A fun and easy authentic Italian Stromboli recipe! This recipe has yummy ingredients like thinly sliced salami, pepperoni, capicola, and a blend of Italian cheeses. It’s a family favorite and will remind you of your favorite local pizzeria.
Searching for an easy recipe that feeds a crowd? Look no further than this traditional stromboli recipe! It’s a great appetizer or finger food for game day and just as fitting for a large family gathering where this delicious stromboli is the main dish.
I enjoy giving precise details in my recipe posts to lead my readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, you can Jump to Recipe to head straight there!
Stromboli vs Calzone
Side by side, the Italian strombolis and calzones ingredient lists look almost identical! It’s no wonder they are often confused with one another. However, when you put calzone and stromboli next to each other, you notice they look a little different.
Stromboli is a large rectangular pizza dough topped with meat, cheese, veggies, and sometimes some tomato sauce. Then, the dough is rolled over the ingredients and sliced into individual-sized portions.
A calzone begins with a smaller circle of dough. It has similar ingredients, like cheese, meats, and vegetables, but no sauce. The dough is then folded in half to create a pocket of delicious filling in the shape of a semicircle. It’s typically served with a side of tomato sauce for dipping, like marinara or pizza sauce. With the shape and size being the biggest difference.
Why You Should Make Authentic Italian Stromboli Recipe
- Crowd-Pleaser – I have not yet encountered anyone who isn’t fond of this tasty recipe.
- Easy Process – Even better, making stromboli is so simple. Let your kids lend a helping hand! Layer, tuck and roll!
- Less Mess – Serving traditional pizza can be a big mess! Stromboli doesn’t have red sauce and is much easier to eat.
- Authentic Flavor – We stick to the classic stromboli ingredients, including Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, Italian deli meats, melty mozzarella, and provolone for this recipe.
Key Ingredients Italian Stromboli
- Pizza dough | Use room temperature pizza dough, homemade or store-bought pizza dough. Check out my easy no-rise homemade pizza dough recipe.
- Meats | Sliced salami, pepperoni, and capicola, all sliced thin. Use your favorite thin sliced deli meats, and remember all meats are optional; these are only suggestions.
- Cheeses | The cheesy goodness of this recipe comes from sliced provolone and mozzarella cheese. Be sure to use low-moisture mozzarella to prevent a soggy dish.
- Seasoning | You have two options – Sprinkle the filling with Italian seasoning blend and fennel seeds mixed in a small bowl or pizza seasoning alone. Pizza seasoning is a combination of the two. And to top it off, add some freshly chopped parsley. Include red pepper flakes for some heat.
- Egg and water | Lightly beaten eggs and water make an egg wash to brush over the top for a glossy finish.
- Toppings | If desired, sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese, flaky sea salt and some fresh parsley on top.
- Marinara sauce | Either marinara or pizza sauce is perfect for dipping.
How to Make this Authentic Italian Stromboli Recipe
Step 1 | Roll out dough
Roll the pizza dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface or Silpat. For the 1-pound roll of dough, form it into a rectangle with dimensions around 13×9 inches. And roll into a 10×16-inch rectangle if f you’re using a 1 ½-pound pizza dough ball. If desired, brush with garlic butter or garlic oil.
Step 2 | Layer the meats and cheeses
Starting with the largest meat, create a single layer with a slight overlap. Leave a 1-inch border on each side and at the bottom. There should also be 3 inches at the top to allow the ingredients to push forward when rolling.
Next, add a layer of provolone cheese and sprinkle it with half the pizza seasoning and a pinch of fresh parsley. Then, layer your capicola or other favorite salami and sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese and the rest of the Italian pizza seasoning. Add the parsley and, finally, top with sliced pepperoni.
Step 3 | Prep and Roll
If preferred, brush the egg wash around the edges of the stromboli dough, helping to hold it together.
Beginning with the bottom, roll the dough tightly along the long edge, burrito or jelly-roll style, tucking the sides and meat in as you go. Then, pinch the long side edges and ends to seal the roll. Finally, set it with the seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
If you want to bake this Italian-inspired dish later, refrigerate the stromboli for up to 8 hours (see the notes below for more details). Next, brush the entire surface with egg wash for a golden and glossy outside. Lastly, sprinkle the top with a dash of flaky sea salt or kosher salt, tasty grated parmesan cheese, and some chopped parsley.
