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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Homemade Pizza Lunchables – Store versus Homemade


My youngest daughter loves her Pizza Lunchables, she would eat them for every meal if we would let her.  I am not sure if it is the taste or just the fact she gets to construct her lunch.  Being out of them we decided to make our own.

As many discoveries are found by mistake, I found that my tortillas had a similar (but better) taste to the Lunchable “pizza crust” if I cooked them too long at low heat.  Though there are better instructions on the original post here is the recipe I used for my pizza crusts:


Lunchable Pizza Crust Recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk

    Directions: Add dry ingredients to mixer and set to low speed.  Add wet ingredients to separate bowl, whisk briefly and slowly add wet ingredients to mixer.  If the dough is still sticky when you touch it add about a teaspoon of flour at a time until it no longer sticks to your fingers.

    Cover and let dough rest for ten minutes.  Separate into 8 equal pieces and cover and let rest for 20 minutes. 

    Use a roller to spread the dough out to about 6-7 inch circular shape.  Cook on a dry skillet on stove (or electric griddle) at medium-low heat for until sides are lightly browned on both sides and set aside.


    Lunchable Pizza Sauce recipe

    • 1 can tomato sauce
    • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic salt
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tsp sugar (more or less depending on children/adult’s tastes)

    Directions:  I give the above amounts as a baseline but pizza sauce is fun to play with and adjust by personal taste.  Be sure to include the kids to give their culinary opinions on what to add next.  Add water or let reduce to get the right constancy, of well pizza sauce.


    As for the final construction the kids should be able to figure this part.  Take a pizza crust, spread on a little sauce (preferable still hot/warm) and sprinkle on some cheese and you are done.  You can also throw it in an oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes to fully melt the cheese.

    The Contender – Store Bought

    Lunchables Pepperoni Pizza, $1.99 (contains 3 small pizzas)

    Ingredients: Pizza Crusts: Wheat Flour (Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour [Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Wheat Flour), Water, Soybean Oil, Glycerine, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Yeast, Vital Wheat Gluten, Mono- and Diglycerides, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Carboxymethylcellulose, Datem, Calcium Propionate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Enzyme, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sorbic Acid.    Pizza Sauce: Water, Tomato Paste, Sugar, Contains Less than 2% of Modified Food Starch, Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Spice, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate as a Preservative, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavor. Pasteurized Prepared Mozzarella Cheese Product: Pasteurized Part-Skim Milk, Water, Whey Protein Concentrate, Milk Protein Concentrate, Milkfat, Sodium Citrate, Salt, Sorbic Acid as a Preservative, Enzymes, Cheese Culture. Pepperoni Flavored Sausage: Pork, Water, Pepperoni (Pork, Salt, Spices, Dextrose, Garlic Powder, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Sodium Nitrite

    The Challenger - Homemade

    Here are the costs of making these yourself:

    Pizza Crust

    Ingredient Amount Cost
    Flour 2 cups $ 0.249
    Baking Powder 1.5 teaspoons $ 0.048
    Milk 3/4 cup $ 0.140
    Salt 1 teaspoons $ 0.007
    Vegetable Oil 2 teaspoons $ 0.017
    Total Cost   $ 0.462

    Pizza Sauce + Cheese

    Ingredient Amount Cost
    Tomato sauce 15 oz can $ 0.69
    Onion powder 1 teaspoon $ 0.043
    Garlic salt 1 teaspoon $ 0.041
    Sugar 1 teaspoon $ 0.001
    Olive oil 1 tablespoon $ 0.176
    Cheese 1/4 cup $ 0.313
    Total $ 0.951


    All together it cost $1.73 to make eight  7 inch pizzas, given the Lunchable variety contain three 5 inch pizzas, going by surface area it takes two Lunchable pizzas to equal one homemade pizza so the homemade recipe makes the equivalent of 5.33 packaged Pizza Lunchables.

    The Decision…


    Store bought


    Price   image   image   image   image   image
    Taste   image   image      image   image   image   image   image 
    Difficulty   image     image   image 

    As far as cost goes it was much cheaper to to homemade on this one.  For only $1.73 I was able to create the equivalent of 5.33 packaged Lunchables which would have cost $10.61 to buy in the store.

    I used both my daughters a a judge for taste on this one.  My oldest daughter said 5 stars for homemade and one star for store bought.  My youngest daughter (who is very partial to Lunchables) stated that this was a little better.  So giving homemade another win.

    Though we only had one leftover pizza crust for our family of four, these easily could be added to a school lunch using a nice partitioned Tupperware, to not only save money but also creating less waste.


    Tweekee said...

    Thanks for posting this. I'm too old to be buying lunchables and when I do my fiance eats some too so I'm still very hungry. They turned out great!

    Anonymous said...

    So I'm 18 years old. Going off to college and pizza lunchables have been my favorite since I was a little kid. Recently I saw some at the store and decided to get a box. Hmm, not as filling as I remember. For $3, I'd rather buy something more filling. So I looked up the recipe and found this. Great recipe! however I use traditional pasta sauce and only half a teaspoon of garlic powder and teaspoon of sugar and a half teaspoon of italian seasoning. Tastes EXACTLY like the lunchables but better! Mozerella cheese works best.

    Anonymous said...

    Hey I am also a college student and i had a craving for some lunachables from my childhood. These were perfect! Thank you so much!

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks SO much for this recipe.