March Madness Basketball Appetizer

I stumbled upon this March Madness Basketball Appetizer recipe and just had to share!  So adorable!

Basketball calzones make perfectly poppable March Madness bites


Hosting a March Madness party without snacks is like rooting for a team that isn’t in your bracket. It just shouldn’t be done. Fortunately we have a quick fix for those times when you’re all out of fun snack ideas to feed a group — like these basketball-shaped calzones that have “winner” written all over them.

If you can make cake pops, then you can make these cute little pizza-stuffed basketballs for your March Madness gathering. These “slam dunk” bite-size calzones are easy to make using a cake pop pan and a few pizza ingredients you might already have in your fridge.

March Madness Basketball Appetizer Recipe

March Madness Basketball Appetizer
Image credit: Sandra Denneler/SheKnows

Yields 12

March Madness Basketball Appetizer Ingredients:
1 tube refrigerated pizza crust
3 mozzarella cheese sticks
12 – 24 pepperoni slices
1 jar pizza sauce
1 black food coloring pen
1 tablespoon butter
Orange food coloring

1. Cut the Dough

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the pizza crust on a work surface. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut 12 circles of dough.

March Madness Basketball Appetizer
Image credit: Sandra Denneler/SheKnows

2. Add Toppings

Cut the mozzarella sticks into 1-inch pieces. Place 1 or 2 pepperoni slices on each circle of dough, and add mozzarella pieces on top.

Image credit: Sandra Denneler/SheKnows

3. Make Dough Balls

Pinch the dough closed around the cheese and pepperoni.

Image credit: Sandra Denneler/SheKnows

4. Place into a Cake Pan

Grease the top and bottom of the cake pop pan. Place the dough balls in the bottom half of the pan.

Image credit: Sandra Denneler/SheKnows

5. Bake and Cool

Attach the top of the pan, and secure shut. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes before opening. If some of the pizza balls have ridges in the center, trim them off with a pair of scissors.

Image credit: Sandra Denneler/SheKnows

6. Draw Basketball Lines

Using the black food coloring pen, draw basketball lines on the pizza balls.

Image credit: Sandra Denneler/SheKnows

7. Paint the Basketballs Orange

Add orange food coloring to 1 tablespoon of butter, and mix well. Add more food coloring to achieve the desired color. Brush the tinted butter on the pizza balls, wiping off any excess with a paper towel.

Image credit: Sandra Denneler/SheKnows

8. Reheat and Serve

Basketballs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days until you’re ready to serve them. To reheat, place the basketballs on a baking sheet, and bake in a 350-degree F oven for 8 –10 minutes. Serve with a bowl of warm pizza sauce for dipping.

March Madness Basketball Appetizer
Image credit: Sandra Denneler/SheKnows

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