Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups

$4.71 recipe / $0.59 each
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 1 vote
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I’ve wanted to make this fun snack for a couple of years now and I had a little leftover pesto the other day so I finally made it happen! These Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups are a riff off of my Pizza Roll Ups recipe. It’s a tasty combo of pesto and mozzarella rolled up in flour tortilla then baked until crispy on the outside and melty on the inside. So fun! I also paired these roll ups with a creamy and tangy dip that perfectly balances the basil pesto.

side view of a plate full of pesto mozzarella roll ups.

What Kind of Pesto to Use

Pesto is undoubtedly the most expensive ingredient in this dish, so you’ll want to choose wisely. Aldi has a pretty good basil pesto for a great price but if that one isn’t your favorite or you don’t have an Aldi near you, I also like Barilla, Classico, and Felippo Berio brands.

And don’t let the rest of the jar of pesto go to waste! Check out our pesto archives for other delicious ways to use up your pesto.

To Dip or Not to Dip

I paired these pesto mozzarella roll ups with a super simple creamy and tangy tomato flavored dip, but it’s completely optional. The roll ups are great on their own and it does get pretty rich with the dip, so it’s totally up to you! Or, if you already have a fridge full of half-used bottles of sauces and dressing, try experimenting with a different flavor dip. ;)

How Are the Leftovers?

Pesto mozzarella roll ups are definitely best right when they come out of the oven so the tortilla is crispy and the mozzarella is soft and melty, so I suggest scaling the recipe up or down as needed. Luckily, they’re just as easy to make whether you want to make two or twenty!

a pesto mozzarella roll up being torn in half, the cheese pulling between.
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Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups

5 from 1 vote
Pesto mozzarella roll ups combine melty mozzarella cheese and flavorful basil pesto rolled up in a flour tortilla then baked to perfection!
Author: Beth – Budget Bytes
Side view of pesto mozzarella roll ups stacked on a plate.
Servings 8 roll ups
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients

Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups

  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas ($2.23)
  • 4 Tbsp basil pesto ($1.00)
  • 4 pieces mozzarella string cheese ($1.00)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)

Creamy Tomato Dip (optional)

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.29)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste ($0.07)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds to soften the tortillas.
  • Slice the string cheese in half length-wise. Spread ½ Tbsp pesto over the lower half of each tortilla, staying away from the edges. Place one piece of mozzarella on top of each.
  • Fold the sides of the tortilla in on top of the cheese, then begin rolling up from the bottom until the cheese is completely rolled up in the tortilla.
  • Place the roll ups on a parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down. Brush the roll ups with a light coating of cooking oil.
  • Bake the roll ups in the preheated oven for about 13 minutes, or until they're lightly golden brown on the edges and the cheese is melted.
  • While the roll ups are in the oven, prepare the creamy tomato dip. Stir together the mayonnaise, tomato paste, and minced garlic.
  • Let the roll ups cool just enough to handle, then serve with the creamy tomato dip.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1roll upCalories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 6gFat: 15gSodium: 461mgFiber: 1g
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pesto mozzarella roll ups stacked on a plate, one being dipped into the sauce on the side.

How to Make Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups – Step by Step Photos

Tortillas stacked on a plate with a damp paper towel covering.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Stack eight 8-inch flour tortillas on a plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave for about 30 seconds to steam the tortillas. This makes them soft and pliable so they won’t rip when you try to roll them.

Pesto mozzarella roll up being built.

Slice four pieces of mozzarella string cheese in half length-wise. You’ll use one half per roll up. Smear about ½ Tbsp basil pesto over the bottom half of a tortilla, staying away from the edges. Place one halved string cheese on the pesto.

A pesto mozzarella roll up half-way rolled.

Fold the sides of the tortilla in to close off the ends, then start rolling from the bottom up until the cheese is fully rolled up in the tortilla.

pesto mozzarella roll ups being brushed with oil.

Place the roll ups seam side down on a lined baking sheet. Brush them lightly with cooking oil. This helps the tortillas get extra crispy. You could also spritz them with cooking spray. Bake the roll ups for about 13 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on the edges.

creamy tomato sauce in a bowl with a spoon.

