Fill this homemade stromboli with your favorite meats and/or cheeses like pepperoni, ham, prosciutto, provolone, mozzarella, and so much more. I make it from my homemade pizza dough, a simple 6-ingredient dough that stays soft on the inside and develops a wonderfully crisp crust. There’s only 1 rise needed, which gives you enough time to prep any fillings. Stromboli makes a wonderful meal, but also works as an appetizer or game day snack.
Tell Me About This Homemade Stromboli
- Flavor: This recipe is more like a guideline because you can customize it with your favorite various fillings. Stromboli is a pizzeria menu staple where I grew up in Philly and I usually make it with Genoa salami, deli pepperoni, provolone, and mozzarella cheese. I love brushing the dough with melted butter, garlic, and fresh parsley for added flavor. Garlic powder, dried herbs, or even an Italian seasoning work wonderfully on the dough too. Or spread your favorite pizza sauce on top—see recipe note below. Flavoring/filling options are endless.
- Ease: Looking at the recipe below, you may be intimidated by its length. Don’t be nervous—I wrote the recipe in extreme detail in case you have questions along the way. I work well with visuals, so I include step-by-step photos and a video tutorial too. Overall, I’d say this is an intermediate recipe. The dough is pretty straightforward. Shaping/filling/rolling is easy, but take the time to review this post and directions before you start. No matter how your baked stromboli looks, you’re eating crust/cheese/meats/garlic/and maybe some sauce. It’ll be delicious, I promise.
- Time: There’s no arguing that homemade dough takes time, but the results are always worth the effort. Luckily this dough only requires 1 rise and you can prep your fillings as you wait. It will take you a little less than 3 hours to complete the full recipe.
Stromboli from Pizza Dough
You can make 1 stromboli with 1 pound of store-bought or homemade pizza dough. Even though store-bought dough is convenient, I encourage you to try this homemade dough. It requires just 6 basic ingredients and about 60-90 minutes of rise time.
2 Important Notes on my Pizza Dough:
- My pizza dough yields about 2 lbs of dough, which is enough for 2 strombolis or 1 stromboli + a batch of cheesy breadsticks, 1 pizza, or even 8 garlic knots.
- I don’t recommend halving this dough recipe. You can try, but for absolute best results, make the full recipe. If you only need 1 stromboli, freeze the other half of dough for another time. I promise you’ll want to make stromboli again.
It’s really handy to have 1 all-purpose dough that works in many different ways; you’ll appreciate its ease and versatility. I use this exact dough for ham & cheese pockets and pepperoni pizza rolls, too.
Options are endless. If it works as a pizza topping, it will probably work as a stromboli filling. You can’t really go wrong because if you’ve used too much filling, you won’t be able to roll the dough up.
- Base: Butter + garlic + parsley is a great spread for the dough before adding other fillings. Feel free to use more garlic and parsley or swap parsley for another herb or Italian seasoning. You can also use pizza sauce. See below.
- Meats & Cheeses: Make sure any meat you use is cooked. You can use 1/2 pound of various sliced meats per stromboli, this could be about 20 slices per stromboli but that depends on the thickness of the meat. Some meat suggestions are capicola, salami, soppressata, prosciutto, deli ham/turkey/roast beef, and/or pepperoni. Avoid using small pizza pepperoni slices. For best results (and flavor), use large pepperoni slices from the deli counter. You want about 1/2 pound of cheese per stromboli as well. If using shredded cheese, I recommend 1 and 1/2 cups per stromboli. If using sliced deli cheese, I recommend 10-12 slices per stromboli. You can also mix—I usually use 6-8 large slices provolone and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Only Cheese: If you want a meat-free stromboli, still use the recommended amount of cheese. If you add more, it may spill out the sides or be difficult to roll and slice. Feel free to add vegetables. See next.
- Veggies/Herbs: Other filling ideas, instead of or in addition to meats/cheeses, are a layer of cooked mushrooms, cooked chopped broccoli, or cooked sliced peppers (blot excess moisture if you can), spinach, or basil leaves (chopped or whole). For a meatless stromboli, 2 cups of vegetables per stromboli (plus your cheese) works well.
Want to add pizza sauce? You can add pizza/marinara/tomato sauce to the filling. Feel free to skip the melted butter and garlic (or leave it on, doesn’t matter) and spread 1/2 cup of sauce onto each rolled out dough before layering on the meats and cheeses in step 6.
Make and knead the dough, referencing my How to Knead Dough tutorial as needed. After you punch down the dough, divide it in half to make 2 strombolis. You can freeze half for another time if desired.
