Pizza twists in the shape of a heart on brown parchment paper. There is a heart shapes wooden spoon in the background, as well as a small white bowl with pizza sauce.

Tearin’ Up My Heart Pizza Twists

4.4 from 45 votes

It’s a heart-shaped pizza, but with a twist (literally)! I love making heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day and I thought after making the Tearin’ Up My Heart Cinnamon Roll that I could spin that into a pizza-related recipe! I really love how this came out. This would be so much fun to serve to your Valentines and your Galentines! Who doesn’t love pizza? I made a bread dough for this so that it would be a bit softer and fluffier than pizza crust, but you could definitely take a shortcut and use pre-made pizza dough (or puff pastry – see more on that below) if you want to! You’d need two pizza dough balls that are about 1 lb each.

The best part about making pizza is that it’s so customizable. You can top (or in this case – fill) it with whatever you want. I wanted to make mine half pesto and half traditional pizza sauce which I then topped with mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan. If you want to add pepperoni, or any olives or veggies, I would chop them up so that they don’t get caught up on your knife when you’re slicing your strips.

As seen on Instagram here.

Notes on using puff pastry:

If you want to make this with puff pastry, it will definitely work! If using a frozen puff pastry, set it on the counter for about 30 mins or so to thaw before working with it. You want the pastry to be soft and pliable, but still cold. Room temperature or warm puff pastry dough will not puff properly in the oven and will appear raw and doughy, even after the full cooking time. One thing to remember when working with puff pastry is that you want to work quickly because the dough should still be cool to the touch when it goes into the oven to ensure that it puffs up and becomes flaky.

You’ll need two sheets of puff pastry to make this. I recommend rolling them out and cutting them into heart shapes. You can cut a heart out of a piece of paper to use as a guide. Since puff pastry is thinner than the dough that I used and doesn’t rise, I recommend keeping the fillings light. Stick with a thin layer of sauce and don’t go too heavy on the cheese. Once you’ve topped your bottom heart, lay your second heart over it, place a cookie cutter in the center, and proceed to Step 11 in the recipe below.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Next, follow the same cutting and twisting method as shown in the recipe below. Lightly brush your pastry with olive oil and Italian seasonings and put it into the oven immediately. Puff pastry doesn’t contain yeast and doesn’t rise like bread dough or pizza dough. You want to get it into the oven as quickly as possible, as I mentioned above. It will take about 20 mins to bake and will be golden brown when done. Depending on your oven, you may want to take a look at it starting at 15 mins just to see how it’s doing and it’s possible that it could take up to 25 minutes.

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Tearin’ Up My Heart Pizza Twists

Recipe by Sarah
4.4 from 45 votes
Course: Appetizers, Lunch, Dinner, BrunchCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

45

minutes
Cooking time

28

minutes
Calories

317

kcal
Rising time 1

1

hour 

30

minutes
Rising time s

30

mins
Total time

2

hours 

43

minutes

Heart-shaped pizza for Valentine’s Day – but with a twist!

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Ingredients

  • For the dough:
  • 1 tbsp active yeast

  • 1 1/2 c warm water (100-110 degrees F)

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp fine pink Himalayan sea salt

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 c bread flour

  • In between the layers:
  • 2 tbsp pesto (see notes)

  • 3 tbsp pizza sauce (see notes)

  • 1 1/4 c shredded mozzarella

  • 1 tbsp shredded Parmesan

  • On the top:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (see notes)

