Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by Carne DiemJump to Recipe
Our Halloween pizza stuffed skulls with pepperoni and sausage have become a yearly tradition at our home around Halloween. These skull shaped calzones, or Skullzones as we call them, are stuffed with pepperoni, sausage, and gooey melted cheese, and basted with a garlic butter.
We have spent the last year tweaking the recipe to our liking, and feel that it is now just as flavorful as it is frightful. You can use any of your favorite pizza toppings but our favorite is to keep it simple with sausage and pepperoni. A couple changes that we have made, that we feel really take this spooky dish to the next level, is the addition of Provel cheese for a perfect, gooey center. We also like substituting the classic egg wash with a basting of garlic butter, to add a wonderful garlic bread flavor to the outside of the skull.
Table of contents
Making the Sausage and Pepperoni Stuffed Skulls
Ingredients for Skullzones
To make the stuffed skulls you will need refrigerated pizza dough, pizza sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings. We prefer pepperoni and sausage in our Halloween pizza skulls. You will also need butter and minced garlic for the homemade garlic butter.
Pizza Crust- You will need roughly 1 roll of refrigerated pizza dough, like Pillsbury, to make 6 skulls. We have found that thin crust pizza dough works best in this recipe as is ended up with the best consistency after cooking. We recently discovered Pillsbury Mini Crusts as well, which are just about the perfect size to make the stuffed skulls.
Cheese- You can use a variety of different cheeses in your Skullzones. Living in the Midwest we are a big fan of using a mixture of Provel cheese and a shredded pizza blend in the pizza skull recipe as it provides the perfect gooey goriness when you cut into the skulls. Provel is known as the cheese of choice for St. Louis style pizza, but it has also become our go-to cheese for our Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Bell Peppers.
Kraft Italian Creamy Melt also works well in the recipe, or use your favorite pizza cheese blend. A combination of mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, and/or asiago works great.
Pizza Sauce-Use your favorite pizza sauce recipe in the the stuffed skulls. We have found that thicker sauces work better than very thin sauces, which can make the pizza dough too wet. We typically use our Zesty Pizza Sauce but feel free to use your favorite.
Fillings- We typically stuff our pizza skulls with pepperoni and sausage. Pepperoni is a classic pizza topping and we love the taste and appearance of the sausage in the skullzones. The sausage does a fantastic job of adding to the gory, blood and guts effect of the stuffed skulls.
Garlic Butter- To make the garlic butter you just need minced garlic in oil or garlic squeeze and some butter. You can use salted or unsalted butter in the recipe, depending on preference. Melt the butter and mix the minced garlic into it.
Assembling the Skullzones
To assemble the pizza stuffed skulls you are going to have a skull shaped mini cake pan. We are big fans of the Nordic Ware Skull Cakelet Pans. They can be found here at their website, or often can be found a little cheaper on Amazon.
To form the skulls, brush a light coating of the garlic butter into each skull mold. The garlic butter will add a great flavor to the stuffed skulls and also helps prevent the dough from sticking to the pan.
Next, roll out the pizza dough onto parchment or wax paper. Divide the dough evenly by scoring lines so that you have six equal, long, rectangles of dough. If you are using the mini doughs, just roll them thin and use 1 mini crust per skull.
Place a pizza dough portion in the mold so that it overhangs the top and bottom of one skull. You may need to cut a small portion of additional dough to make certain that the entire mold is covered. Do your best to bring the dough together again without tearing the dough. It won't be perfect, but it adds character to the finished skull.
Add a layer of the cheese mix (about a 2 tablespoons) to the bottom of the skulls.
Next, add about 1-2 tablespoons of pizza sauce.
For the next layer add 3 pepperoni slices (halved) and about 1 tablespoon of cooked, crumbled sausage.
Finish with another 1-2 tablespoons of pizza sauce, and another layer of cheese mix. You want the layers to just about come to the top of the skull pan but not overflow.
Close up the Skullzone by using folding it over the filling the best you can, pinching together the dough pieces to prevent the filling from coming out. If needed, you can seal with some additional dough. This will be the bottom of the skulls and not visible so it does not need to be perfect.