Roll each out into a (roughly) 10×16-inch rectangle and spread with garlic butter.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley or desired herbs, then layer on meats and cheeses, leaving a 3-inch gap on top and 1-inch gap around the edges. Brush edges with egg wash, which helps keep everything sealed.
Roll up, tucking in the ends. Do this slowly and make sure the roll is tight.
Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse salt, pepper, more herbs, or a little cheese. (Toppings are optional.) Cut 3-4 slits on top for air to escape.
Bake until golden brown, then cool for 5 minutes before slicing. It’s flaky and crisp when it’s warm—totally irresistible. Pizza or marinara sauce is great for dipping! If you ever need a homemade sauce to try, we really like Beth’s homemade pizza sauce.
Stromboli Vs. Calzone
And, finally, here’s a quick explanation if you’re interested. Stromboli and calzone are not the same, though they can be prepped with the same ingredients. The difference is their shape. Stromboli originated in Philadelphia by restaurant owner Nazzereno Romano and is rolled like a cinnamon roll, baked as 1 long log, then sliced. Italian calzones originated in Naples, are folded in half like a semi-circle or half moon, then baked and served individually. Both can be filled with the same ingredients, though a calzone usually includes ricotta (something a little too wet for stromboli) and both are usually brushed with an egg wash to help seal the edges and provide a golden crisp crust. Lots of love for both!
See Your Homemade Stromboli
Many readers tried this recipe as part of a baking challenge!
Use this dough recipe and the filling/toppings below to create 2 Homemade Strombolis. See all recipe notes before beginning because you can save half of the dough for another time or make other dishes with it (such as pizza or breadsticks). More filling suggestions, helpful step-by-step photos, and a video tutorial are included in the post.
Homemade Dough for 2
- 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) instant or active-dry yeast (1 standard packet)
- 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 and 1/2 cups (about 450g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
Fillings for 2
- 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 pound thinly sliced meats such as Italian cold cuts, deli ham, or large pepperoni slices*
- 3/4 – 1 pound cheese (about 3 cups shredded or about 16-20 slices deli cheese)*
Egg Wash & Topping for 2
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
- optional: sprinkle of chopped fresh or dried parsley, sea salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and/or parmesan cheese
- Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. *If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula in the next step.
- Add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes.
- Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer (and switch to the dough hook if using the paddle) and beat for an additional 5 full minutes, or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 5 full minutes. (If you’re new to bread-baking, my How to Knead Dough video tutorial can help here.) If the dough becomes too sticky during the kneading process, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of flour at a time on the dough or on the work surface/in the bowl to make a soft, slightly tacky dough. Do not add more flour than you need because you do not want a dry dough. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger—if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. You can also do a “windowpane test” to see if your dough has been kneaded long enough: tear off a small (roughly golfball-size) piece of dough and gently stretch it out until it’s thin enough for light to pass through it. Hold it up to a window or light. Does light pass through the stretched dough without the dough tearing first? If so, your dough has been kneaded long enough and is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading until it passes the windowpane test.
- Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray—just use the same bowl you used for the dough. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. If using instant yeast, this takes about 1 hour. (Tip: For the warm environment on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough. When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Shape the dough: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Divide in half. (If you aren’t making 2 strombolis, freeze the other half of dough. See freezing instructions below.) On a lightly floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each half of dough into a 10×16-inch rectangle. I like to use my hands to square off the edges, as shown in the video below. If the dough keeps shrinking as you try to shape it, cover it lightly and let the dough rest for 10 minutes before trying again. (The gluten just needs to settle.)
- Add fillings: Mix melted butter and garlic together. Spread all over each rectangle. Sprinkle each with parsley. When you start layering on meats and cheeses, leave a 1 inch border on the bottom and sides and a 3 inch border on top. (Basically you’ll have an empty 3×16-inch gap on top that only has butter/garlic on it. This is because when rolling, the fillings will be pushed forward. See photos and video below if you need a visual.) Arrange a layer sliced meats onto each dough, usually about 8-10 slices on each depending on size and thickness of slices. Add a layer of cheese. Repeat with more meat and cheese until all is used—about 1/2 pound meat and 1/2 pound cheese per stromboli. Brush all edges with egg wash, including 3 inch gap at the top. This helps the stromboli hold its rolled shape. Slowly roll each into a tight 16 inch log, folding in the two ends as you roll. See me do this in the video below. Dust your hands or the dough with flour if things become too sticky. Carefully transfer each to lined baking sheets. Pinch or tuck in ends to seal if they became unfolded.
