This easy stromboli recipe features Italian meats and cheese rolled up in pizza dough and baked until golden brown and melty.
As so many recipes have in our family, this stromboli recipe came to us from a family friend, years ago. It is always a hit when served and much requested!
Besides being delicious, stromboli is incredibly easy to make. While you do need a bit of time for the dough to rise, the actual preparation itself takes just a few minutes.
What Is Stromboli?
Stromboli is an Italian-American creation featuring flattened yeast dough that is covered in deli meats, cheeses and herbs, then rolled up to bake. After baking and cooling a bit, it is sliced for serving.
One thing I love about Stromboli is you get all the flavors in every bite. I also love to dip sliced stromboli in warmed pizza sauce.
I’ve listed our favorite ingredients for preparing this dish, but it is easy to customize the stromboli with your own favorite ingredients. You can use your choice of meats, cheese, and herbs (fresh or dried). More about variations and substitutions in the Prep Tips section.
This serves eight as an appetizer and three or four as an entrée.
- One loaf of frozen bread or pizza dough
- Sliced pepperoni
- Sliced hard salami
- Sliced mozzarella cheese
- Sliced provolone cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Dried basil or fresh
- Dried oregano or fresh
- Black Pepper
You may notice that there are no specific ingredient amounts given in the recipe. That’s how it came to me. I bought the thinnest sliced meats and cheese I could. I bought standard sized packs of each and got two Stromboli’s out of them.
This recipe is VERY easy, but you’ll need about six hours for the dough to rise before you plan to serve this dish. That’s not actual “work” time – you’re just waiting for the dough to rise, but it’s good to plan ahead!
- Place one loaf of frozen dough onto a nonstick surface. A plate is fine but the dough will stick a little.
- Allow to thaw and rise at room temperature for about 4 to 5 hours until the dough doubles in size.
- Remove the sliced meats and cheese from the refrigerator about a half hour before you are ready to assemble the stromboli. The cheese and meat is more pliable when warmer, and this will make it much easier to roll up the stromboli!
- When dough has doubled in size: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To Make and Bake the Stromboli:
- Roll the dough out into a circle, like a pizza crust.
- Layer the ingredients in the following order: pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, herbs, and pepper. Leave about ½ inch around the edges. Each layer of cheese or meat should cover the dough or layer under it. Then top the meats and cheese with your choice of herbs.
- Once all the ingredients are in place, begin to roll up the dough. To roll, you will lift and roll the dough, cinnamon roll style. Take your time to keep all the ingredients in place and inside the roll. When you have it all rolled up, pinch the ends together and along the seam to seal.
- Place the Stromboli seam side down on your prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. After you remove the stromboli from the oven, brush the top with melted butter while it’s still warm.
- Cooling Time: Allow the Stromboli to rest for 20 – 30 minutes after baking. This allows the ingredients to cool and set a bit so you can slice the stromboli easily. A serrated knife works best.
- Garnish: Try a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and/or fresh herbs on top before serving.
- Serve with: pizza sauce or marinara sauce for dipping.
- Variations: Feel free to substitute your favorite protein in this recipe. For example, sliced ham would also work well. You can also include more vegetables, like your favorite pizza toppings. Think: onions, bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, olives, garlic, etc.
- Fresh or Dried Herbs: The original recipe called for dried basil and oregano. It specifically mentions that fresh parsley is best. I used fresh basil as well. While I did use dried oregano for this, I didn’t love it and would probably leave it out next time or use fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference Between a Calzone and a Stromboli?
Calzones and stromboli are both Italian-style dishes that are made with pizza dough and stuffed with fillings. However, there are a few key differences between the two:
- Calzones often contain sauce inside the dough, while stromboli are traditionally baked without sauce inside and instead may be dipped in sauce after slicing.
- Stromboli are rolled up into a cylinder shape, baked, and then sliced. Calzones are rolled up and then folded over into a half-moon shape; they may be cut in half before serving or served whole.
- Calzone typically contains meat, cheese, vegetables, and sauce. Stromboli usually are filled with meats and cheeses only.
Of course, everyone has their own recipes and you may sometimes see stromboli baked with sauce inside, calzones with no sauce, etc. In the end, it’s not so much about the name, but whether you enjoy the dish!
How Do You Keep A Stromboli From Getting Soggy?
One of the main things that can make stromboli get soggy is baking it with sauce inside the dough roll. That’s why this recipe (and many traditional recipes) do not include sauce; the sauce is instead served on the side for dipping.
Additionally, as noted in the prep tips, it is important to allow the stromboli to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Slicing the stromboli hot out of the oven doesn’t give it a chance to set and the ingredients can get moved around and mushy inside.
Can You Make Stromboli Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can prepare the stromboli up to a day in advance and simply pop it in the oven when you’re ready to bake. To do so, follow this recipe right to the point where you’ve rolled up and sealed the dough with the ingredients inside. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, bake as directed in the recipe.
More Italian Inspired Recipes To Try
- Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Linguine with White Clam Sauce
- Restaurant-Style Homemade Lasagna
- Porcupine Meatballs
Homemade Stromboli Recipe (Printable Recipe Card)
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Easy Stromboli Recipe
- 1 Baking pan
- Parchment paper
- 1 loaf frozen bread dough or pizza dough
- 4 ounces thin sliced pepperoni
- 4 ounces thin sliced hard salami
- 4 ounces thin slice mozarella
- 4 ouncs thin sliced provolone
- 2 Tablespoons sliced fresh basil You can use more or less
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Place one loaf of frozen dough into or onto a nonstick surface. Allow to thaw and rise for about 5 hours until double in size.
- Remove sliced meats and cheese from the refrigerator about ½ hour before you are ready to assemble the Stromboli.
- When dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll the dough out into a circle, like a pizza crust.
- Layer the ingredients in the following order: pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, herbs, and pepper. Leave about ½ inch around the edges.
- Once all the ingredients are in place, begin to roll the dough up.
- To roll, you will lift and roll the dough, cinnamon roll style.Take your time to keep all the ingredients in place.
- When you have it all rolled up, pinch the ends together and a long the seam.
- Place the Stromboli on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes at 350°F.
- Remove from oven and brush the top with butter while still warm.
- Allow the Stromboli to sit for 20 – 30 minutes. The ingredients need to cool down some before you cut the Stromboli. Serve with prepared sauce of your choice.
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