Brush the back of the skull with some more of the garlic butter, then repeat these steps for each skull.
Baking the Stuffed Sausage and Pepperoni Skull Calzones
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the stuffed skulls for 20-25 minutes, rotating about half way through. The filling may leak a bit out of any seams that are not closed well, but don't worry, it will just add to the wonderful goriness of it.
Once the skulls have finished cooking, remove the skull pan from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Carefully, flip the pan over onto a cookie sheet to remove the skulls.
What to Serve with Pizza Stuffed Skulls
We feel the Skullzones stand well on their own, but feel free to serve with additional pizza sauce or some additional garlic butter for dipping. Marinara, Ranch dressing, or blue cheese dressing can also be served with the pizza stuffed skulls.
For more Italian style snacks, check out our Italian Style Parmesan Wings, Pizza Oven Meatball Grinders, and Cast Iron Spinach Artichoke Dip. For more pizza related recipes check out this Pequod’s Inspired Cast Iron Pizza, Ooni Apple Crisp Dessert Pizza, Chicago Tavern Style Pizza and Sicilian Style Pizza.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have found that a thin crust pizza dough works best when making the stuffed pizza skulls as it maintains the best texture after baking the skulls.
Typically allow about 1 hour to make the skulls. You typically need about 30 minutes to form and fill the skulls and about 25 minutes to bake the pizza skulls.
To help maintain a crispier exterior, the skulls are best reheated on a cookie sheet or baking pan in an oven. Reheat at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. You can reheat the skulls in a microwave, but that will typically result soft and possibly soggy crust.
While there are a variety of mini cake pans that you can use to make the pizza skulls, the Skull Cakelet pan by Nordic Ware is our favorite due to its durability and non-stick properties
Just like with pizza, you have an endless list of possibilities for your stuffed pizza skulls. Mushrooms, onions, salami, peppers, chicken, and olives all work well. Be sure that your fillings are cut into bite sized portions before filling the skulls.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. If you tried and enjoyed our recipe please share with others and please leave us a comment and review. We also love to see your pics so don’t forget to tag us @Carne_Diem_Culinary or #CarneDiemBlog. To be notified of future recipes please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, or sign up for our e-mail notifications. Until next time, Carne Diem!
Skullzone (Halloween Pizza Calzone)
- Skull Pan
- 1 11 oz Pillsbury or Similar Brand Pizza Dough thin crust works best
- 1 jar or recipe Pizza Sauce
- 18 slices Pepperoni halved
- 6 Tablespoon Ground Breakfast or Italian Sausage cooked
- 3 slices Provolone Or 6 Tablespoons Rope Provel Cheese
- 1 Package Italian Blend Shredded Cheese or Pizza Blend
- 3 Tablespoons Butter melted
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- Melt the butter and mix the garlic squeeze into it. Brush a light coat into each skull mold.
- Roll out the pizza dough onto parchment or wax paper. Divide the dough evenly by scoring lines so that you have six equal, long, rectangles of dough.
- Slice one section of dough out and place it in the mold so that it overhangs the top and bottom of one skull. Cut just enough of an end to then divide in two and fill the sides of the same skull so the entire mold is covered. Do your best to bring the dough together again without tearing the dough. It won't be perfect, but it adds character to the finished skull.
- Add a layer of Provel or provolone cheese and Italian cheese mix (about a tablespoon of each), then a layer of pizza sauce (about 1-2 tablespoons), 3 pepperoni slices (halved), about 1 tablespoon of cooked, crumbled sausage, another layer of pizza sauce (1-2 tablespoons), and another layer of Italian and Provel or Provolone cheeses. You want the layers to just about come to the top of the skull pan but not overflow.
- Close up the Skullzone by using the overflow of crust and fold it over the filling the best you can, pinching together the dough pieces to prevent the filling from coming out.
- Brush the back of the skull crust with some of the garlic butter.
- Repeat these steps in each skull.
- Place in a preheated oven at 350 degree for 20-25 minutes. The filling may come out of any seams that are not closed well, but don't worry, it will just add to the wonderful goriness of it.