Easy Parmesan Garlic Balls

Parmesan Garlic Balls

February 10, 2023

These little cheesy-garlic bread balls are easy to make and perfect for game day snacking or as a side to soup or salad. In short, they are delicious.

The inspiration

This recipe is inspired by the Choke Garlic Balls from ‘ili ‘ili Cash & Carry, a neighborhood Italian deli. (FYI – in Hawaii, the term “choke” means “a lot” or “plenty”). As much as we would love to get there more often, my sister developed this recipe so we could enjoy these treats at home. They are similar, but not the same.

Parmesan Garlic Balls - closeup

Simple ingredients

We originally tried using “traditional” fresh pizza dough but found that the refrigerated pizza dough in a tube worked much better. It adds a bit of extra sweetness not normally found in traditional dough but not in a way that’s overpowering or unwanted.

Other than the pizza dough you need a bit of butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese.

If you want to get fancy you can add some fresh herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, or fried pepperoni.

Parmesan Garlic Balls with marinara sauce

Fried vs. baked

We prefer to deep fry these little savory gems. Each batch takes about 2 minutes to puff up to golden brown perfection and therefore, does not absorb a lot of oil. But if you want to forgo the frying, there is an option for baking too.

If you happen to have any extras, these heat up very well in an air fryer or toaster oven.

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Parmesan Garlic Balls

Easy Pizza Dough Garlic Balls

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 810 1x


These rustic parmesan garlic balls are made with canned pizza dough, deep fried, and tossed in garlic butter for a great appetizer or game day snack.



1/4 cup unsalted butter*

34 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt*

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional

2 13.8-ounce cans refrigerated pizza dough (like Pillsbury)

Oil, for frying

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded, to taste

Chopped fresh herbs like parsley or basil, for garnish, optional


In a small pan, melt butter. Remove from heat then add garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

In a medium pan, heat oil (at least 2″ deep) to 375 degrees F.

While oil heats, pinch off 1/2″ – 3/4″ pieces of pizza dough. Don’t make the pieces too large as they will not cook through. The dough will expand when frying.

Fry the dough balls in batches, about 2 minutes per batch, then remove and drain on paper towel. Continue frying the remaining dough balls.

Place the fried balls in a large bowl. Drizzle with the melted butter mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat evenly.

Serve immediately (or keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve), topped with chopped fresh herbs and with marinara sauce on the side.


Want to avoid deep frying? Place the dough balls on a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes in a 400 degree F oven. Toss them with the melted butter mixture as soon as they come out of the oven.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Snacks, Appetizers
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 306.03
  • Sugar: 6.1 g.
  • Sodium: 904.85 mg.
  • Fat: 9.61 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 4.9 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 47.24 g.
  • Fiber: 1.54 g.
  • Protein: 8.82 g.
  • Cholesterol: 17.38 g.

Keywords: refrigerated pizza dough, garlic, butter

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