Pizza Rolls: The '90s Food Trend That Became A Homemade Sensation

If you live long enough, you'll see the trends of your youth become fashionable again with your children (not that they want to hear that). The scrunchies, tie-dye sweatshirts, and cropped tops of the 1990s are just some of the trends making a comeback, and it doesn't end with fashion; look at Jenny from the Block thirty years later, per Good Housekeeping.

Also gathering attention are the frozen food snacks from the '90s. According to Food Network, easy-to-prepare frozen foods served to always-hungry teenagers after school are popular again, along with 'grab-and-go' breakfasts like Eggo waffles. Thanks to clever product placement, pop culture icon, Eleven from Netflix's "Stranger Things" helped boost sales of the frozen waffle brand after its season two premiere, per Insider.

Teenagers in the '90s enjoyed frozen pizza in many forms, including Bagel Bites, Hot Pockets, and Pizza Rolls. Not surprising since pizza is America's favorite food, being the top choice if you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, per USA Today.

Totino's Pizza Rolls were created in the 1960s when the late founder Jeno Paulucci replaced the filling of a Chinese egg roll with pizza toppings. The bite-sized pockets of pizza have a crispy crust with a lava-hot center which didn't seem to slow down teenagers scarfing them down. Sparked by pop culture and TikTok, chefs like Half Baked Harvest's Tieghan Gerard are recreating this '90s food trend as a nostalgic treat and giving the after-school snack to a makeover.

Homemade Cheesy Pizza Rolls

Fueled by a series of funny SNL commercial parodies featuring Totino's Pizza Rolls being fed to 'my hungry guys,' the snack has seen a resurgence. In 2021, Totino's took to TikTok with a video of garlic parmesan pizza rolls. Fans loved the upgrade calling the bougie snack "gentleman's pizza rolls." The air-fried, coated-in-butter hangover cure quickly went viral.

Half-Baked Harvest's Tieghan Gerard posted her version of the '90s on Instagram snack to rave reviews from her followers, calling the pizza rolls "So flavorful!" and "Mmm, that's my favorite snack" to "So easy and good!" and "That's how you get my heart." Gerard's baked version, called "Homemade Cheesy Pizza Rolls," were her brothers' favorite childhood snack and is perfect for the holidays or game day.

Mimicking the pasta dough-like texture of the outside, Gerard uses wonton wrappers, not heavier pizza dough like you'd assume. The handheld treats are filled with three kinds of cheese, provolone, parmesan, and mozzarella, but saves the tomato sauce for dipping. To achieve that crunch the OG is known for, Gerard breaded and baked the pizza rolls with a drizzle of oil instead of frying.

Pizza rolls can be customized to your palate, adding meat and veggies. Like the original, Gerard's homemade cheesy pizza rolls can be frozen, ensuring a molten hot snack at a moment's notice. Gerard claims her homemade snacks "are so much better than anything you'd get at the store," and fans seem to agree.