Slice four vents into the top of the stromboli, then bake it at 425° F (220° C). Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until the stromboli is golden brown. Allow the dish to sit for five minutes. Then, slice it on a cutting board and serve it with a dipping sauce, like hot marinara or pizza sauce– YUM!
- Meats like pepperoni are particularly greasy. So, it might leak out when baking, but that’s okay!
- The cheese might also bubble out through the slits. Don’t worry about it at all! It won’t alter the taste.
- Go slow when rolling the stromboli to keep all the delicious ingredients inside and prevent ripping the pizza dough.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the slits on the top of the stromboli before slipping it into the hot oven.
- I don’t recommend spreading pizza or marinara sauce in the stromboli. It often makes the crust soggy.
- If you don’t have spray oil or parchment paper handy, brush the cookie sheet with olive oil.
Who doesn’t like pizza? It’s cheesy and saucy with an irresistible flavor. Even better, there are many ways to bake recipes using the elements of pizza, just like today’s authentic stromboli recipe. If you’re a big pizza fan, try these easy recipes to switch up the typical pizza night– Italian Pizza Rustica or Easter Pie Recipe, Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza Recipe, or go for the classic Homemade Pizza Recipe.
Freeze Your Stromboli for Later
Refrigerate Unbaked Stromboli – Before adding the egg wash, wrap it tightly in plastic and place it in the fridge. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and put it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash, cut the slits, and top with parmesan cheese and a little kosher salt. Let the stromboli sit at room temperature while your oven preheats.
Freeze Stromboli Before Baking – Make one, freeze one! If freezing, don’t cut slits or brush with the egg wash. After you have rolled and sealed the stromboli, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then cover it snugly with aluminum foil. This will help ward off freezer burn. Place the wrapped stromboli in a freezer ziplock baggie and freeze for up to 3 months.
How to Bake Frozen Stromboli – Remove the frozen stromboli from the freezer and place it in the fridge keeping it wrapped. Let it thaw in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Next, unwrap it and set it on the baking sheet. Then, brush the surface with egg wash, sprinkle on the toppings, and cut slits into the top. Bake as directed in a 425°F (220° C) oven for about 25 minutes. You may need to bake it for 3 to 5 additional minutes, covering it with aluminum foil if it starts browning too quickly.
Variations & Substitutions
- Bread Dough Pizza – If you’d like, use thawed Italian bread dough instead of pizza dough.
- Customize the Meat – Use your favorite combination of Italian meats. You need up to one pound of meat, but the choice of what to add to the stromboli is yours– Add all your favorite pizza toppings.
- One Cheese – Try using one type of cheese to get its full flavor. For example, use all mozzarella or all provolone cheese. Ricotta cheese is another popular choice.
- Brush with Butter – Rather than a classic egg wash, brush the stromboli with one tablespoon of melted butter.
- Meatless Stromboli – Use various cooked veggies instead of meat. Spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers, onions, eggplant, green peppers, and zucchini would all be fabulous! Make sure to add the cheese as well. You need to cook the veggies because they won’t have time to cook in the stromboli.
- Add Pesto- Drizzle a little pesto over the cheese before rolling the stromboli. Make your own nut-free pesto!
Tips for Two
Divide the dough into smaller strombolis and freeze the pies you do not need that night.
Frequently Asked Questions
Baking at too high of a temperature can result in a perfectly golden outside with uncooked insides.
Or perhaps, you baked it from frozen but needed to bake it longer or completely thaw it ahead of time before baking.
Not quite – Stromboli is an Italian-American dish that is pizza-inspired and created by Nazzareno “Nat” Romano in Philadelphia back in the 1950s. The birthplace of the Philly Cheesesteak!
I would say no, although there are many recipes that include sauce in their stromboli; note that you might end up with a soggy crust if you add the sauce. Instead, serve the sauce on the side for dipping!
One way to avoid a soggy mess is not to overstuff the inside. Overcrowded ingredients produce extra moisture. You should also use low-moisture mozzarella and remember to cut the vents in the top to allow steam to escape!
Wrap the leftover stromboli in plastic or store them in an airtight container. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Wrap well and freeze up to 3 months.
How to Reheat Stromboli – Oven | To reheat it in the oven, set the temperature to 350° F (176°C) and bake 15-20 minutes.
