to 180 deg. C
Equipment: Two medium size muffin trays

Ingredients for 18 mini pizzas

2 sheets of frozen Butter puff pastry
2 cups grated tasty pizza cheese
1 finely chopped red capsicum
1 cup classic pizza sauce (homemade or purchased)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or oregano
1/2 cup roughly chopped black olives
Finely chopped bacon, ham or salami to sprinkle over the top of the pizzas before baking if you wish for a non-vegetarian edition of these pizzas.

Partially thaw out two sheets of Puff Pastry. Cut each Puff pastry sheet into 9 squares. (For a larger quantity of pizzas, buy a 10 pack box of Puff Pastry and cut 9 squares from each sheet until each person has at least 3-4 pizzas)

Let's cook:

Grease two muffin trays very well with vegetable or olive oil, or use a spray can of oil,  and place a pizza square in each muffin hole (18 for this recipe). Coat the pastry with tomato sauce with a small pastry brush. Prick the base of the pastries twice with fork to ensure the pastry base doesn't  swell up. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes until the puff pastry is just coloured and starting to crisp up. This can be done in advance as well. Allow them to cool very slightly and then very gently ease the edges of pastry around the top away from the tin with a knife, sometimes it sticks to the tin. If the pastry has risen up from the bottom, just press it down gently with your fingertips to make room for the filling. This first step will ensure the pastry cases come out of the tin easily when cooked. I have made them before without prebaking the pastry cases first, but it makes removing the cooked pizzas a little more fiddly. 

Throw the combined ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well together. 

3/4 fill pastry cases with ingredients and sprinkle with ham, bacon or salami if desired.

Cook in a moderate oven, at 180 deg. C,  for 10 minutes or until pastry and filling is cooked.

Straight out of the oven
Allow to cool slightly, then carefully remove from the muffin tins using a butter knife, easing the edges out gently. Garnish with individual basil or oregano leaves, but be prepared, these little pizzas will do the disappearing act as soon as your family or guests dive in.

  • I make these mini pizzas quite regularly and they are always delicious, but when a friend asked me for the recipe, I changed the  baking process slightly to ensure she would be very happy with the result. If you are using Teflon coated muffin tins which are not scratched at all, and still quite new, and you are short of time like most of us are, you could get away with not prebaking the pastry in the oven, which is what I have generally done. The tins still need to be greased very well with oil. However, I am advising you to prebake the pastry cases if you have time and your tins are well used, to ensure the pizzas can be removed easily from the muffin holes. Always leave the cooked pizzas to cool slightly before easing them from the tin
  • Make these tropical, by adding a little finely chopped fresh or canned pineapple. Add some finely chopped ham, and there will be squeals of delight from the kids big and small, as who doesn't love ham and pineapple pizza. I know some of my readers don't like pineapple, however in my family we love it. Ham and pineapple pizza was always a favourite when our kids were growing up.

This is the link to our original "Make It Like a Man" style Pizza recipe ,which Mr. HRK makes when the Rugby League State of Origin matches are on. It is always delicious, and he adds lots of meat, however it is also delicious with a vegetarian topping similar to the one in my mini pizzas. We make one of each. Pizza toppings really are so versatile aren't they?

Bye for now,



  1. I am not vegetarian, and I don't eat pizza, but (a big BUT here) I would happily devour these! They look simply scrumptious, Judee.

    1. Angie I didn't miss the meat in these at all, but the addition of salami or bacon would be delicious.

  2. These look terrific! It's always nice to have puff pastry dough in the freezer -- it can be used for so many things. Haven't used it as a pizza base, but I will. :-)

    1. Thanks KR, the puff pastry works surprisingly well for these small pizzas, so easy and tasty.

  3. These do look both fun and wonderful, Pauline. Now that we are seeing several of our closest friends for occasional movie nights, these would be perfect. We like to nosh while watching — and I know everyone will love these!

  4. David these would be absolutely perfect for a movie night get together, everyone I have made these for has loved them. Have fun!

  5. Pauline, I love puff pastry and anything made with puff! These little pizzas are amazing and perfect for parties. Your tip for baking the cases first is a good idea because sometimes the pastry doesn't cook through - thank you!

    1. Thanks Marcellina, I'm constantly reassessing how I do things with my cooking, so I'm happy with these little beauties now.

  6. these look great! I am definitely a pineapple on pizza kinda gal, and i love puff so = yummo.


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