Learn how to make an authentic Italian stromboli recipe! Homemade pizza dough is filled with a rich tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite toppings and baked until golden brown.
Stromboli is an Italian-American recipe that originated in Philadelphia in the 1950s. Restaurant owner Nazzreno Romano is accredited with creating this recipe which is named after Mount Stromboli. This is one of the four active volcanoes on the island of Stromboli, which is off the coast of Sicily.
Stromboli is a family favorite that creates a fun twist on pizza night. It's also a great appetizer for game day or a holiday party. This easy stromboli recipe is made with homemade pizza dough, pizza sauce, Italian meats, and loads of mozzarella cheese.
🇮🇹 Stromboli vs. Calzones
A lot of times people will get stromboli confused with calzones. While they are very similar, there are some key differences.
Origination - While stromboli is an Italian-American food, calzone is a more authentic Italian food that originated in Naples.
Presentation - Italian stromboli is cut in slices for multiple servings, whereas calzone is cut in half and serves only one or two people.
Dough - Stromboli is a large rectangle of dough that is rolled up, whereas a calzone is made from a large circle of dough that is folded over and crimped.
Cheese - A calzone is traditionally made with ricotta cheese and mozzarella, whereas stromboli is only made with mozzarella cheese.
Sauce - Another difference is in the sauce and where it is used. Stromboli can be assembled with sauce inside or on the side for dipping. Calzone is typically served with sauce on the side for dipping only.
🍅 Ingredient notes
- Dough - I typically use my homemade pizza dough recipe for this authentic stromboli recipe. Fresh or frozen store bought pizza dough can also be used instead of homemade dough. You will need 1 ½ pounds of pizza dough per stromboli.
- Sauce - Pizza sauce or a homemade marinara sauce like my Italian gravy recipe can be used for this authentic stromboli recipe. Extra sauce can also be served on the side for dipping.
- Italian Meats - A combination of genoa salami, mortadella, pepperoni, and soppressata are used. Any of your favorite sliced Italian meats can be used, including prosciutto or capicola.
- Cheese - Mozzarella is the typical cheese used for Italian stromboli. I highly recommend buying a block of mozzarella and grating your own cheese. It melts the best and creates the best flavor and texture. Provolone, fontina, or ricotta would be other great options you can use in addition.
- Filling - In addition to the cheese and pizza sauce, you can add your favorite pizza toppings to this homemade stromboli recipe. Sausage, olives, peppers, onions, or other veggies, would all be great.
📋 Substitutions and variations
- Flavors - In addition to the classic Italian flavors, you could try other fun flavor ideas for your homemade stromboli. Cheesesteak, chicken parmesan, BBQ chicken, or Greek are just some ideas.
- Gluten-Free - Use a gluten-free pizza dough for the stromboli dough.
- Dairy-Free - Use a dairy-free cheese substitute.
🔪 Step by step instructions
First, roll out your homemade or store-bought pizza dough on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread your pizza sauce or tomato sauce over the entire rectangle leaving about one-inch of space around the edges.
Layer the genoa salami, pepperoni, soppressata, and mortadella over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over all of the meats.
Next, starting at the long side of the rectangle, tightly roll up the stromboli in jelly-roll style. The dough should be on the outside and the sauce, meat, and cheese are all on the inside.
Pinch the dough at the end of the roll and tuck it in under to create a seal so the toppings don't run out. Carefully place the rolled stromboli, seam side down, onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Using a sharp knife, create 4 slits diagonally over the top of the rolled stromboli. In a small bowl, scramble the egg, and then use a pastry brush to spread the egg wash over the entire top of the dough.
Sprinkle the top of the stromboli with Italian seasoning and bake the stromboli in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until it is golden brown.
If you ever don't recognize a tool or skill that I mention, be sure to look it up in our Glossary of Cooking Terms and Definitions for more information.
⭐ Expert tips
- Set your pizza dough out on the counter for 30 minutes to come to room temperature. This will allow you to roll the pizza dough with ease.
- Make sure to leave a 1-inch border around the dough when adding your sauce, cheese, and toppings. This will make sure they don't spill out too much when you are rolling the stromboli up.
- Have the deli counter cut your Italian meats super thin. This will allow for easy rolling as well as slicing and eating
- Make sure to pinch the dough on the ends well and tuck them under the rolled stromboli so that things don't spill out.
- Let the baked stromboli cool for about 10-15 minutes before slicing and then serve warm or at room temperature.
- This easy Italian stromboli recipe will feed about 5-6 people for a main dish or 10-12 for an appetizer.
⏲️ Make ahead instructions
This classic Italian stromboli recipe can be fully assembled and then stored on a cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap for up to 2 days ahead of time. Take the stromboli out of the refrigerator while the oven preheats and then bake as directed.
🥡 Storage suggestions
Leftover stromboli needs to be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for 3-5 days and can be reheated in a microwave, oven, or in an air fryer.
🍕 More Italian recipes
If you loved learning how to make this Authentic Italian Stromboli recipe, check out these other pizza-related recipes that I know you will love too!
- Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese
- Breakfast Pizza with Ricotta Cheese
- Cast Iron Pan Pizza Recipe
- Cheesy Pizza Dip with Ricotta Cheese
How to Make an Authentic Italian Stromboli Recipe
- Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle that is approximately 13” x 18” and about one half inch thick.
- Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a one inch border and then layer the salami, pepperon, soppressata and mortadella over the sauce.
- Lastly, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the sliced meats.
- Starting on the long side of the rectangle, roll up the dough so the sauce, meat and cheese are on the inside. Pinch the ends of the dough together and tuck them up to seal the roll.
- Place the stromboli, seam side down on the prepared baking sheet and brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg using a pastry brush.
- Use a sharp knife to cut 4 slits diagonally on the top of the dough and then sprinkle the stromboli with some Italian seasoning.
- Bake the stromboli in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Let the stromboli rest for 10-15 minutes and then slice into 12 total pieces and serve.
- Dough - Make sure the pizza dough is room temperature so it’s easy to roll out.
- Cheese - Freshly shred a block of mozzarella for the best flavor and texture. Provolone, fontina, or ricotta can also be added.
- Filling - Any sliced Italian meat can be used in this stromboli like capicola or prosciutto. Sausage, olives, peppers, onions, or other veggies, would also be great.
- Flavors - Try other fun flavor combos for your stromboli like cheesesteak, chicken parmesan, BBQ chicken, or Greek.
- Gluten-Free - Use a gluten-free pizza dough.
- Dairy-Free - Use a dairy-free cheese substitute.
- Make Ahead/Leftovers - Assemble the stromboli and store on a cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap for up to 2 days ahead of time. Take the stromboli out of the refrigerator while the oven preheats and then bake as directed. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days and reheat in a microwave, oven, or air fryer.