12 Surprising Ways to Use Pizza Dough (Besides Making Pizza)

There are an endless number of reasons why pizza is so delicious: the cheese, the sauce, the toppings, and of course, the crust. It's truly the ultimate carbohydrate-filled comfort food and late-night snack, dependably delicious and sure to fill your stomach and heart with cheesy deliciousness. Pair it with some pizza beer and you're set. But pizza fans will be interested to know that you can make more than one recipe with your beloved pizza dough.

There are a few refrigerator/ freezer staples that I always like to keep around for last-minute meals or to fall back on if I can't think of anything to make for dinner. One of these things is refrigerated pizza dough. I sometimes keep it in the freezer, wrapped well in plastic wrap, if I know I won't be using it right away. Sure, you can drag out the stand mixer and easily make a homemade pizza dough recipe, but buying it at the grocery store is so convenient. Pro tip: If you freeze it, let the dough come to room temperature before you roll it out again on a floured surface.

The first thought that comes to mind might be to make a cheesy pizza pie or flatbread with the dough as your base, but did you know that it is way more versatile? You can go out of the box with this easy ingredient! Pizza dough can turn into a bunch of different savory snacks and even dessert. Check out our favorite recipes with pizza dough below.

1. Zeppoles

Ahh, zeppoles. One of my favorite fried desserts! Zeppoles are Italian doughnuts and basically just chewy fried dough (pizza dough) that's been covered in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. They're best served warm with some Nutella or cannoli cream for dipping.

Get the recipe at La Buona Cucina.

2. Cheese Monkey Bread

For a flavorful and savory dish using store-bought dough, try out this cheesy monkey bread that'll get nothing but rave reviews. Toss together Monterey Jack cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter, shallots, garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes and add cubed pizza dough pieces to one-third of the cheese mixture. Pour into a cast iron skillet and top with the remaining cheese mixture. I'd say that's the perfect late night snack.

Get the recipe at Bon Appétit.

3. Cinnamon Sugar Messy Bread

Don't be fooled by the name. Although quite messy, this recipe with pizza dough is very similar to monkey bread or pull apart bread and is just as easy to make. Who would've thought that savory pizza dough could be turned into something so deliciously sweet?

Get the recipe at Spoon Fork Bacon.

4. Garlic Knots

A popular item at the pizza shop, these garlic knots can be made right at home using pizza dough as a shortcut. Each knot gets a generous coating of olive oil or melted butter, garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese and is baked on a baking sheet or pizza stone until golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping. You'll never go back to buying them at your favorite pizza place!

Get the recipe at Epicurious.

5. Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

With the help from Pillsbury pizza dough, these doughnuts can be made in just a few minutes. You can also try making round or braided doughnuts along with the doughnut holes. If you don't want to use cinnamon sugar, here are some other flavors you might like.

Get the recipe at Pillsbury.

6. Pizza Dough Pretzel Bites Recipe

I'm a sucker for those pretzels and dipping sauces when I'm shopping at the mall. If you're craving homemade pretzels or pretzel bites, satisfy that craving quickly by using store-bought pizza dough. Plain old mustard is great, but kick things up a notch with these recipes for Queso dip and honey mustard dip.

Get the recipe at Life a Little Brighter.

7. Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

For a quick early morning or midday snack, these pizza dough cinnamon rolls are exactly what you need along with a nice cup of coffee. Store-bought pizza dough saves you so much time, too. These cinnamon rolls come together quickly and all you have to do is drizzle on the sweet topping for a breakfast everyone will love.

Get the recipe at PureWow.

8. Pizza Dough Breadsticks Recipe

Appetizers don't have to be a hassle. Using leftover pizza dough in a recipe makes life so much easier when you want to make crunchy breadsticks. Sweet or savory, the flavor combinations are endless. Sprinkle with sea salt, garlic powder or Italian seasoning, for a savory breadstick, or go sweet - the flavor combinations are endless.

Get the recipe at Inquiring Chef.

9. Three Cheese Calzones

Take a break from pizza night and use store-bought pizza dough to make calzones. This recipe is for cheesy spinach, ricotta and mozzarella calzones, but feel free to customize the ingredients to your taste and add pepperoni, veggies or your other favorite toppings to the mix. This is a great recipe for the kids to get involved in, too.

Get the recipe at Real Simple.

10. Pot Pies

individual pot pies are a delight for dinner. You get the crispy top crust and the warm filling; it's comfort food at its finest. This recipe is easy to make and filling, but any pot pie recipe you like can be made with pizza dough.

Get the recipe at Taste of Home. 

11. Apple Galette 

A pizza crust is really just a pie crust with savory toppings. That means you can use pizza dough to make sweet pies like this Apple Galette. A galette is a rustic pie, where you fold the edge of the crust just over the sides of topping. It looks impressive, especially for a super easy dessert or brunch dish that takes so little total time to make. You can also make a savory galette (try wild mushrooms and gruyere cheese for a dinner treat).

Get the recipe at Food Schmooze.

12. Pizza Dough Pinwheels Recipe

Okay, so this recipe with pizza dough is very much in the pizza wheelhouse. It's pizza dough, pizza sauce and pizza toppings, but instead of making pizza, you roll the dough up into a log and slice it into pinwheels. These tasty treats are perfect for parties, especially for the kid crowd but we promise that adults will love them, too.

Get the recipe at Taste of Home.