Shout-out Totino’s Party Pizza and Pizza Rolls!

Sometime deep in the 1990s my passion for Totino’s Party Pizzas bloomed into a lifelong love. At that time they were often on sale two or three for 99 cents. I could afford that on my college and part-time job budget. Now, they’re not round. They’re rectangular. And it is like a whole dollar for ONE OF THEM. But somehow I manage to find room in my coin purse to keep them close.

The thing is, they’re one of those processed foods that I know is probably bad for me (as a human and as a chef shhh!) but what can I say? I like them. Lazy food. Sometimes I’m lazy.

There are two kinds of frozen pizza people (for the sake of this paragraph): those who accept the pizza as-is, and those who doctor them. Spoiler alert, I’m the type who not only adds ingredients, but I’m OCD about the arrangement of the ingredients, which have undoubtedly shifted in transit. I need my slices to have equal amounts of ingredients! I wonder what that says about me. But then by that time the Party Pizza is ready.

Toppings I like to add to Party Pizzas (not that you asked)

  • Dried seasonings such as red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, and fresh black pepper.
  • Finely chopped red onion, bell peppers and if I’ve got mushrooms, deli ham, or olives, those are game as well.

Things I add after it comes out of the oven include Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and depending on my other toppings, maybe some feta and Roma tomatoes sliced very thin.

Now, as many of you know, Totino’s has a second ever-popular frozen pizza product that is just as much a guilty pleasure as the pizzas (drum roll please….)

Pizza Rolls

Anyone who microwaves them needs to try them in the toaster oven or regular oven and thank me later. But I’ll take it a step further and argue that you can further improve on the guiltiness and the pleasure by deep-frying them, then toss them in garlic powder, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Serve with some hot marinara sauce or ranch dressing. This isn’t something I do a lot, but if I’m going to go in on some Pizza rolls, I’m gonna do it right.

So, I hope to be forgiven by the hardcore foodies who pretend that mystery crust magic isn’t calling their name right now. But next time you fold a Party Pizza in half or roll it like a burrito and make Party Pizza Pinwheels, remember, I’ve got your back. Turn off the oven before you finish that last drink. Enjoy your passions.

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