While the pesto mozzarella roll ups are baking, make the creamy tomato sauce. In a small bowl, stir together ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, and 1 clove of minced garlic.

baked pesto mozzarella roll ups.

Once the roll ups are lightly golden brown on the edges and you start to see a little cheese oozing, they’re ready! This should take about 13 minutes of baking, give or take a minute or two. Let them cool just enough to handle.

Side view of pesto mozzarella roll ups stacked on a plate.

The pesto kind of soaks into the tortillas making them soooooo good!

Pesto mozzarella roll up dipped into the bowl of creamy tomato sauce.

You don’t want to know how many of these I ate while taking the photographs!

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    1. That might work, but I haven’t done it before. Try a small batch and make sure to let us know!:)

  1. Incredible stuff! Super simple to make, but with a surprisingly refined flavor that wouldn’t ever give away that you’re using string cheese. The sauce is simple and great, too.

  2. Ooh! I’ve made your pizza roll ups for my kids for years (and pro tip: they pack great in lunchboxes). Now I want to try this more “grown up” version for me and my husband!!

  3. Sounds delicious, and as I live alone, would be great scaled down in the air fryer! Yum! 

  4. Hi, I am from Genova, the city where pesto was invented (actually it was invented in the nearby Pra, but whatever…) and my family-owned traditional inn specializes in traditional basil pesto. So after me using this site for years, let me give you some tips…jarred pesto is usually meh, we never use it, but homemade pesto freezes very well! Fresh basil and pine nuts are expensive, but you can be creative (even if not traditional) and make different kinds of less expensive pesto which are much better than the jarred basil ones. For example: arugula pesto. Arugula is much more inexpensive than fresh basil and makes a really good pesto that can be used anywhere basil pesto would go. Marjoram pesto. Sundried tomato pesto, that’s a traditional Sicilian version with almonds that is killer. Pistachio and pancetta pesto, ok still expensive but amazing. Kale pesto, I never tried it but it should be good. Mix half pesto and half tomato sauce and you have another very good sauce (levantina). Pine nuts can be mixed or subbed with walnuts for a less expensive and earthier version that was common in the Genoan countryside. You can even omit the nuts and add more oil like the Provençals do for a runnier sauce. Just don’t use cashews in basil pesto (what most jarred pesto use), that’s a no, the cashew flavor just doesn’t go there. But what about a cilantro-peanut pesto? Why not? As you can see you can get very creative there and customize it to your taste (less garlic, no garlic, MORE garlic, etc). Just don’t pass these off as ‘traditional Genoese pesto’ and it’s fine…lol (the Genoese can be very touchy with pesto). Have fun, spend less and eat better.

    1. OHHHHH thank you so much for all of these delicious ideas. I garden, and this year my basil is very sad, but I have a tonne of Arugula and the cilantro is occasionally wildly successful. Going to try cilantro and peanut! have tried Arugula and almond, loved it, will do again.

    2. Pignoli ARE expensive – I’ve used toasted sunflower seeds and no one notices the difference. Great recipe – simple but classic & delicious. Next time I’ll add thin pepperoni!

  5. Does anyone know how these are with corn tortillas or any other gluten free options?

    1. I haven’t made these yet but I make quesadillas with Toufayan (sp? it’s the pita bread people. they sell gluten free stuff through Amazon) brand tortillas (wraps) and they’re amazing. I see no reason why they wouldn’t be just as tasty here.

  6. Re the dip: I completely understand why the tomato paste, given mozzarella & pesto, but if someone likes a little kick as I do, suggest substituting sriracha for the tomato paste. Yum!!

  7. I have made these before, but without the pesto. These sound way better. Just have to get the cheese.

  8. If someone likes the idea but isn’t wild about that much basil, Aldi also has a sundried tomato pesto that would work well. I frequently use it instead of pizza sauce when making “pizzadillas”– turkey pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and the tomato pesto between two flour tortillas ( or one folded over for a smaller one). We took those to the park for picnics frequently when my daughter was younger.

    1. Karen, I too like that red pesto from Aldi’s. Thank you for all of the inspired suggestions, Didina.