Friday nights at my house are almost always deemed Pizza Night. We love this one consistency in our weekly meal planning. And also at the end of a long work week, my husband and I usually find ourselves looking for a simple, no decision making dinner. That or takeout ($$$).
Plus, think of the potential flavor variety of topping/cheese/dough/sauce combinations you can make and enjoy at home 🙂
Up until a few months ago, I always thought of stromboli as a sharable family size calzone that probably had too much dough, and so I never ordered one. This was until a trip my hubby and I took last September to Asheville, NC where it was recommended we get our late night pizza fix from Favilla’s New York Pizza. Their stromboli came with up to eight fillings. I think we chose: pepperoni, sausage, ham, salami, capicola, bacon, and a three cheese blend…so many meats *drooling*
As I typically choose pizza topping with more veggies, this was a big change from my normal order and it was one incredibly memorable pizza experience! Please check them out if you get a few days to visit Asheville NC anytime soon! Naturally, because my first stromboli was so delicious I have spent the past few months making a homemade strombolis filled with meats!
By my husband’s definition and to his complete satisfaction, pizza is a meat delivery device. For our purposes, we classify Stromboli as a kind of pizza, especially as we like to make this as a super meaty filled meat stromboli with multiple meats! LOL! A good stromboli is, to me, a pizza hybrid that is more similar to a sandwich than it is a calzone.
I call this a semi-homemade stromboli, because it is just that. I make only my pizza sauce at home and then assemble the additional store bought ingredients. Of course, you can totally make your own dough too, but the ease of being able to assemble this basically no mess dinner in just a few minutes on a Friday is super appealing to me.
The bare bones ingredients we have found as our current favorite meaty stromboli include Italian sausage, pepperoni, hot capicola ham, and both sliced mozzarella and sliced provolone cheeses, plus pizza sauce for dipping. You can shop for ingredients in mere minutes, even after work, by 1) visiting the deli, 2) finding the sausage by the packaged meats, and 3) grabbing some premade pizza dough near the refrigerated biscuits.
Tip: Bacon makes everything better, so I’ll fry up a few pieces if we have a partial pack of bacon handy and add it to the stromboli.
Italian sausage is the only thing you need to cook before assembling and baking the stromboli. (unless also using bacon, in which case you will also want to pre cook it) I prefer to take the casing off the sausage links before frying them.
Note: I would recommend to keep the sausages whole while frying. Sausage crumbles are a bit harder to role into the stromboli and are much messier when eating as they tend to fall out when dipping into the pizza sauce.
I like to multitask and start stretching the dough while the sausage is cooking on the stove. What I like about the premade dough I use is that it comes as a rolled up rectangle with parchment paper keeping it from sticking to itself–again keeping with the basically no mess dinner idea. I think Pillsbury and Kroger brands also make a rectangle shaped pizza dough near the refrigerated biscuits, but the dough might stick to itself.
Unstretched, the dough will probably fit on a standard cookie sheet with room to spare. I like to stretch the dough a little thinner so the finished stromboli will have some more layers of meat/cheese/bread. Plus stretching the dough thinner gives us more surface area to use when building this awesome meat delivery device!
My tip: have some of the dough reach over the cookie sheet. It gives you room to have some excess dough that will aid in rolling the stromboli with a nice finished end.
Have you checked on the sausage? If you haven’t flipped it while you were stretching the dough, it might be time now!
The assembly is incredibly easy. The deli meats and sliced cheeses make assembly a snap. I start with having a bit of cheese overlap the edge of the dough closest to me–again this is something that will help with the rolling process! Today I started with half of my mozzarella.
Next, I layered all of my sliced pepperoni. I like the bigger pieces of sandwich pepperoni because (do you sense the theme here?) it is easier to roll than the smaller quarter size pepperoni.
Layer cheese on top of the pepperoni–I used the provolone here. The layering of meat and cheese helps keep everything together; the cheese acts almost like a glue.
More meat! evenly spread the hot capicola ham (as pictured above). In my opinion, the flavor of regular capicola ham blends in too much. The hot capicola adds just enough of that something extra without giving us too much spice.
Next, add your cooked Italian sausages near the edge and the rest of your mozzarella cheese.
Lets get rolling!
Start by folding the first layer of cheese (the bit that was hanging off the dough closest to me) over the Italian sausage. Roll slowly and tightly, pressing out any air pockets so you end up with a solid stromboli. Having the Italian sausage right in the center will really help you start the roll 🙂
The other end of the dough (the bit we left hanging over the edge of the cookie sheet) now comes in handy. Use this edge to get a tight seal on the roll and to fold tightly over the sides so all the meaty and cheesy goodness stays inside the dough!
Before baking–here are my final tips: put the stromboli on a lightly greased cookie sheet, rub a smidgen of of olive oil on the dough, and stab it a few times to let steam out as it bakes. The olive oil helps the dough brown a bit while baking.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30-35 minutes.
You can easily prep your pizza sauce while the stromboli is baking. I had a batch of my 30 second pizza sauce saved in silicone ice cube trays in my freezer, but if you don’t have it premade, it is super fast!
From frozen–simply microwave/stir/microwave until warm. From scratch, just gather and blend some canned tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh garlic, S&P, and a few herbs. My 30 second pizza sauce recipe even has a great demo video 😉 Check it out!
I am honestly drooling as I remember how deliciously good this was!
When served with a veggie filled salad salad, the full stromboli should be able to feed anywhere from 2-4 people, appetite depending (my husband would probably try to eat a full one if I let him LOL). I recommend on serving to at least three people.
Thanks for reading! Serve it on your next pizza Friday, family movie night, or friend filled game night! Drop me a comment below and let me know how this turns out for you as well as what your favorite ingredients are!
- Pizza Dough (I use premade, homemade good too!)
- Italian Sausage, 9 ounces (I used half of an 18 ounce package, casing removed
- 1/4 pound Sandwich Pepperoni
- 1/4 pound Hot Capicola Ham
- 1/3 pound sliced mozzarella cheese (I asked the deli for ten slices)
- 1/2 pound sliced provolone cheese (a full package)
- Pizza sauce, warmed
- Remove Italian sausage from casing, fry on stove to precook
- Stretch pizza dough to desired size/thickness, rectangle shape with extra over edge of cookie sheet recommended
- Start cheese with half of mozzarella over other edge (see pictures above) extra will make rolling easier
- Layer meats and cheeses evenly with alternating layers. I did pepperoni, then provolone cheese, hot capicola ham, more mozzarella, then the Italian sausage
- Fold the first mozzarella over the Italian sausage, then roll slowly and tightly, pressing out any air pockets from the stromboli
- Wrap the extra dough around the stromboli and securely fold the ends over to seal the meaty and cheesy goodness inside the dough
- Grease a cookie sheet, set down stromboli, then rub a very thin coating of olive oil on the dough (helps with browning during bake)
- Use knife to carefully make some slits in the stromboli (helps steam escape while baking)
- Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 30-35 minutes
- Multitask by making/warming pizza sauce while stromboli bakes
- Allow stromboli to cool, slice, and serve with pizza sauce on the side!