- Brush each stromboli with egg wash and, if desired, optional toppings. Using a very sharp knife, cut 3-4 slits into the tops of each, which helps steam escape. At this point, you can cover shaped stromboli tightly and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown—if you have an instant read thermometer, the center of the stromboli should be at least 200ºF (93ºC). If meats are particularly greasy (like pepperoni), some grease will spill out the sides. Cheese may bubble out the sides or top slits, too. If baking both at the same time, rotate pans halfway through baking and extend bake time (if needed) by 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cutting board and slicing.
- Serve plain or with pizza/marinara sauce for dipping.
- Cover and store leftover stromboli (slices or whole) in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Dough: This dough recipe is the same as my pizza dough recipe. It yields 2 strombolis. After the dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze half of the dough. (If you want to freeze all of this dough, I recommend you still divide it in half and freeze separately.) Shape half or halves into a ball(s). Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) in a zipped-top bag and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make stromboli, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Continue with step 5, punching down the dough to release air if needed.
- Overnight Dough Instructions: To prevent these notes from getting too crowded, see pizza dough post for overnight dough instructions.
- Refrigerate Shaped Stromboli Ahead of Time: See end of step 7.
- Freezing Shaped Stromboli Before Baking: Instead of freezing the dough as a whole, you can freeze the shaped stromboli before baking. Fill and roll stromboli as directed in step 6. Do not cut slits or add egg wash (step 7). Carefully place filled/rolled stromboli on a piece of plastic wrap. Sprinkle with flour to help prevent sticking. Wrap up tightly. To preserve freshness, I recommend a layer of aluminum foil over the plastic wrap as well. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw, still wrapped, in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Brush with egg wash, add optional toppings, and cut steam slits. Place stromboli on a lined baking sheet and bake as directed. Since stromboli is pretty cold going into the oven, it will take a couple extra minutes to bake.
- Freezing Baked Stromboli: Allow baked stromboli to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil (or a layer of both), and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw, still wrapped, for just 1 hour at room temperature. Bake, lightly covered with aluminum foil, in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 30 minutes.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Stand Mixer or Large Mixing Bowl and Wooden Spoon or Silicone Spatula | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Dough Scraper | Rolling Pin | Pastry Brush | Instant Read Thermometer
- Amount of Dough/1 Stromboli: My homemade pizza dough, written in this recipe above, yields about 2 lbs of dough, which is enough for 2 strombolis. If you only want 1 stromboli, freeze half of the dough as noted in step 5 or make a pizza such as extra cheese pizza, margherita pizza, or BBQ chicken pizza or a batch of cheesy breadsticks. If you’re only making 1 stromboli, make sure you halve the filling ingredients. For the egg wash/topping ingredients, it’s difficult to halve the egg, so whisk 1 egg with 1 Tbsp water, use as directed, then discard any leftover. (You’ll have leftover egg wash even if you’re making 2 strombolis.)
- Fillings & Vegetable Stromboli: Butter + garlic + parsley is a great spread for the dough before adding the meats/cheeses. Feel free to use more garlic and parsley or swap parsley for another herb or Italian seasoning. You can also use pizza sauce. See next note. Use 1/2 pound of various sliced deli meats per stromboli, this could be about 20 slices per stromboli but that depends on the thickness of your meat. Avoid using small pizza pepperoni slices. For best results (and flavor), use large pepperoni slices from the deli counter. You want about 1/2 pound of cheese per stromboli as well. If using shredded cheese, I recommend 1 and 1/2 cups per stromboli. If using sliced deli cheese, I recommend 10-12 slices per stromboli. You can also mix—I usually use 6-8 large slices provolone and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. For a meatless option, you can add cooked mushrooms, cooked chopped broccoli, or cooked sliced peppers (blot excess moisture if you can), spinach, or basil leaves (chopped or whole)—2 cups of vegetables per stromboli (plus your cheese) works well. Options are endless here. You can’t really go wrong because if you’ve used too much filling, you won’t be able to roll it up.
- Want to add pizza sauce? You can add pizza/marinara/tomato sauce to the filling. Feel free to skip the melted butter and garlic (or leave it on, doesn’t matter) and spread 1/2 cup of sauce onto each rolled out dough before layering on the meats and cheeses in step 6. If you ever need a homemade sauce to try, we really like this homemade pizza sauce.
- Egg Free: Skip the egg wash if needed. You can brush each shaped stromboli with 1 Tablespoon melted butter instead.