The 90’s were all about fun commercials, brightly colored packaging, and processed foods that tasted more like plastic than anything real. At the very top of that 90’s list of staple lunchtime foods were Lunchables.
I remember walking down the aisles of the grocery store with my mother and wishing I could have a Lunchable every single day! Cheese, crackers, and ham are classic Lunchable ingredients that are so fun to stack together into little sandwiches.
But then came the pizza Lunchables and my young mind was absolutely blown.
Some things never change. I’m a mother now and we still love pizza in my household… however, I’ve made an alternative to the pizza Lunchables from times past. Here is my homemade version, which I won’t let my kids eat every day, but they do manage to finagle their fair share (and I’ll admit, I may still dabble as well).
PIZZA LUNCHABLE INGREDIENTS
¼ ounce package Active Dry Yeast
1⅓ cups Lukewarm Water
3-4 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon Olive Oil (plus extra for greasing bowl and brushing on pizza crust)
1 tablespoon Honey
1½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
Veggie Heavy Sauce:
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 medium Carrot, diced
1 stalk Celery, diced
1 small Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 28-ounce cans Tomatoes, diced and drained
2 small Pizza Dough Circles
¼ cup Veggie Heavy Pizza Sauce
¼ cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese
PIZZA LUNCHABLE ASSEMBLY
1 | Combine the yeast and water in a bowl and allow to stand until foamy (about 5 minutes).
2 | Stir 3 cups of flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer, using a dough hook attachment.
3 | Add olive oil and honey to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.
4 | Add liquid mixture to the dry ingredient mixture on a low setting for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. (You can also combine the liquid with the flour in a bowl and knead the dough by hand on a clean surface for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic — you want the dough to bounce back when you press it. If your dough is too wet and sticky, add more flour ¼ cup at a time, until you reach a soft and elastic consistency.)
5 | Transfer the ball of dough to an oiled bowl, cover the top with a dish towel and let rise for 1 hour. (The dough will double in size.)
6 | Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 15 seconds. Cut into 4 equal balls, forming each into rounds and flattening into a disk. Let the disks rest for 5 minutes.
7 | Cut each disk into 3 pieces, rolling each piece into a 4-inch circle.
8 | Transfer the disks onto parchment paper and bake at 500 degrees until the crust is golden brown (10-15 minutes).
Veggie Heavy Sauce:
9 | Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, adding in the bell peppers, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Saute until veggies are soft (about 5 minutes).
10 | Add the tomato paste, oregano, and salt, and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
11 | Add the tomatoes, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
12 | Remove from heat and puree with an immersion hand blender (or in a regular blender) until smooth.
13 | Return sauce to the heat and simmer until thick (10-20 minutes — the longer you simmer the thicker and more flavorful it will become. You can simmer up to 2 hours).
14 | Place the pizza dough circles in the main compartment of a Bento Box. Fill a popsicle squeeze tube with pizza sauce, separate the cheese and pepperonis, and assign to separate compartments.
*Yields 12 4-inch pizzas.
Mother to Kenya, Chloe, and Gemma, Catherine McCord created Weelicious in 2007 as a resource for parents to see how easy it is to make fast, simple, and fresh recipes for the entire family. On weelicious.com you’ll find over 1,500 nutritious recipes, feeding tips, school lunch guides, and quick breakfast ideas (as well as Weelicious’ own Smoothie Project plan).