Fried Pizza Dough Balls

Those pizza dough balls are so addictive and make the perfect appetizer for any day party! They’re so puffy inside with a lightly crunchy texture on the outside and filled with gooey melted cheese, salami, and tomato sauce.

Those bites are perfect to serve in a party buffet, especially at kid’s parties because they love them and you’ll see how they will disappear in the blink of an eye!

Fried pizza dough balls piled.

Let’s be honest. Italians know how to fry food. Anywhere you go in the country there’s always a fried specialty to taste. From the scrumptious arancini (rice balls) in Sicily to the amazing and wonderful fritto misto ascolano (a mix of fried appetizers from Ascoli)

So, no wonder why those pizza dough balls are so popular here in Italy where you can find them as polpette di pizza fritta and are sold almost at every bakery, deliciously warm that you can’t stop eating one after other.

A close up to the gooey melty filling of a pizza ball.

Step by step recipe

Make the dough

Add salt to the water and mix with a spoon to dissolve. Set aside. Place flour, yeast, and sugar on the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attached and mix it through over medium speed. 

Set the speed to low and slowly add half the water and half the oil, turn the mixer up to medium and add the remaining oil, then add more water, kneading until you’ll achieve a smooth and slightly sticky dough (read notes).

A collage showing how to knead the dough in a stand mixer.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, make a ball and place it on a greased bowl. Cover with cling film and let it proof for about 2 hours in a warm environment or until the dough has doubled in size.

The dough on a bowl after resting.

Make the tomato sauce

In a small saucepan heat one teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce and then garlic, oregano, parsley, and basil. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer at low heat for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Tomato sauce just made.

Make the pizza balls

Once the dough is ready place it onto a floured bench and knead it lightly to degas it. Divide the dough into two parts and roll each into a thick log. Cut each log into 9-10 pieces about the same size (I used a kitchen scale and each piece weighed about 40 g).

The dough divided into small pieces.

Lightly dust with flour a smooth surface where you will place the stuffed balls later.

Lightly oil your hands. Take one of the balls and flat it a little bit. Add a teaspoon of sauce in the middle, then a slice of pepperoni (salami), and then some mozzarella cheese.

A collage showing how to fill pizza balls.

Pull the borders to the center and pinch the edges together to seal. Use the palms of your hands to carefully re-shape the ball. Place it seam side down on the floured surface.

A collage with 4 fotos showing how to shape the balls.

Repeat until all the pizza dough balls are assembled. Cover with cling film and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

In a deep frying pan, heat a generous amount of frying oil. Working in batches, fry the pizza balls for about 3-4 minutes or until puffy and brown. 

Deep frying the dough.

Transfer the balls to a paper towel-lined plate and serve with the remaining tomato sauce.

Tips & Tricks

  • You might not need all water because flours brands vary in each country, that’s why you need to add the water little by little. If you notice you still need more water than the suggested on the recipe, add one tablespoon at time.
  • Do not use so much sauce to fill the balls. If you do so, the balls will crack when they’re frying and the sauce will come out the dough. 
  • Give the dough the proper time to proof, this is the only way to obtain fluffy and light balls. In warm weather, the dough takes about 1 hour and a half to double in size and in winter it takes from 3 to 4 hours.
  • If you want the dough to rise more quickly you can place the bowl inside the oven turned off with the lights on.
  • Not worry if the pizza dough balls deforms a bit when you take them, they will puff and form a nice ball while frying.

How to serve those pizza dough balls

Besides the tomato sauce recipe we suggesting in this post, we like to serve this appetizer with this guacamole salsa or, for the bravest, this Mexican chili oil salsa.

Dipping a fried pizza ball into the tomato sauce.
Fried pizza dough balls with tomato sauce on a board.

Fried pizza dough balls (italian appetizer)

20
Those fried pizza dough balls are so addictive and make them the perfect appetizer for any day party! They’re so puffy inside with a lightly crunchy texture on the outside and filled with a  gooey melted cheese and tomato sauce.
5 from 2 votes
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
resting time: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 50 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ½ cups (450 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp (7 g) instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm water read notes!
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 Tbsp (50 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (100 g) mozzarella cheese diced or shredded
  • salami or pepperoni small slices about 20
  • frying oil peanut, canola, sunflower

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 ¾ cup (400 g) tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

MAKE THE DOUGH

  • Add salt to the water and mix with a spoon to dissolve. Place flour, yeast, and sugar on the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attached and mix it through over medium speed.
  • Set the speed to low and slowly add half the water and half the oil.
  • Turn the mixer up to medium and add the remaining oil, then add more water (but not all), kneading until you’ll achieve a smooth and slightly sticky dough (read notes).
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, make a ball and place it on a greased bowl.
  • Cover with cling film and let it proof for about 2 hours in a warm environment or until the dough has doubled in size.

MAKE THE TOMATO SAUCE

  • In a small saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce and then garlic, oregano, parsley, and basil.
  • Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer at low heat for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

MAKE THE PIZZA BALLS

  • Once the dough is ready place it onto a floured bench and knead it lightly to degas it. Divide the dough into two parts and roll each into a log.
  • Cut each log into 9-10 pieces about the same size (I used a kitchen scale and each piece weighed about 40 g).
  • Lightly dust with flour a smooth surface where you will place the stuffed balls later.
  • Lightly oil your hands. Take one of the balls and flat it a little bit. Add a teaspoon of sauce in the middle, then a slice of pepperoni (salami), and then some mozzarella cheese.
  • Pull the borders to the center and pinch the edges together to seal. Use the palms of your hands to carefully re-shape the ball. Place it seam side down on the floured surface.
  • Repeat until all the dough pieces are assembled. Cover with cling film and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

FRY

  • In a deep frying pan, heat a generous amount of frying oil. Working in batches, fry the pizza balls for about 3-4 minutes or until puffy and brown.
  • Transfer the balls to a paper towel-lined plate and serve with the remaining tomato sauce.
Notes
  • You might not need all water because flours brands vary in each country, that’s why you need to add the water little by little. But, if you notice you still need more water than the suggested on the recipe, add one tablespoon at time.
  • Do not use so much sauce to fill the balls. If you do so, the balls will crack when they’re frying and the sauce will come out the dough. 
  • Give the dough the proper time to proof, this is the only way to obtain fluffy and light balls. In warm weather, the dough takes about 1 hour and a half to double in size and in winter it takes from 3 to 4 hours.
  • If you want the dough to rise more quickly you can place the bowl inside the oven turned off with the lights on.
  • Not worry if the pizza dough balls deforms a bit when you take them, they will puff and form a nice ball while frying.
Course appetizer
Cuisine italian

Did you enjoy this pizza dough balls recipe? Please, don’t forget to rate it and leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you! Also, remember that you share it using the buttons below.  If you’d like, you can follow us too on PINTERESTINSTAGRAMFACEBOOK and YOUTUBE! 

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating