How to make Stromboli

This Pepperoni Stromboli recipe first appeared on Savory Experiments, where I am a contributor.

This crunchy, cheesy, meaty stromboli could not be easier to make at home! All you need are 7 ingredients to make this delicious homemade stromboli recipe. Perfect for weeknights, pizza parties and any time! Makes 6 servings, but can be doubled or tripled.

A sliced meat-filled stromboli on a sheet pan with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese

I’m a sucker for a homemade pizza, but making homemade stromboli never crossed my mind until recently.

And when it did, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so we made and shared it one evening with friends, who all marveled about it.

It’s seriously the perfect handheld appetizer or dinner. Serve it alongside a salad to make it dinner or serve it before the party gets going as an appetizer.

Why I love this recipe:

This homemade stromboli recipe is incredibly simple, but incredibly flavorful. The dough bakes up beautifully and creates a crunchy exterior, and the interior is gooey, meaty and utterly delicious.

Also, you can add whatever fillings float your boat, even though I’m just sharing a traditional meat-filled Pepperoni Stromboli recipe here.

How could we not love that?

This easy stromboli recipe is excellent for dinner (whether you’re just making it for your family or doubling the recipe to share for a casual meal with friends) or a game day entertaining situation.

Other easy dinners that could also be appetizers: Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos | Grilled Steak Flatbread Pizza Recipe | Pepperoni Pizza Rolls | Bruschetta Pinwheels and Pesto Sun-Dried Tomato Pinwheels | BBQ Nachos | Hamburger Sliders with Bacon Cherry Compote

Need more game day food inspiration? Head on over to my Football Food Recipe Index.

Ingredients for homemade stromboli on marble

What you need to make this recipe

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In addition to the tools above, you’ll need a few ingredients, too.

  • Pizza dough—I used store-bought to make life easier, but you can use homemade pizza dough, too! You may also use an Italian bread dough if you can get your hands on it. We need about a pound of it for one stromboli.
  • Pepperoni or other sliced, cured meats—choose ones sliced into larger rounds because they’ll be easier to roll in. You can see in these photos that I used pepperoni, as well as a combination of salame, capocollo and sopresetta in the two different stromboli shown here.
  • Pizza sauce—technically, you don’t have to include this, but I really like a little sauce inside to create some gooeyness. You can also serve it for dipping. You may also use a thicker marinara sauce or a tomato sauce, if you can’t find pizza sauce.
  • Cheese—we’re using shredded mozzarella cheese and sliced provolone inside and sprinkling grated parmesan on top.
  • Egg—this will help hold the dough together, as well as make the outside of the dough crisp up and brown beautifully.
  • Herbs and spices—I added a sprinkling of dried Italian herbs on top, as well as some chopped fresh parsley.

Other add-ins for homemade stromboli

The world is your oyster when it comes to Stromboli fillings. If you’re swapping out these for the ingredients above, I suggest using the same amounts because you do not want to overfill your dough.

Here are some ideas of other ingredients you can use in yours:

  • Meats, like ground sausage, salami, other cold cuts, or even sliced chicken breast or thighs, would be excellent. Traditional Italian cold cuts are considered classic ingredients for this. I like to use the meat as my base, so whatever you choose, make sure you’ve got enough to cover the majority of the pizza dough.
  • Veggies, like onions, broccoli, green bell peppers, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, etc., would be delicious add-ins. Think of your favorite veggies to add to pizzas and those would be delicious here, too!
  • Additional hard shredded cheeses would work, too, though I caution not to add extra cheese for the heck of it. This Stromboli is jam-packed as is, and additional cheese will spill out as it bakes. I do not recommend using wetter cheeses, like ricotta or a fresh mozzarella, for fear of them weighing down the dough.
Collage showing how to layer filling inside a homemade stromboli

How to make Stromboli

Prepare. Move the top rack to the center of the oven, and preheat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray with nonstick baking spray. This will help you roll out your pizza dough, as well as roll the stromboli.

Spread the pizza dough. Spread the pizza dough out into a rectangle on the baking sheet, using your hands to form it into a 14” x 10” rectangle. You may also use a rolling pin to do this step, though I found it easy enough to do with my hands. It’ll be about ½” thick.

Pro tip: You don’t want the pizza dough to be too thin, or you’ll run the risk of it tearing as you roll it up.

Make the Stromboli. Line the dough with a layer of pepperoni (or whatever meat you’re using.) Top that with a slather of pizza sauce, then sprinkle on the mozzarella. Add the provolone.

I like to leave a little room at the far end of the dough to give my fillings a little movement room as I roll the dough.

Collage showing how to roll a homemade stromboli

Add egg wash. To make the egg wash, all you have to do is break the egg in a bowl. Use a pastry brush or your finger to run a layer of the egg along the edges of the pizza dough. This will help it seal.

Roll up like a cinnamon roll. Start on a long side and roll it into a log, curling your hands around the dough to keep it all together. Fold in the short sides so the dough will seal, then continue rolling until you have a log. Seal the dough by pinching it together. Flip the stromboli over so the seam side is facing down.

Brush the top with the egg wash, too. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese and some Italian seasoning blend. Cut 4-6 slices in the top to help vent for steam, too.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.

Cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing, or until it’s not piping hot. If you slice it too early, the hot cheese and fillings can spill out.

Slice into rounds, and enjoy with additional pizza sauce.

Collage showing a homemade stromboli before baking

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

We’ve all been to a pizza party, but has anyone experienced a Stromboli Party before?

I think this would be a fun recipe to make with kids at a sleepover or another time you’re hosting friends and want to do something a little different.

Here are a few tips and tricks for making this recipe for a crowd:

  • Double the recipe. You’re going to need two sheet pans, too, so have those ready to go, as well as double the ingredients. I suggest making one pepperoni stromboli and another with a different type of meat, or even a vegetarian, all cheese and veggie one.
  • Mise en place. If you’re entertaining and making this recipe, prep the toppings before your guests arrive. (Or make them and pop them into the oven before guests arrive so they’ll be out and ready!)
  • Involve the kids. Spreading the pizza dough and adding the filling ingredients is a great job for kids! Invite them into the kitchen and prepare for a little mess.
A baked pepperoni stromboli before slicing

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a stromboli and a calzone?

A stromboli is rolled, like a cinnamon roll, but left in a log shape before baking. You slice it after it bakes. A calzone comes from a round of pizza dough that is filled, then folded in half to look like a half moon before baking.

Their fillings can also differ, though that’s less important. You’ll oftentimes see a calzone with ricotta filling, but that’s not always the case.

Is calzone dough and pizza dough the same?

Yes. Calzones are typically made with pizza dough.

What’s the difference between a stromboli and a pizza roll?

They’re very similar. To me, the difference is a stromboli bakes in a log and is sliced once baked while a pizza roll is sliced before baking.

Do stromboli have sauce inside?

They can have sauce inside! I use a little sauce in my recipe here, though I caution not to use too much or to put the sauce directly on the dough.

Close up of homemade stromboli slices

Quick tips and tricks for the best homemade stromboli

  • Swap out the toppings! Use this recipe as a basis to create your own adventure. Use the same ratios of meat to cheese so the dough doesn’t burst.
  • Make ahead tip: Make it on a baking sheet ahead of time, and pop in the fridge. Keep it cold until it’s time to bake, then bake it in a preheated oven!
  • How to store: Take cooled leftovers and place in an airtight food storage container. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days.
A sliced meat-filled stromboli on a sheet pan with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese
Yield: 6 servings

How to make Stromboli

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This crunchy, cheesy, meaty stromboli could not be easier to make at home! All you need are 7 ingredients to make this delicious homemade Stromboli recipe. Perfect for weeknights, pizza parties and any time!

Ingredients

  • 13.8 oz. pizza dough
  • 4 oz. pepperoni (or other assorted meats of your choosing)
  • ¼ cup pizza sauce
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz. provolone cheese slices (6 slices)
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, for wash
  • Pinch of Italian herbs

Garnishes

  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Italian herbs
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat to 400F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spritz with nonstick baking spray.
  3. Spread the pizza dough onto the lined baking sheet, and spread into a 14” x 10” rectangle.
  4. Line the dough with pepperoni, leaving 1-2” between the final pepperoni and the exterior long edge. (This will make rolling easier.)
  5. Slather the sauce onto the pepperoni.
  6. Sprinkle on the mozzarella. Finish with the provolone.
  7. Brush egg wash along the edges of the pizza dough. This will help seal it as it bakes.
  8. Roll up like a cinnamon roll. Start on a long side and roll it into a log, curling your hands around the dough to keep it all together. Fold in the short sides so the dough will seal, then continue rolling until you have a log. Seal the dough by pinching it together.
  9. Flip the stromboli over so the seam side is faces down.
  10. Brush egg wash on top. Sprinkle on parmesan and some Italian herbs.
  11. Cut 4-5 slices in the top as vents, then pop into the hot oven.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.
  13. Let cool for 15-20 minutes, or until the stromboli isn’t piping hot.
  14. Slice into rounds, and enjoy with additional pizza sauce.

Notes

A note on ingredient substitutes: You can customize this recipe to your tastebuds! I suggest using the same proportions as listed above so that it’s not overfull.

Here are some other ingredients that would be delicious in this recipe:

Meats, like ground sausage, salami, other cold cuts, or even sliced chicken breast or thighs, would be excellent. Traditional Italian cold cuts are considered classic ingredients for this. I like to use the meat as my base, so whatever you choose, make sure you’ve got enough to cover the majority of the pizza dough.
Veggies, like onions, broccoli, green bell peppers, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, etc., would be delicious add-ins. Think of your favorite veggies to add to pizzas and those would be delicious here, too!
Shredded cheeses work, too, though I caution not to add extra cheese for the heck of it. (So swap out the mozzarella or provolone for whatever other flavor you want.) This Stromboli is jam-packed as is, and additional cheese will spill out as it bakes. I do not recommend using wetter cheeses, like ricotta or a fresh mozzarella.

How to store: Take cooled leftovers and place them in an airtight food storage container. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 1069mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 24g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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2 Comments

  1. I totally went outside my comfort zone with this one!! I cannot believe how fantastic it turned out!! You explained things so well that even a novice like me was able to make this beautiful stromboli! Thank you!!

    1. OH YAY! Here’s to going outside of your comfort zone and trying something new. I’m so excited to hear that this turned out for you and that you got to enjoy a beautiful stromboli!

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