Reheat Stromboli – Microwave | Wrap pieces in a paper towel and heat in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
How to Reheat Stromboli in Air Fryer – Set the air fryer to 400°F (204° C) and let it preheat for about five minutes. Lightly spray leftover stromboli with oil. Air fry for 6-8 minutes! For frozen stromboli, reduce the temperature to 350°F (176° C) for 20-25 minutes, watching if getting too brown, and cover it with a little foil.
Can You Freeze Stromboli? – Yes! Stromboli freezes very well. Wrap it tightly and slip it into a freezer baggie. Then, store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat Frozen Stromboli – Reheat frozen baked stromboli by thawing it for about an hour on the counter at room temperature. Then, uncover, place on the baking sheet, and drape loosely with aluminum foil. Finally, bake the stromboli in a preheated 350°F (176° C) degree oven for about 30 minutes.
What to Serve with Homemade Stromboli
Make sure that the seams are well sealed, and don’t forget to slice the slits into the top of the stromboli before baking!
Best Side Dishes for Authentic Stromboli
Air Fryer Asparagus Recipe
A fresh and healthy veggie side dish with simple seasonings for amazing flavor and beautiful presentation.
Cheesy Garlic Bread Spread
Cheesy, gooey, golden and bubbly.
Best Desserts to Serve with Italian Stromboli
Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake
A rich, moist cake filled with rich lemon and creamy ricotta.
Classic Italian Tiramisu
Creamy mascarpone custard, light vanilla whipped cream, layered between rum and espresso-soaked ladyfingers.
More Authentic Italian Dishes
- Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells
- One Pot Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe
- Air Fryer Italian Sausage and Peppers with Spicy Ale Mustard
- Italian Braised Short Ribs
- Easy Italian Wedding Soup
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Authentic Italian Stromboli Recipe
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- USA Pan Half Sheet Baking Pan
- Unbleached Parchment Paper
- 1- 1 ½ pounds pizza dough storebought or homemade
- 2 tablespoons olive oil optional
- 3 cloves garlic minced (optional)
- ¼ pound salami sliced
- 6-8 slices capicola
- ¼ pound pepperoni
- 6-8 slices provolone
- ½-1 cup mozzarella shredded, low moisture is best here
- 1 teaspoon pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning with ¼ teaspoon fennel added, if desired
- 2-3 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley minced
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cups marinara sauce for dipping, pizza sauce works great too
- Flaky sea salt sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 425° F/220° C and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or spray sheet well with spray oil.
- If desired, heat olive oil in small skillet, toss in garlic until fragrant, cool
- On a lightly floured surface or on a Silpat, roll the pizza dough into a rectangle; 1 pound 13×9, if using 1 ½ pounds roll into 10×16 inch rectangle.
- If using, brush pizza dough with garlic oil.Starting with your largest meat first, layer in a single layer, with a slight overlap, leaving a 1-inch border on the sides and bottom, and 3 inches at the top to allow for the ingredients to push forward when rolling.
- Add a layer of provolone cheese, sprinkle with half of the pizza seasoning, and a little parsley. Next layer your capicola or other favorite salami, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and the rest of the Italian pizza seasoning and parsley and finally top with pepperoni.
- If using an egg wash, brush around the edges of the stromboli dough, to help it hold together.
- Starting at the bottom, roll tightly like a jelly roll or a burrito, tucking in the sides as you go. As you roll, tuck the meat in, go slow, and then pinch the edges and ends sealing the roll. Place seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet.
- At this point, you may refrigerate the stromboli up to 6-8 hours, see notes for details. Brush the entire stromboli with egg wash*, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt or kosher salt, grated parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of parsley.
- Slice 4 vents into the top of the stromboli and bake at 425° F/220° C with a sharp knife. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing on a cutting board. Serve with hot marinara sauce or pizza sauce for dipping.
- If preferred, use thawed bread dough instead of pizza dough.
- Use your favorite combination of Italian deli meats, up to 1 pound of meat.
- Use all mozzarella or all provolone.
- In place of using egg wash, brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter instead.
- Vegetarian Stromboli – Use a variety of cooked veggies; such as; spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers, onions, eggplant, and zucchini all would be fabulous. Make sure to use the cheese as well. The reason you need to cook the veggies is they won’t have time to cook in the stromboli.
- Drizzle a little pesto over the cheese before rolling the stromboli.
- I don’t recommend spreading any pizza sauce or marinara sauce in the stromboli, authentic stromboli doesn’t use it in the stromboli and will make the crust soggy.