Introduction: 4-in-1 Appetizer Pizza

About: Where there's a will, there's a way! Never give up, never give in...BE the good you want to see in the world. :)

Four appetizers all-in-one!? NO WAY!!!

Buffalo Chicken. Mozzarella Sticks. Jalapeno Poppers. Pizza.

What's not to love??

Now, I've seen certain aspects of these delectable gameday appetizers mixed together here and there. But to have them each individually stand out while working perfectly together as a whole? That's just pure genius!

Bring on Gameday...

Step 1: Supplies

There are multiple working parts of this pizza which, therefore, require a plethora of ingredients. However, anything as epic as this truly requires doing it right. Go big or go home!

So, here's what you're going to need...

Pizza Dough:

3/4 cup warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Crust:

1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

Buffalo Chicken Toppings:

4 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon Ranch dressing seasoning (powder)

1 cup chopped, cooked chicken (I am vegetarian, so I used Buffalo Chicken from Morningstar)

1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)

8 ounces shredded mozzarella

OPTIONAL: Ranch Dressing (to drizzle), use the remainder of the Ranch dressing seasoning packet to make Ranch. Later in this Instructable, I share with you our family's favorite vegan ranch recipe!

Jalapeno Poppers:

NOTE: this recipe makes leftover ingredients to additionally make a large party size side of Jalapeno Poppers. There is an additional recipe included for how to make the extra Jalapeno Poppers when we get to that step.

11 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon oregano

1-2 teaspoons chili powder (depending on how much heat you want)

2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded

25 jalapeno peppers, seeds and cut in half lengthwise

Mozzarella Sticks:

NOTE: Similar to the poppers, this recipe makes leftover ingredients to additionally make a side of mozzarella sticks. There is an additional recipe included for how to make the extra mozzarella sticks when we get to that step.

1 pound block of mozzarella cheese

Bronco Berry Sauce:

I don't know about you, but I LOVE Bronco Berry sauce from Arby's for my Jalapeno Poppers dipping sauce. If you do too, here's how to make your own at home.

3/4 cup water, room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup corn syrup

2 tablespoons pectin powder

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon red food coloring

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of paprika

1/4 cup minced red bell pepper

1/2 teaspoon minced canned jalapeno peppers

Step 2: Bloom the Yeast

To begin making the dough, first put the warm water and sugar in a bowl. Add the yeast. Stir gently. Set aside and allow the yeast to bloom (or start to get bubbly, like in the picture) for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Prepare the Dough

In a medium sized bowl, add the flour and salt. Whisk to combine.

Add in the olive oil and yeast mixture.

Use a spatula to combine the ingredients. When the dough becomes shaggy (as seen in the second picture), transfer it to a floured surface.

Knead the dough for about 7-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl (rolling the dough in the oil to lightly coat it), and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Set it in a warm place for an hour to rise, or until it has doubled in size.

Step 4: Punch It Down, Roll It Out

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. (Yes, 500 degrees!)

Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to 16" in diameter. This will give us the extra length we need to wrap the deliciousness in it later.

Step 5: Buffalo Chicken Toppings

To begin the buffalo chicken toppings -- the main contender on this pizza -- melt the cream cheese in a small saucepan over low heat. Make sure to stir it constantly to avoid burning it to the bottom of the pan.

Once the cream cheese is melted (to a nacho cheese consistency), evenly spread it over the pizza crust with a spatula, ladle, or the back of a large spoon.

NOTE: Only spread the cream cheese "sauce" out to a roughly 12" circle. The finished "filled crust" pizza will be roughly 12" in diameter (this could possibly go up to a 14" finished pizza diameter depending on the size of the pizza pans in your cupboards, or the size of the pizza that your oven can hold). My pizza pan was 12" so that's the size of my finished pizza.

Step 6: Add Ranch Flavoring

Use some of the ranch seasoning packet, and sprinkle the powder generously over the cream cheese layer.

Let the crust sit while you work on the fillings for the crust (the jalapeno poppers and the mozzarella sticks).

Step 7: Jalapeno Poppers

To begin the Jalapeno Poppers, cut the jalapenos (you will need only about 2-3 jalapenos for the crust) in half lengthwise and de-seed them. It's advisable to wear gloves as having the jalapenos touch your skin, or touching your face or eyes, could cause negative side effects. (Just remember not to touch your face with the gloves on either!)

Cut these de-seeded slices in thirds to get roughly 1" pieces of jalapeno.

