Recipe Review

I Tried Cheesy Hawaiian Pizza Rolls and They’re the Grown-Up Version of a Nostalgic Favorite

published Feb 20, 2022
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I Tried Cheesy Hawaiian Pizza Rolls
Credit: Taylor Kocher

Hawaiian rolls are one of my favorite breads (out of many) to eat. I’ll eat them warm with a slab of butter, or turn them into sliders or breakfast sandwiches. I honestly could eat a whole 12-pack of the soft, squishy buns all by myself. So when I came across these cheesy Hawaiian pizza rolls by @moribyan on TikTok, I knew I had to try them. Soft and sweet Hawaiian Rolls combined with gooey mozzarella and salty and herby garlic butter? Count me in. So I went to the store, grabbed my favorite pack of rolls, and headed to the kitchen to try these out.

How to Make Cheesy Hawaiian Pizza Rolls

This is a super-simple recipe to make and requires very few ingredients. To start, you’ll need to first make your garlic butter. Melt unsalted butter and mix it with minced garlic, parsley, salt, freshly cracked black pepper, oregano, and grated Parmesan cheese. Then, brush the bottom of each roll with some of the garlic butter and place the rolls on a baking tray. Make two slices top to bottom on each roll, about 2/3 of the way down (very similar to how you’d make Hasselback potatoes). In each cut, add two slices of pepperoni and shredded mozzarella. Brush the tops of the rolls with even more of the garlic butter and then bake until lightly golden-brown, 10 minutes. When they come out of the oven, you can brush them with more garlic butter and dip in marinara.

My Honest Review of Cheesy Hawaiian Pizza Rolls

These cheesy Hawaiian pizza rolls are everything you’d expect them to be. They’re cheesy, garlicky, sweet, and salty — all balanced out by the herbs and tangy marinara sauce. The rolls stay soft yet get a little crisp on top, giving you the best contrast of textures in each bite. Above all, they really are so simple and easy to make. I can see my high-school self making these as an after-school snack. And now as my more mature adult self, I think these would make the perfect appetizer for a casual dinner party or game night. But let’s be honest ± I might even make them for dinner sometimes because they’re just that good. 

Credit: Taylor Kocher

If You Make the Cheesy Hawaiian Pizza Rolls, a Few Tips

  1. Make sure you buy the freshest Hawaiian rolls you can find. Mine were already a little bit hard, and they started to fall apart a little too much when I was cutting them. The result was that some of the pepperoni and cheese fell out in the oven. These rolls are already a messy dish, but getting fresh rolls helps to keep everything contained just a bit more. 
  2. Don’t cut too far down the rolls. Again, some of my rolls started to fall apart as I was filling them. I think cutting them not as far down would have helped to prevent the pepperoni and mozzarella from falling out, too.
  3. The more cheese, the better! I was afraid to put too much of the shredded mozzarella on top, but honestly, they could have used way more. The melty cheese is one of my favorite parts, and also helps to hold everything together. So, don’t be afraid to go a little wild with the mozz!
  4. Spoon the garlic butter on the rolls, don’t brush it. The instructions say to brush the rolls with butter, so I used a pastry brush. But next time, I’d use a spoon instead to get even more of the garlic, herbs, and cheese in the butter on the rolls.