Easy Stromboli is a crusty, chewy pizza dough filled with pepperoni, salami, ham and cheese all rolled up and baked until it’s hot and bubbly. Roll one up and feed your family something awesome.Jump to Recipe
Look at that gooey cheese…the salami and pepperoni (and somewhere in there is some ham). I know it might look complicated but this dinner is fast and something I find myself turning to on nights when I need a really quick and tasty option.
“This is fast!”
“This is easy!”
It’s starting to sound more like my recollection of some of my friends’ behavior in college than a recipe.
What’s is stromboli?
Stromboli is a rolled pizza dough filled with cured meats, cheese and vegetables. Mozzarella is the most common cheese used and meats are typically salami, capocollo and bresaola but if you haven’t noticed I live in Kentucky where our access to authentic Italian ingredients goes about as far as a bag of Hormel pepperoni from the refrigerated section. So for those of you who are like me, my version has been adjusted for what we can get here.
Which is basically none of the traditional ingredients. Too bad we can’t put fried chicken in it. We’d be all set.
I go to the deli and get sliced Genoa or hard salami, the big pepperoni and Virginia ham. I always make the deli lady mad when she says “anything else?” and I keep asking for meat. It’s kind of fun.
You will want to be careful if you add vegetables that might give off a lot of water (like mushrooms or tomatoes) because they will make your dough soggy.
What’s the difference between calzone and stromboli?
The first difference between calzone and stromboli is in how they are folded or rolled. Stromboli are rolled with the fillings and calzone are folded in half over the fillings. Beyond that, they are different shapes, have different origins (calzones are truly Italian and stromboli was invented in Philadelphia) and different traditional fillings.
It’s quite a simple process to make a stromboli. Here is a quick overview of how to make it. Scroll to the recipe below for more detailed instructions.
- Roll pizza dough into a rectangle.
- Top the dough with your filling (some assortment of meat/s, cheese/s, veggies, and sauce if desired).
- Seal. Roll the whole thing up and seal by pinching the dough at the seam.
- Bake. Cut a few slices in the top of the stromboli and bake until golden brown.
- Serve. Cut into slices and serve.
Common problems you may run into
There are some common errors that people make when preparing this classic stromboli.
- My dough won’t roll out. Not to worry. This is likely because the dough is too cold. Allow it to come to room temperature.
- My dough didn’t cook all the way through in the center. But the outside is already done? The oven probably runs hot. Tent the stromboli with foil and keep baking it or if you notice raw dough after you slice it, just put the slices back in the oven to cook the dough all the way through.
- My stromboli got soggy. It’s likely the filling was too wet. Next time, remove some of the moisture from the filling (perhaps use less sauce). You can also set the stromboli on a greased wire rack to allow heat to circulate and prevent the bottom from getting soggy. And let it rest a few minutes before slicing.
The best crust ideas
The crust serves as the backbone for this heartwarming stromboli. While you can use a store-bought version (frozen or refrigerated will do), I encourage you to make your own. Try my homemade pizza dough recipe.
Looking for a crust on the healthier side? Here are some ideas for you.
- Opt for homemade. Homemade dough will always trump store-bought products when it comes to health. It just has fewer unwanted ingredients.
- Try a sourdough recipe. Sourdough has already been fermented a bit, making it easier to digest.
- Go gluten-free. Sub your favorite 1:1 gluten-free flour for the bread flour in my homemade pizza dough recipe. Your local market probably has a couple of premade doughs as well.
Other stromboli filling ideas
The recipe below showcases a classic stromboli, but don’t let that limit you. One cool thing about stromboli is that you can get creative with how you fill it. Here are some unique stromboli filling ideas that step outside the norm.
- Barbecue chicken with roasted bell peppers and halloumi cheese.
- Hawaiian style with ham, pineapple, and mozzarella.
- Philly cheesesteak-ish with thinly sliced beef, cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions.
- Buffalo Chicken with ranch and blue cheese.
- Simple ham and cheddar.
What can I serve with stromboli?
Pairing stromboli with a tasty side really turns a grab-and-go lunch into a well-rounded meal. Here are a few ideas for you.
- Salad. Get your greens in with my Charred Caesar Salad or this Wilted Lettuce Salad.
- Pasta Salad. I have been loving this Rotini Pasta Salad with Mozzarella and Tomatoes.
- Soup. Try a classic minestrone or my Creamy Tomato Soup.
Can this classic stromboli be made ahead?
Yes, it can! Follow the whole recipe but don’t bake it. Wrap the stromboli in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and pop it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (see my notes below for freezing).
When you are ready to enjoy, simply preheat the oven, unwrap and bake.
How to freeze quick and easy stromboli
Freeze before baking: Follow the recipe up to the point of baking, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap, and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Unwrap it and bake directly from frozen when you are ready to enjoy. Note that it will need more time to bake. Just poke a knife in the center and stick your finger in to see if it’s hot. Tent with foil if the inside needs longer and the outside is golden.
Freeze after baking: You can bake the stromboli and then freeze it. Allow it to cool completely before wrapping it in plastic wrap and storing in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Allow the stromboli to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before enjoying cold or popping it in the oven for a quick reheat.
- 1 pound frozen pizza dough thawed like Pepe's Bakery or homemade
- 3/4 cup jarred marinara sauce
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced large pepperoni small ones will work too
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa or hard salami
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced Virginia or baked ham
- 1/2 cup banana pepper rings optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
- Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll your dough to a rough 14×12 inch rectangle.
- Layer on the marinara sauce, cheese (it’s okay if they overlap), all of the meats and the pepper rings if you are using them.
- Starting at the long side, roll up and pinch the seam to seal.
- Place the roll on your baking sheet, seam side down and cut four shallow cuts in the top of the stromboli to let steam escape.
- Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Slice and serve.