Tearing open my two bags of DiGiorno Stuffed Pizza Bites (which I keep wanting to call pizza rolls à la Totino’s), I was hit with the powerful feeling that I’d just gotten home from fourth grade soccer practice and was racing to prep my afternoon snack before my favorite cartoon started.
The bag suggests three ways to cook these adorable little Hot Pockets lookalikes, but since I don’t have an air fryer, I was limited to using my oven (for 22 minutes at 350° F) and microwave (for 1 minute and 15 seconds). Regardless of appliance used, the cooked pizza bites emitted the immensely comforting smell of warm dough, grassy herbs, and tangy marinara sauce, with just a hint of processed uncanniness to really drive the nostalgia home.
The bag advises you to use the oven or air fryer if you like a crispier texture and the microwave if you seek a softer pizza bite. The bites that I baked in the oven were impressively firm with a satisfying crunch. The microwaved ones, though… varied. One of the two that I put in the microwave came out noticeably softer but not mushy or falling apart as I’d feared, and in fact, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I preferred it to its oven-ed counterparts. The other, though, somehow ended up extremely overcooked, a thick brick with even the filling nuked stiff. Whoops. Anyway!
The two flavors were unsurprisingly pretty much impossible to distinguish just by looking at their outsides, though even after a bite I couldn’t immediately identify which was which. The one that I eventually pegged as the four-cheese was an oozy, vodka sauce-looking shade of orange. The other was flecked with dark red chunks that I immediately guessed were flecks of tomato from the sauce, but ended up being the pepperoni. Whoops again!
The four cheese flavor’s titular cheeses are reduced fat mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, and romano. The best way I can think to describe the potent results of mashing them all together is “funky.” I could make out a fresh, creamy flavor that probably came from the mozzarella, but there were also undertones of sharpness. According to Google, that would be the Romano. There’s also a sort of earthy nuttiness that Google also tells me is typical for both parmesan and asiago. With the pepperoni flavor, mozzarella is the only one from the cheesy cacophony invited to the pizza party, so the taste was dominated instead by the meaty, faintly spicy tang of the pepperoni and marinara sauce. The four cheese flavor wasn’t bad, but I definitely preferred the simpler, more classic taste of the pepperoni.
At the end of the day, these were about what you’d expect from a pizza roll, er, bite. I appreciated their unique heft (“2x the size per piece,” the bag crows), but the experience wasn’t notably different than, say, the aforementioned Totino’s. These pizza bites might have briefly flashed me back to my childhood, but now that I’m old enough to simply order myself an actual pizza instead of rooting through the freezer for my mom’s purchases to satisfy my dough-sauce-cheese cravings, I’d rather just do that.
Purchased Price: $6.49 each
Size: 14 oz bag
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3 bites) Four Cheese – 200 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 340 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein. Pepperoni – 230 calories, 12 gram of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 550 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.