Step 8: Blanch

Blanch the jalapenos by bringing water to a boil in a small saucepan, then lowering the heat and simmering the peppers in the water for about 2 minutes.

After the allotted time, use a slotted spoon to remove the blanched jalapenos from the saucepan. Transfer them to a bowl.

Step 9: Make the Cream Cheese Filling

The best part of a jalapeno popper -- the cream cheese filling!!!

Mix the softened cream cheese, oregano, chili powder, and shredded pepper jack cheese in a bowl until well combined. Set the filling aside to use with the jalapenos later.

As noted in the supplies step, here are the additional ingredients for making the rest of the jalapeno poppers as an additional side (this is from "The Spruce Eats" website):

3/4 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs (or use the leftovers from the crust coating)

Oil, for deep frying


Spoon the remaining cream cheese mixture evenly among the remaining blanched jalapenos (or finish slicing, de-seeding, and blanching all of the remaining jalapenos if you haven't already).

Combine the milk and eggs in a bowl.

In a separate bowl (that is shallow), combine the flour and salt.

Dip the stuffed jalapenos into the milk mixture, then in to the flour mixture. Make sure everything is thoroughly coated.

Place the coated jalapenos on wire racks and let dry for about 10 minutes.

Dip the jalapenos in the milk mixture again, and then roll them in the breadcrumbs again to coat.

Let the coated peppers dry 30-40 minutes. Repeat the breading process if necessary.

In a large skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees. Deep fry the jalapenos 2-4 minutes each, until golden brown.

Step 10: Slice the Mozzarella

Slice the block of mozzarella into 1/4" slices as seen in picture 1.

Then slice those slices into thirds.

Then slice those thirds into sixths to leave you with roughly 1" L x 1/2" W x 1/4" H pieces.

Set aside the sliced mozzarella.

Here is a recipe from "" for making an additional side of Mozzarella Sticks:

1/4 cup flour

1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs (or use the leftovers from the crust coating)

2 eggs

1 tablespoon milk (or soymilk)

1 cup vegetable oil


Whisk the milk and eggs together in a bowl.

Coat each piece of sliced mozzarella (slice the rest of the Mozzarella into 3/4" x 3/4" strips) with flour and then dip it into the egg/milk mixture, then roll it in breadcrumbs.

Dip it into the egg/milk mixture again, and then into the breadcrumbs again.

Freeze them completely on a wax paper lined baking sheet.

To fry after freezing: Heat the oil in a skillet and use a slotted spoon to carefully lower each stick into the hot oil. Fry them for about 1 minute on each side, or until they are golden brown and the cheese starts to leak.

Drain them on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauce (marinara).

Step 11: Prepare the Buffalo Chicken

For me, this was as easy as chopping the Buffalo Chicken patties (vegetarian) into cubes, adding them to a bowl, and covering them with some Frank's Red Hot until evenly coated.

If you eat meat, you will need to cook your chicken first, then chop it into cubes, and then coat it evenly with Frank's Red Hot (or hot sauce of your choice).

Set aside the Buffalo Chicken until it's time to assemble the pizza.

Step 12: Prepare the Crust Coating

Prepare the egg wash by beating one egg in a small bowl. Set this aside.

Prepare the breadcrumbs by mixing the Italian style and Panko breadcrumbs in a separate small bowl. Set aside.

Step 13: Assembling the Pizza

This is the fun part! It's time to see your pizza come together!

First, set up a station around your pizza crust where everything you previously set aside is easily accessible.

Next, place a mozzarella chunk around the pizza crust on the edge closest to the cream cheese "sauce." Make sure to leave a gap for the jalapenos to sit in-between the mozzarella chunks. Use the pictures to guide you.

Spoon some of the cream cheese filling into each blanched jalapeno pepper. Alternate these so that they layer between the mozzarella chunks. But, make sure there's also space between each piece, because you need to cut between them later.

Step 14: Shape the Crust

To give the crust that oh-so-yummy, pull-apart pizza crust, simply roll the pizza crust over all the edges, so that the crust also fully encompasses each filling piece (you may need to gently stretch the dough to cover the pieces). Lightly press the inner part of the crust down on to the cream cheese "sauce" layer below.

Once all the chunks of filling are fully covered, use a sharp knife to cut in the middles between each piece. Then gently rotate the pieces inward at an almost-90 degree angle (but slightly less, so they stay on a diagonal), use the pictures for guidance.

