Pizza Boats Recipe

Looking for a fun and easy twist on classic pizza? Try these delicious Pizza Boats! Perfect for a quick dinner, a weekend lunch, or a party snack, these Pizza Boats are made using hot dog buns, string cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings.

They’re simple to prepare, kid-friendly, and sure to be a hit with the whole family. Whether you’re planning a cozy night in, a casual gathering, or a meal that will please even the pickiest eaters, these Pizza Boats are the perfect solution.

These Pizza Boats are perfect for any occasion and can be easily customized with different toppings and cheeses to suit your taste. Give them a try, and they might just become a new favorite in your household! Whether you’re making them for a casual dinner, a fun lunch, or a party, Pizza Boats are sure to impress and satisfy everyone at the table.

Why You’ll Love Pizza Boats:

  1. Quick and Easy Preparation: With minimal prep time and simple ingredients, Pizza Boats can be ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, making them perfect for busy weeknights.
  2. Customizable: You can tailor the toppings to suit everyone’s tastes. From classic pepperoni to veggie-loaded options, the possibilities are endless.
  3. Kid-Friendly: Children love the fun shape and hands-on nature of Pizza Boats. They can also help in the kitchen by adding their favorite toppings.
  4. Perfect for Parties: Pizza Boats are a great party snack. They are easy to serve, and guests can enjoy them without the need for utensils.
  5. Portable: Great for on-the-go meals or picnics, Pizza Boats are easy to pack and eat anywhere.
  6. Affordable: Using hot dog buns and string cheese makes this recipe budget-friendly while still delivering delicious results.
  7. Balanced Meal: Add some veggies as toppings, and you have a well-rounded meal with carbs, protein, and vitamins.
  8. Versatile: Pizza Boats can be enjoyed for lunch, dinner, or as a hearty snack. They’re also great for game day or movie nights.
  9. Great for Leftovers: If you have leftover pizza sauce, cheese, or toppings from another meal, Pizza Boats are a perfect way to use them up.
  10. Comfort Food: The combination of warm bread, melted cheese, and savory toppings makes Pizza Boats a comforting and satisfying meal that everyone loves.


  • 8 hot dog buns
  • 8 string cheese sticks
  • Pizza sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Half stick of butter
  • Pepperoni (or your choice of meat)
  • Pizza seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare the buns:
    • Place the hot dog buns in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
    • Cut a slit down the middle of each hot dog bun and press it down slightly to create a “boat” shape.
  3. Toast the buns:
    • Place the baking dish with the buns in the preheated oven for 5 minutes to lightly toast them.
  4. Prepare the garlic butter:
    • While the buns are toasting, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
    • Add 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic to the melted butter.
    • Stir until the garlic is fragrant, then remove from heat.
  5. Brush with garlic butter:
    • Take the toasted buns out of the oven.
    • Brush them with the garlic butter mixture.
  6. Assemble the pizza boats:
    • Spoon pizza sauce into each bun, spreading it evenly.
    • Add pepperoni (or your preferred choice of meat) on top of the sauce.
    • Insert a string cheese stick into each bun, pressing it down gently.
    • Sprinkle pizza seasoning and Parmesan cheese over the top of each pizza boat.
  7. Bake:
    • Return the baking dish to the oven.
    • Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Enjoy:
    • Serve the pizza boats hot and enjoy your delicious, homemade treat!

Tips for Making Perfect Pizza Boats

  1. Use Fresh Buns: Make sure the hot dog buns are fresh and soft. Stale buns might not hold up as well and could become too hard after baking.
  2. Pre-toast the Buns: Lightly toasting the buns before adding toppings helps to prevent them from becoming soggy from the pizza sauce.
  3. Control the Sauce: Don’t overdo the pizza sauce. Too much sauce can make the buns soggy. Spread a thin, even layer to ensure the buns stay crisp.
  4. Evenly Distribute Cheese: Make sure the string cheese sticks are evenly placed and pressed down gently. This ensures every bite has a good amount of melted cheese.
  5. Customize Toppings: Feel free to experiment with different toppings. Classic pepperoni is great, but you can also try sausage, bacon, veggies, or even pineapple.
  6. Use High-Quality Ingredients: For the best flavor, use high-quality pizza sauce, real butter, and fresh garlic.
  7. Add Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle some fresh basil or oregano on top after baking for an extra burst of flavor.
  8. Watch the Baking Time: Keep an eye on the pizza boats while they’re baking. You want the cheese to be melted and bubbly, but the buns shouldn’t become too hard or burnt.
  9. Serve Hot: Pizza Boats are best enjoyed right out of the oven when the cheese is gooey and the buns are still warm.
  10. Dipping Sauce: Serve with a side of marinara or ranch dressing for dipping. It adds an extra layer of flavor and fun.

