When I was in high school, I would rush home to preheat the oven. Pizza rolls were calling my name. I never thought anything could be done to make pizza rolls taste better than they already did. Boy, was I wrong. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls are the way of the future and you, my friend, need to come along for the ride!
I decided to test the various ways to prepare pizza rolls: microwave, oven, and air fryer. Y'all, there was no contest. Pizza rolls in the air fryer came out just as crispy as from the oven, but in a fraction of the time!
Please note, this post contains affiliate links which means I will receive a small commission on the sale of these items at no cost to you.
Pizza Rolls Will Always Have a Place In My Heart
I flash back to a simpler time whenever I bite into a hot, gooey pizza roll. A time when after school hours were spent participating in extracurricular activities and doing homework. Saturdays were for college football (some things never change!). Sundays were spent procrastinating on projects and homework until the last possible moment. The common denominator: pizza rolls were always in the freezer.
Nowadays, pizza rolls don't make their way into my freezer quite as often. They are more of a splurge food when I really feel a hankering for comfort and nostalgia. I also love to serve pizza rolls as football snacks if I am looking for an easy addition to my football snack menu (to go with my 4-ingredient guacamole, air fried ravioli, or slow cooker buffalo chicken dip). To make them more homemade, I like to whip up a batch of ranch dressing to serve with air fried pizza rolls.
Microwave, Oven, Or Air Fryer Pizza Rolls? The Experiment
This post is a little different than the ones that I normally write, because I'm not writing a recipe. However, just as with any recipe I do write, I needed to be sure that pizza rolls in the air fryer come out better than any other method. So naturally, I tapped into my memories from seventh grade science class and performed my experiment using the scientific method.
First, I asked a question...
What method of cooking pizza rolls reigns supreme?
Next, I did some research...
What are the primary ways one might cook pizza rolls?
- Air Fryer
After I identified the cooking methods I would be testing, I established my hypothesis.
Air fryer pizza rolls are the best way to cook pizza rolls.
Then, I conducted an experiment.
Group A: 15 Microwave Pizza Rolls
- I placed 15 pizza rolls on a microwave-safe plate and microwaved them for 2 minutes and 40 seconds, according to package instructions. Then, I allowed pizza rolls to cool for 2 minutes. Total time for Group A: 4 minutes, 40 seconds
Group B: 15 Oven Pizza Rolls
- First, I preheated the conventional oven to 425°F, which took 20 minutes to preheat. I placed 15 pizza rolls on an aluminum lined baking sheet and baked for 13 minutes. Then, I removed the pizza rolls from the oven and allowed them to cool for 2 minutes. Total time for Group B: 35 minutes
Group C: 15 Air Fryer Pizza Rolls
- Sometimes, I don't preheat my air fryer, but this time I did. I preheated my air fryer for 3 minutes to 390°F. In my air fryer basket, I placed 15 pizza rolls in one layer. I air fried the pizza rolls at 390°F for 4 minutes, paused to shake the pizza rolls, and then air fried them for another 4 minutes. Then, I removed them from the air fryer and allowed them to cool for 2 minutes. Total time for Group C: 13 minutes
Next, I Examined The Results:
I decided to break down the pros and cons of each cooking method.
Group A (Microwave):
Pros: Clocking in at 4 minutes and 40 seconds, cooking the pizza rolls in the microwave was the quickest method. It was also very easy and the filling did not burst out from the pizza rolls as much as with Groups B and C.
Cons: My biggest complaint with microwaved pizza rolls was the fact that they did not crisp in the microwave. The pizza rolls were a little soggy, flat, and chewy.
Group B (Oven):
Pros: When I removed the pizza rolls from the oven, I could tell that they were much crispier than the microwaved pizza rolls. I was right - oven baked pizza rolls were crispy and delightful. Another awesome thing about cooking pizza rolls in the oven is that you can cook more at one time. The microwave and air fryer require you to cook large amounts of pizza rolls in batches.
Cons: Cooking pizza rolls in the oven took a LONG time. From preheating my oven to cooling the pizza rolls, this method took a whopping 35 minutes! This seems like an exorbitant amount of time to make a snack. Also, the pizza rolls came out messier and the overall process was just not as easy as the methods described in Groups A and C.
Group C (Air Fryer):
Pros: Air fried pizza rolls were crispy on the outside and the filling was gooey on the inside. The pizza rolls had a great crunch to them, much like the ones baked in the oven. My favorite thing about cooking pizza rolls in the air fryer was that they could be done in less than half of the time it took to bake them in the oven! Air fryer pizza rolls took only 13 minutes! I was very impressed.
Cons: The only real con with cooking pizza rolls in an air fryer is that you have to cook them in batches if you are serving a large crowd.
My conclusion is simple: if you are looking for a quick and easy way to cook pizza rolls without sacrificing texture and flavor, air frying pizza rolls is the way to go. Air fryer pizza rolls are much better than microwaved pizza rolls. They take much less time to cook than oven pizza rolls.
Best Air Fryers On The Market
Below are some of the most highly rated air fryers, along with some helpful information that will help inform your decision if you are looking to buy an air fryer.
This is the air fryer I have. This air fryer is great if you have a small family and limited counter space. It has the same functionality of any air fryer but can also reheat, roast, and dehydrate. One drawback is that due to its size, it can take a little longer to air fry large amounts of food.
The Cosori Air Fryer Max is 5.8 quarts and has 13 different cooking functions! It is like the Swiss Army Knife of air fryers! It is very easy to use and is one of the most preferred air fryers on the market. It is perfect for larger families and spacious kitchens.
Another crowd pleaser is the 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer. It is an air fryer, a broiler, a roaster, a dehydrator, AND it also bakes and reheats! I have an Instant Pot and I love it. Given the value and quality of my Instant Pot, I would definitely give the Instant Pot Vortex a go. It can cook for a crowd and comes from one of the most reputable brands in the culinary world.
I had to include the Crownful 10-in-1 Air Fryer because it has a ROTISSERIE! Not only is it a highly rated air fryer, but it has a spinning rotisserie with accessories that flip the air frying world on its head! One of the accessories is a mesh basket (see the pic to the right). You can place frozen French fries (or anything else, for that matter) into the basket and then air fry them while they rotate! It's witchcraft! I have not used this particular air fryer before and would LOVE to hear what it is like. If you have it or buy it, drop a comment letting me know what you think!
Quick Guide: Air Fryer Pizza Rolls
- 1 bag Totino's Pizza Rolls
- Preheat air fryer to 390°F.
- In your air fryer basket, place 15 pizza rolls in one layer.
- Air fry pizza rolls at 390°F for 4 minutes. Pause to shake the pizza rolls. Air fry pizza rolls for another 4 minutes at 390°F.
- Remove pizza rolls from air fryer and allow them to cool for 2 minutes.