Carefully, press the dough around each piece to make sure they're all sealed and separated from each other (but still connected ultimately to the pizza crust itself).

Step 15: Move the Pizza

This part can be tricky, especially when you don't have a big, beautiful pizza peel to assist you.

First of all, make sure the pizza pan is well greased(including the lip if you have one)!

Secondly, you will need something to assist you in moving the pizza dough on to the pizza pan for cooking. I found this metal Moose sign we got in Canada (well-washed of course) to be a great assist to move the pizza from the countertop on to the 12" pizza pan we had for cooking. (I wasn't able to put the crust on the pan before because it was previously way to big to fit.)

Be careful when moving the pizza as the crust pieces can break off with too much force. However, I found them easy enough to put back in place after moving the pizza dough.

Alternatively, you can move the pizza to the cooking pan or pizza stone before you cut the pieces and turn them. Didn't think of that until just now.

NOTE: If your pizza pan has a lip like mine, simply set the crusty pizza bites on top of the lip, and push them inward on to the pizza so they don't fall off the edge of the pan when cooking.

Step 16: Add Cheese

Now that the dough is transferred to a cooking pan, it's time to add the shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the cream cheese "sauce."

Load it up evenly, but leave about 1/4 cup in the bag to add to the top of the pizza later.

Step 17: Add the Buffalo Chicken

Add the Buffalo Chicken on top of the shredded mozzarella in an even application.

Step 18: Crumb Coat the Crust

What's iconic about both jalapeno poppers and mozzarella sticks? Their deep fried, crunchy crust right!? But how to do this for an oven-baked pizza? I decided to give this approach a try...and it didn't disappoint! It gives the baked crust that deep fried, crispy appeal to make each piece of the crust feel like a real jalapeno popper or mozzarella stick when pulled off!

First, brush on the egg wash to each crust piece. Then, pack on the breadcrumb mix to each piece by hand.

Step 19: Repeat

Apply a second coat of egg wash to each crust piece.

Then, apply a second coat of breadcrumb mix to each piece by hand.

Step 20: Finish It Off

Finish off the pizza by adding the last of the shredded mozzarella evenly over the buffalo chicken. Now, it's ready for the oven!

Step 21: Bake

Bake at 500 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is harder on the outside (crunchy, crispy) but hollow-like on the inside (except for the filling) so it's light and fluffy. You may even see the mozzarella ooze out of the crust. That means it's ready!

Step 22: Prepare the Bronco Berry Sauce

This recipe for the Bronco Berry sauce came from "Todd Wilbur's Top Secret Recipes" website.

Combine all the ingredients except the bell and minced jalapeno peppers in a small saucepan and whisk well.

On Medium-High heat, uncovered, bring the mixture to a full boil, adding in the peppers.

Reduce the heat and simmer 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken.

Remove the sauce from the heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Stir it, then cover it.

Ideally, you should wait for the sauce to reach room temperature before using, but we couldn't wait and it was still delicious!

Step 23: Optional: Ranch Dressing

This is our family's go-to ranch! It's vegan (although this pizza isn't!) but it tastes just like chip dip ranch! It's delicious! If you don't want to drizzle it over top of your pizza but you still want to try it, make up a batch for dipping sauce.

If you prefer to use "regular" ranch, simply make up the rest of the packet of powder Ranch Dressing you already opened previously (following the packet's directions).


1-1/2 cup vegan mayo

1/4 to 1/2 cup soymilk or unsweetened Almond milk

1-1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3 cloves garlic, minced (or I use 3 teaspoons of minced garlic from a jar)

1/2 tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Salt to taste


Mix the ingredients altogether in a bowl with a spoon until well incorporated (do not blend).

Chill, covered or in a container with a lid, for 30 minutes before serving. Or, you can do a quick chill (5-10 minutes) now to use it immediately, then keep it in the fridge before using it again. The refrigeration brings the flavors out more.

Step 24: Gameday -- Bring It On!!!

Your gameday just got a whole lot more epic with this bad boy around!

Ooey gooey, stretchy mozzarella sticks at just a pull of the crust. Set out a side of marinara to dunk them in!

Perfectly creamy with a punch of heat jalapeno poppers. Dunk them in Bronco Berry sauce to chill them out!

Drizzle ranch over your Buffalo Pizza (I used a homemade ranch our family loves) and savor the deliciousness!!

This crazy gameday creation is a success! Enjoy!


Pizza Speed Challenge 2020

First Prize in the
Pizza Speed Challenge 2020