Bonus Tip:

Get Creative with Cheese: If you like, you can use a mix of cheeses. Mozzarella is classic, but adding a bit of cheddar or provolone can add

a unique flavor twist.

Extra Tips for Making Perfect Pizza Boats

  1. Garlic Butter Tips: When making the garlic butter, be sure to stir the garlic until it’s fragrant but not browned. Overcooked garlic can become bitter.
  2. Parmesan Cheese: For an added touch of flavor, use freshly grated Parmesan cheese rather than pre-grated. Freshly grated cheese melts better and has a more robust flavor.
  3. Non-Stick Baking Dish: Use a non-stick or lightly greased baking dish to ensure the buns don’t stick, making cleanup easier.
  4. Crust Variation: If you prefer a crispier crust, consider lightly brushing the exterior of the buns with the garlic butter mixture as well before baking.
  5. Healthier Options: For a healthier twist, use whole wheat hot dog buns, low-fat cheese sticks, and load up on vegetable toppings like bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, or tomatoes.
  6. Pre-Cut Toppings: If using toppings like pepperoni or sausage, consider pre-cutting them into smaller pieces to ensure they cook evenly and fit well in the buns.
  7. Make Ahead: You can assemble the pizza boats ahead of time and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake. This makes them a great option for meal prepping or planning ahead for parties.
  8. Even Heating: To ensure even heating, avoid overcrowding the baking dish. Leave a little space between each bun to allow hot air to circulate.
  9. Serve with a Side Salad: Pair your Pizza Boats with a fresh side salad to balance out the meal and add some greens to your plate.
  10. Experiment with Flavors: Try adding a drizzle of balsamic glaze or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a different flavor profile.

How to Store Pizza Boats:

Storing Pizza Boats properly ensures they remain fresh and tasty for later enjoyment. Here are some tips on how to store them:


  1. Cool Completely: Allow the Pizza Boats to cool completely at room temperature before storing. This prevents condensation, which can make the buns soggy.
  2. Wrap Individually: Wrap each Pizza Boat individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. This helps to keep them fresh and prevents them from drying out.
  3. Airtight Container: Place the wrapped Pizza Boats in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. This adds an extra layer of protection against moisture and odors.
  4. Refrigerate: Store the container or bag in the refrigerator. Pizza Boats can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.


  1. Cool Completely: Ensure the Pizza Boats are completely cooled before freezing to prevent ice crystals from forming.
  2. Wrap Individually: Wrap each Pizza Boat tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. You can also use freezer-safe plastic wrap for better protection.
  3. Label and Date: Place the wrapped Pizza Boats in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. Label the bag or container with the date to keep track of how long they’ve been frozen.
  4. Freeze: Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Reheating Pizza Boats

From the Refrigerator:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Unwrap and Place: Unwrap the Pizza Boats and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Cover with Foil: Loosely cover the Pizza Boats with aluminum foil to prevent the cheese from burning.
  4. Bake: Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted.
  5. Microwave Option: If you’re in a hurry, you can microwave the Pizza Boats. Place them on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through.

From the Freezer:

  1. Thaw (Optional): For best results, thaw the Pizza Boats in the refrigerator overnight. However, you can also reheat them directly from frozen.
  2. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  3. Unwrap and Place: Unwrap the Pizza Boats and place them on a baking sheet.
  4. Cover with Foil: Loosely cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake: If thawed, bake for about 15-20 minutes. If frozen, bake for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted.


  • Check Temperature: Ensure the internal temperature of the Pizza Boats reaches 165°F (74°C) when reheating to ensure they are thoroughly heated.
  • Crispier Buns: For a crispier texture, you can remove the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking.

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