I have to admit that in all the years I’ve lived and traveled in Italy, I’ve never seen a stromboli offered on a restaurant menu. Stromboli is a type of rolled or braided dough filled with various Italian cheeses (typically mozzarella) and cold cut. Pizza dough is often the dough used, although the toppings can be whatever you like. There is no definitive origin for the stromboli, although most people feel that it is an Italian-American invention that probably originated in Philadelphia. Others believe it is named after the movie Stromboli, or named after the island of Stromboli.
Regardless of where it came from, stromboli can make a delicious snack or lunch option and are great when entertaining a large group. Best of all, kids love stromboli, and it’s easy to assemble. When we moved to our new house, we moved just down the street from my daughter and three grandchildren. Even though the eldest is now away at university, the children often stop by and are always looking for tasty snacks. I like to keep the ingredients for a stromboli off-hand because it’s really easy for the kids to prepare themselves, and it’s become a family favorite. The kids love it as an afternoon snack and to pack it for school lunches too.
I’ve made braided stromboli before, but a rolled version is much easier for the kids to handle on their own. You can use either basic or full-heat pizza dough, and a store-bought ball of pizza dough works just fine. Some people like to dip slices of stromboli in a prepared tomato or marinara sauce, but we feel that just dulls the flavor and we prefer to serve slices on their own. You can use your favorite sliced Italian meats and cheeses, but I found that partially skimmed mozzarella slices work better than fresh mozzarella because the extra moisture in the cream cheese makes the dough soggy at the bottom.
We like spicy food, so we often add a spicy capocollo or salami to the mix, but you may want to avoid spicy toppings if you’re serving this to kids. Other meat options are ham, salted salami or pepperoni. Some of the cheeses I like are Provolone Piccante, Low Moisture Mozzarella, Fontina and Asiago. I’ve also added some vegetables to the mix when I prepare stromboli for my husband and I, like marinated artichokes, roasted peppers, and chopped kalamata olives. Just drain the vegetables thoroughly and then pat dry with kitchen towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
Stromboli filled with meat, cheese and vegetables.
Have a nice meal!
Deborah Mele Revised 2022
1 (12 ounce) ball pizza dough (at room temperature)
6 ounces low-moisture mozzarella slices (or shredded)
6 ounce Provolone slices
15 salami slices
12 slices of ham
15 slices of pepperoni
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
For the topping:
Cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper, then roll your dough ball into a 12 x 14 inch rectangle.
- Begin layering the meat and cheese until finished, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border free around the rectangle.
- Brush the edge of the dough with egg wash, then roll up the stromboli from the long edge as tightly as possible, tuck the ends and sew together at the bottom.
- Carefully transfer the stromboli with parchment paper to the baking sheet.
- Brush the top and sides of the rolled dough with the rest of the beaten egg, then sprinkle with pepper and oregano.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, then slice and enjoy.
Serving size: 1-2 slices
Amount per portion:
Calories: 437Total Fat: 27gSaturated fat: 12gTrans fat: 0gUnsaturated fat: 12gCholesterol: 153 mgSodium: 1928mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 42g