A Fresh ‘Twist’ on Pizza for Dinner (and Lunch)

As much sense as they make, lunches built from leftovers can be a hard sell. Most of us don’t want to eat the same thing over and over, which is why I’m a big fan of repurposing leftovers in new ways.

I try to avoid making a massive quantity of one dish, then serving it straight up for multiple meals. I find it better to make too much of just one part of a meal, then find fresh ways to use the extras.

So rather than make a ton of lasagna and hope everyone wants to eat it 24-7, I boil up too many noodles. I use what I need to make a lasagna for dinner, then find new ways to use the extra noodles for a couple lunches.

For example, on Day 1, I might break up the cooked noodles and pack them with jarred pasta sauce and cheese in a thermos. On Day 2, I could use the large, flat noodles as “bread” to make rollups with deli meat. On Day 3, use them to bulk up purchased tomato or chicken soup. And so on.

Still, rules are meant to be broken, right? And every once in a while I stumble onto a dinner recipe that’s fun, delicious, and lunch box-friendly enough that my son doesn’t mind eating it as-is for multiple meals.

These pizza sausage wraps are that sort of recipe.

My goal was pretty simple: I wanted to combine pizza and sausage, but I didn’t want to just dump sausage slices on a pizza. I wanted a fresh approach. And one that was easier to pack.

That’s how I came up with the idea of wrapping a spiral of pizza dough around a sausage. To make it more pizza-like, I also stuffed the sausage with cheese, then added a tomato dipping sauce.

The result was a delicious dinner that looks part hot dog, part pizza. And the leftovers held up so well, I was able to pack them for my son’s lunch the next day without any fuss.

Even better – like real pizza, these are as delicious cold as they are hot.

Pizza Sausage Dogs

Start to finish: 30 minutes (10 minutes active)
Servings: 5


12-ounce package sweet Italian chicken sausages (5 sausages)

1 ounce block cheddar, cut into thin sticks

Half of an 18-ounce ball of purchased pizza dough, room temperature

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup jarred marinara or other pasta sauce


1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Using a paring knife, cut a slit down the length of each sausage, being careful not to cut all the way through. Wedge sticks of cheese into the slits of each sausage and set aside.

3. Divide the dough into 5 pieces. Roll each piece into a “snake” about 12 to 14 inches long. You may need to lightly flour the counter and your hands. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil and the Italian seasoning. One at a time, dunk the dough snaked in the oil mixture, turning to coat well.

5. One at a time, wrap a piece of the dough in a spiral around each sausage. To do this, start at one end of the sausage and hold the dough in place with one hand. With the other hand, wrap the dough in a tight spiral down the length of the sausage.

6. When all of the sausages are wrapped, arrange them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving several inches between them. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is puffed and lightly browned.

7. Meanwhile, heat the marinara and serve as a dipping sauce for the sausages.

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Rachael Ray