Learn how to make this easy pepperoni bread recipe (also known as pepperoni pizza bread, pepperoni rolls, or pepperoni stromboli), which is one of our favorite things to make as a game day appetizer!
Coming to you today with a recipe refresh!
I originally posted Aunt Julie’s pepperoni bread recipe back during the playoffs in 2015.
(PS: that post is long gone, but you can find all the details to making these yummy, cheesy, pepperoni stuffed bread in today’s post).
You know, the game with the onside kick.
That the sportscasters would. Not. Stop. Playing. On. Repeat.
(We’re looking at you Brandon Bostick. And no, I’m still not over it.)
While my playoff hopes and dreams were crushed that year, it seems the current trend is that they get crushed every year.
Maybe this year will be different?
Football Sundays or game days are pretty relaxed in our house; ok, they’re down right lazy.
I try to spend the mornings getting a few things done around the house: meal prep, laundry, we maybe even head to the gym.
But come kickoff around 1pm, you’ll find us on the couch the rest of the day.
The key to our Sunday couch potato lifestyle is definitely not full meals, but instead snacking throughout the day.
A full meal takes you off the couch and puts you in the kitchen; making you miss most of the football game in the first place.
Snacks on the other hand, preferably presented as a spread on the coffee table and maybe giving the appearance that the snack spread could feed a small army instead of just two people (don’t judge us), require just a little pre-kickoff prep.
The pre-kickoff prep pays off; it leaves you all the time in the world to lounge lazily and snack to your heart’s content through the late afternoon.
This is not only our approach to lazy football Sundays when it’s just the two of us, but for basically any gathering, large or small, that we host in our home.
If you come over for a birthday party, game night, or Thanksgiving, you’ll find a similar spread of food, including snacks, dips, appetizers and likely a cheese board is how we are feeding our guests. The menus is usually some combination of the following favorites: roasted jalapeno poppers, beer cheese fondue, hot wings, crockpot buffalo turkey meatballs, guacamole, grilled brie, a cheese platter, chorizo stuffed bacon wrapped dates, spicy chili cheese dip, and spicy sugar bacon smokies.
Of course. Sometimes we eat vegetables too.
Making an appearance on our game day spread basically always is Aunt Julie’s pepperoni pizza bread. It’s one of our favorite game day appetizers, so much so, I had to include a pepperoni rolls pinwheel version in my cookbook!
In college, I would always go to my aunt and uncle’s house to watch Packers’ games (we call them Packer Parties!), and the family favorite pepperoni bread was always on the menu.
Of course, I had to continue the Packer party tradition when I moved to Charlotte, although I’m now roped into watching Lions’ games too, so pepperoni bread makes an appearance no matter who’s playing.
Pepperoni bread would also be perfect as the main meal for pizza night too!
What is Pepperoni Bread?
Pepperoni bread is exactly what it sounds like: its pepperoni and bread!
There are a few more components to it: some spices, an egg wash, and tons of mozzarella cheese.
Pepperoni bread is basically pizza bread (the flavor profile emulates pepperoni pizza with the dough and the cheese and the Italian seasonings and then of course, a side of pizza sauce for dipping). Then, unlike pizza, pepperoni bread is rolled up and baked, creating layers upon delicious layers of pepperoni stuffed bread.
When it’s done baking, you slice into the pepperoni stuffed bread to be rewarded with beautiful melty cheese, and then you dip your slice into pizza or your favorite marinara sauce for serving.
And to be honest (and not just hyperbolic), I’ve never met someone who didn’t like it!
Every time we make Aunt Julie’s pepperoni bread recipe it goes like hot cakes.
How to make this easy pepperoni bread recipe:
Pepperoni bread is so easy to make; it takes under 10 minutes of active time to put it all together.
First, you make a quick egg wash with an egg and some water (this is to help attach the seasonings to the bread or pizza dough, as well as to help with the browning process to get the crust golden brown while the pepperoni bread bakes.)
Then, you roll out the bread dough or pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. (I always use and recommend using a store-bought dough or crust, but you can make homemade pizza dough from scratch if you want. Since this is an easy recipe, I say, store-bought bread dough all the way!) It’s easier to work with if the dough is room temperature.
After rolling out the bread dough, brush it with the egg wash and then sprinkle your Italian spices (oregano, basil, garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes) across the crust. You could probably make this step shorter by using an Italian seasoning blend rather than individual spices.
Then, in alternating layers, spread an even layer of the slices of pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. This step is how you get pepperoni stuffed bread!
After all of the pepperoni slices and cheese is layered, you carefully roll up the dough and pinch the seams closed. Like you’re rolling a jelly roll or cinnamon rolls! If you want to keep the roll nice and tight, you could use plastic wrap, but I usually just do it freehand and then put it right in my baking dish. You should have one big, long log or roll of pepperoni stuffed dough.
Then, you slowly and carefully coil the roll into a greased (use cooking spray, olive oil or melted butter) pie plate (seam side down), oven proof baking dish or baking sheet.
I always use a glass pie plate but a cast iron skillet would also work great. I have always made it round so I am not sure what it would look like or how it would cook if you used a square or rectangular baking dish.
Brush again with egg wash on top of the dough (this time so the crust will get nice and golden brown during baking!) and sprinkle a few more seasonings.
And then we bake until golden brown!
After the pepperoni bread is out of the oven, slice it to reveal all the delicious layers of cheese and pepperoni stuffed bread.
Serve it hot with a side of pizza sauce or a side of marinara sauce for dipping and you’ve got the perfect appetizer for game day.
Can I make pepperoni pizza bread ahead of time?
The answer is a resounding yes!
In fact, making it ahead of time is the way I prefer to make this recipe. It’s the perfect make ahead pepperoni bread!
To make ahead of time, follow all of the steps in the pepperoni bread recipe just until you get to the oven.
Then don’t put the bread in the oven.
Cover the pie plate or baking dish (whatever you’re using) with some foil and stick that puppy in the fridge.
Then pop her in the oven whenever you’re ready for it!
If we’re talking football timing, pregame is really ideal so then the pepperoni bread is ready by halftime.
(I would not make pepperoni pizza bread more than a day ahead of time, because it won’t keep well in the fridge for longer than 24 hours. If I am going to make it ahead of time, I usually make it the morning I’m planning on serving it and then let it hang out in the fridge until I’m ready.)
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