Stromboli might be the most perfect weeknight meal. You roll up your family's favorite fillings — meat, cheeses or vegetables — in pizza dough — store-bought, homemade or picked up from your favorite pizzeria — and bake the whole thing to golden-brown perfection. Then you slice the stromboli into pieces that you can serve with sauce for dipping or wrapped in a napkin on the way to soccer practice. Unlike pizza, which is best piping hot or cold from the fridge, stromboli is best eaten at room temperature.
This recipe is our take on a classic stromboli, which means that it's filled with three kinds of cured meat and just as many cheeses. Here's how to make an easy stromboli the whole family will love.
Unlike, say, a cinnamon roll, where getting a nice tight roll is paramount, stromboli is a little more relaxed when it comes to its spiral. You don't have to get the rolling perfect to have a beautiful stromboli, and that will make you love it even more.
4 Tips for Building and Rolling Stromboli
1. Bring the dough to room temperature. You’ll want to take the chill off any refrigerated or frozen pizza dough before rolling out the dough, which will make it more relaxed and easier to work with. If it’s frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then bring the refrigerated dough to room temperature on the counter at least 30 minutes before you start assembling.
2. Alternate between meat and cheese layers. Once you’ve rolled your dough ball into a large rectangle, it’s best to layer the meats and cheeses by alternating them. This order prevents the meat layers from slipping around when you roll up the stromboli.
3. Roll, tuck, then roll again. The two or three minutes of rolling up this stromboli might seem stressful the first time you do it, but remember it doesn’t need to be perfect. Roll the rectangle about halfway, then stop, tuck in the outer edges — like you would a burrito — and keep rolling.
4. Bake seam-side down with vent holes. Your goal when rolling is to land the spiral with the seam side down so you can easily transfer it to the baking sheet. Before baking, make four to five vents in the top with a sharp knife. These will likely cut through the dough to the first layer of meat, and that’s fine.
How to Serve Stromboli on a Busy Weeknight
You can build your stromboli up to 24 hours in advance of baking and keep it tightly wrapped on a baking sheet in the fridge until baking time. Once you're ready to bake, let the stromboli sit at room temperature while the oven heats.
Bake the stromboli until golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Out of the oven, cool the stromboli for 10 minutes before slicing it — a serrated knife works well for cutting through the layers without tearing up the baked pizza dough. Marinara sauce is traditional for dipping, but pesto and ranch are also popular dips for second graders and temperamental preschoolers alike.
Serves 4 to 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes to 30 minutes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for rolling
1 1/2 pounds pizza dough, at room temperature
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
4 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced genoa salami
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
4 ounces pepperoni slices
4 ounces shredded or torn fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Marinara sauce, for serving
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle the parchment paper with a little flour and then stretch the dough out to a rough 12x18-inch rectangle. You can use your hands to stretch out the dough, or you can move the parchment and dough to a work surface and use a rolling pin. The goal is a dough that is evenly thick, not a perfect rectangle.
Layer the meats and cheeses on the pizza dough, starting about a quarter of the way down from the top edge. Start with the prosciutto, then go in this order: provolone, salami, Parmesan, pepperoni, and mozzarella. Try to keep things as flat and even as possible and don't stress about taking the fillings all the way to the edges.
Sprinkle with the parsley and red pepper flakes.
Starting at the long edge closest to you, tightly roll the stromboli up into a spiral, tucking in the fillings as tightly as possible as you roll. When you're about halfway rolled up, fold the sides over before you continue rolling. Brush the top edge of the pizza dough with some beaten egg before sealing tightly. Use the parchment paper to roll the stromboli until seam-side down, then position it in the middle of the parchment. Side the stromboli on the parchment onto the baking sheet if needed.
Use a sharp knife to make 5 to 6 (2-inch) slits along the top of the stromboli. A slight angle to the slits looks nice, but isn't a requirement. Brush the outside of the stromboli with more egg, and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese if desired.
Bake until the stromboli is golden brown and the vent holes are bubbly with cheese, 25 to 30 minutes. You can also test for doneness with an instant-read thermometer — a finished stromboli should hit 200 F in the thickest part.
Let the stromboli cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with marinara for dipping.
Storage: Leftovers can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated up to 4 days.