  • 2 tsp grated Parmesan

Directions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil.
  • Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until mostly incorporated.
  • Add the rest of the flour, 1 cup at a time. The dough should start to form and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead in the mixer on low speed for 5 mins. The dough should be soft and no longer sticky when it’s done.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, lift your ball of dough out of the bowl and add a teaspoon of olive oil to the mixing bowl. Put the dough back into the bowl, roll it into the oil so the surface is covered, cover the bowl and allow it to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours. I usually let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Once the dough has risen, weigh it with a kitchen scale and divide it into two equal sections. You can estimate it if you don’t have a kitchen scale. My two dough sections were about 1lb each. You’re going to work one section of dough at a time, so keep the one you’re not working on covered so it doesn’t dry out.
  • On a very lightly floured surface, roll out the first section of dough. I rolled it out and shaped it into a heart by hand. I found it helpful to cut a heart template out of parchment paper and use that as a guide to make the heart. Mine was about 12 inches across and 12 inches tall. I also would gently fold the heart in half down the middle from time to time, to ensure that it was symmetrical. Once you’re happy with the first heart, lay it on a piece of parchment paper and cover it so that you can make the second heart.French bread pizza dough rolled out into a heart shape on a wooden board.
  • Once both dough hearts are ready, measure out your toppings. I chose to do half pesto, half pizza sauce and then top with mozzarella. You can add in anything you want! I would try and keep the toppings small if you wanted to add anything like pepperoni or olives, etc., I would probably chop them up to make it easier for when you go to slice the heart into strips. Place a piece of parchment paper under your bottom dough heart before you start to top it. This will make it easier to move from your cutting surface to your sheet pan for baking. You want to avoid cutting on your sheet pan because it will ruin the surface.Heart shaped pizza dough on a wooden board with sauces and topping ready to be added. Pictured is pesto, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella and shredded parmesan.
  • Add your choice of sauce in a thin, even layer. Cutting and twisting can get messy if there is too much in between the layers of dough.Heart shaped pizza dough with pesto on the right and pizza sauce on the right.
  • Add cheese and if you’re adding additional toppings, add them too!Heart shaped pizza dough with pesto on the right side, pizza sauce on the left side and mozzarella cheese covering it, on a brown piece of parchment paper.
  • Carefully lay the top heart dough on top of your bottom layer and your pizza fillings. Then place a cookie cutter or something similar in the middle as a guide so that you can start making your slices. The cutter that I used is linked below. It is about 2 1/2 inches across and 2 3/4 inches tall.Heart shaped pizza with a silver heart shaped biscuit cutter in the middle, on brown parchment on a wooden board.
  • Using a sharp knife, start at the bottom and make your first slice. I cut from the bottom of the heart cookie cutter to the bottom point of my heart. I then worked my way from the bottom to the top of the right side, making cuts evenly spaced from each other, all the way around. Each one was about an inch wide at the end. I had 10 strips total. Once the right side is complete, repeat on the left side. It doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t worry too much, just trust the process!Heart shaped pizza with a silver heart shaped biscuit cutter in the middle.
  • Starting with the bottom right strip, carefully lift it and twist it 2 full turns. Then do the same with the bottom left strip, but in the opposite direction. You want to twist all of the strips on the right in the same direction (I twisted them counter-clockwise) and all of the strips on the left will twist in the opposite direction (I twisted my left side clockwise). Working from the bottom to the top, twist up one side and then the other. Heart shaped pizza twists on brown parchment paper on top of a wooden pastry board.
  • Leave the cookie cutter in place and lightly cover your heart to let it rise a second time for about 30 mins. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place a rack in the center.
  • Once the second rise is done, lightly brush the entire surface with the olive oil and seasoning mixture, using a pastry brush. Heart shaped pizza dough, cut and twisted, on a baking sheet.
  • This will need to bake on a full sheet sized rimmed baking sheet (25 inches x 17 1/4 inches) because it expands a lot while baking. In the photo above, mine is on a half sheet. I moved it to my full sheet before putting it into the oven because I expected that it would expand quite a bit and it did. Using the parchment paper beneath, carefully lift and place your pizza twists onto the baking sheet and place into the oven. Bake for 28 minutes. I turned my sheet half a turn in the oven after 15 minutes. Once it’s golden brown, it’s done!
  • Top with grated or shredded Parmesan and serve immediately with extra sauce on the side for dipping!

Equipment

Recipe Video

Notes

  • I wanted to make this half and half with pesto on one side and pizza sauce on the other. You can do it however you want! If you want it all pesto, it will be about 4 tbsp of pesto and if you want it all pizza sauce, then it will be about 6 tbsp of pizza sauce. I found that the pesto was thicker, so I needed less of it to cover the dough. Use your judgement on the amounts, you want an even layer, not too thick.
  • I use these dipping herbs as Italian seasoning. It’s my favorite!
  • If your house is not warm enough for the dough to rise, set the oven to 350 and set a timer for 1 minute. Allow the oven to preheat for just that 1 minute, turn it back off, and place the covered bowl with the dough inside the slightly warm oven to rise.

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13 Comments

  1. When you say active yeast. Do you use a sourdough starter or those little packets of dry yeast? Excited to make these!

    • Hi Eva! Great question, thank you! I use SAF active yeast. The little packets are actually instant yeast and they will work too, but instant yeast needs to be proofed (added to warm water to bubble). Active yeast can be added in just like any other ingredient and doesn’t require proofing which is why I like it. I don’t use sourdough starter, but I know people who have used it for several of my recipes and they usually swap out for a dough recipe that’s specifically meant for sourdough. I hope that helps!

    • Hi Jordan! Great question! I haven’t tried that, but I definitely think it would work! 2-3 tbsp of butter is the amount I would recommend. I think more than 3 tbsp and you’ll start having it leak out. Let me
      know how it turns out! It sounds delicious.

    • Hi Deb! Thank you so much! This makes me so happy to hear! My family and I really love making this too. So cute and tasty! You can always send me photos on instagram @sarahtreed or on my Best Little Moments Facebook page. I love seeing my recipes recreated. Have a great weekend!

    • Hi Samantha! I haven’t tested it, but I think that you could make the dough the day before, allow it to have the first rise, then refrigerate overnight. I would bring it to room temp and then proceed with rolling it out into the hearts, etc.

  2. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe. I made it for my husband last night for our first married Valentine’s Day 🥰 but we can’t figure out where the cheese went!? I used plenty but it seems like it vanished while baking 😂 just wondering if you’ve experience this? Maybe the type of cheese I used was not ideal (Monterrey Jack)? P.S . I accidentally commented on the cinnamon twist one cause I was checking that one out to try, can’t wait 😋 sorry

    • Hi Lauren,
      Thank you so much! Happy first married Valentine’s Day! That’s amazing and I am so honored that you made my recipe. Did you find the cheese melted out onto the pan after baking? Monterey Jack is a high fat and high moisture content cheese, so if you didn’t see it on the pan, I suspect that it melted and kind of combined with the sauce and bread, so you didn’t end up with the gooey cheese pull that you get from mozzarella.
      Sarah

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