This easy meat & cheese stromboli makes a perfect appetizer fit to feed a small, hungry crowd. Stuffed with three different meats and two kinds of cheeses, it’s a whole pizza themed meal baked in a crispy golden brown crust. Simple enough for game day, or for busy evenings- this baked stromboli recipe is also great for serving as a hearty lunch or filling supper.
Football season is underway again, and for our house, that means so are the game-time snacks and treats.
All of my guys love the game.
They also ALL love food.
So this is the perfect union of two of their favorite things.
The amount of testosterone in my house on game-day is scary.
However, on game day, I’m just ‘one of the guys’.
I don’t tend to mind though, I just hide on the periphery and enjoy the picnic supper in our living room.
One of the easiest, and tastiest things we enjoy chowing down on between downs is this homemade stromboli recipe.
- bread dough – homemade dough or store bought will both work
- sliced ham – you’ll want a thinly sliced ham not a thick cut, carving board style
- pepperoni – the larger sandwich sized, thinly sliced version and not the small variety used as pizza toppings
- salami – thinly sliced
- provolone cheese – thin slices, like the kind you’d use when building a sandwich
- mozzarella cheese – shredded or thinly sliced sandwich cuts will both work
- butter – I like salted, but given that the meats are salty- unsalted can be substituted
- cornmeal – the old fashioned ground kind
What game-day experience would be complete without man-food?
This is MAN-FOOD at it’s finest.
It’s also total ‘Mom’ food, and kid-friendly. It’s the total package.
Making Homemade Stromboli
It’s easy and quick to prepare so I don’t have to miss the game to slave away in the kitchen.
It’s even easy to serve and eat, which is another plus since it means all four boys are allowed to eat on the couch.
This easy meat & cheese Stromboli recipe for the win!
So let’s dig in, and make a batch.
Start by transferring the dough to a large baking sheet that has been greased with non stick cooking spray.
Spread the dough out into a rectangle, doesn’t have to be perfect, that’s roughly 15×10″.
You can use a rolling pin, but I find that too cumbersome on a baking sheet, so instead use my own clean hands.
Once the dough’s spread out, it’s time to arrange the meat.
We’re going to be making a strip down the middle of the dough rectangle, and layering on ingredients.
Start by arranging the ham slices in a single layer, again in a strip, lengthwise down the center of the dough.
Follow that with a layer of pepperoni, and then a layer of salami.
Sprinkle a 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano & 1/4 tsp of dried basil evenly out over the meats.
Don’t have a measuring spoon? A ‘pinch’ of each seasoning will be just the right amount.
Arrange the cheeses over top the seasoned meat layer strip, starting with the sliced provolone and followed with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoons of both herbs evenly out over top of the cheese.
You can use your finger, or a pastry brush, but moisten the outer edges of the dough (all the way around) with water.
Don’t skip this step- this is what acts like the glue that holds everything together during baking.
Carefully lift each long side of the rectangle and bring the sides of the dough together to meet in the center. Let them over lap.
Then press then together, pinching if necessary, to seal.
Bring the short ends up and fold over the top. Pinch them together to seal.
Using a pastry brush, brush the dough all over with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
Sprinkle all the cornmeal evenly out over the top of the dough log.
Carefully flip the log over, keeping the ends tucked and everything sealed, on the baking sheet with the seam side now down.
Brush the rest of the melted butter evenly out and around the top of the dough.
Bake the meat & cheese stromboli at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until the outside is crisp and a beautiful golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven, and carefully transfer the hot stromboli to a waiting cutting board.
I use two spatulas to do this, one on either end, to do this.
Let the stromboli rest and cool for a full five minutes.
Using a serrated bread knife, cut horizontal slices for serving.
There will be grease released from the meats that wants to run off.
I keep some paper towels handy to sop this up, preventing a mess, and just toss them. Repeat if needed.
What About My Other Favorite Pizza Toppings?
There’s a reason we chose a generic title like ‘meat and cheese’ for this stromboli recipe.
It was 100% intentional.
While we chose to keep our filling meat and cheese centric, you can absolutely add some of your favorite pizza toppings to the filling.
- diced green peppers
- sliced onion
- sautéed mushrooms
- baby spinach leaves
Those are some of our favorites to include.
I wouldn’t recommend adding pineapple though, since the fruit’s full of a lot of juice.
This has the potential to render your crust soggy during baking.
If you want to add any of the other toppings, spread them over the layer of the meat before adding the cheese.
As the cheese melts when the stromboli bakes it will coat them and help ‘lock’ them into place.
Why You Should Use Cornmeal
I know the cornmeal is listed as optional. That was intentional.
Not everyone keeps cornmeal on hand, and it isn’t absolutely necessary to a successful stromboli.
However, if you’re planning ahead- add it to your grocery list.
I highly recommend using it for this recipe, and any others that use fresh dough for pizza-like recipes.
Non stick cooking spray is great, and most of the time it does the trick.
But sprinkling the stromboli with the cornmeal before flipping it on the pan will ensure there’s absolutely no sticking.
While traditionally used as a method to get raw dough to easily slide off a pizza peel and into the oven, the process remains the same.
These tiny little natural ball bearings work as a fool proof, easy slip and release mechanism to prevent sticking and help with the transfer of the cooked stromboli to the waiting cutting board.
How To Serve
This is baked meat and cheese appetizer is literally the perfect party food.
Make a little, or make a ton.
You can double or triple the recipe as needed to make it feed your crowd.
Make sure to carefully transfer the hot, baked stromboli to a cutting board after removing it from the oven.
Let it cool for at least a full 5 minutes before attempting to slice & serve. This will help the filling set up.
It’s similar to waiting for your pizza to cool before slicing so you don’t tear all the cheesy goodness off.
That’s just too sad for anyone to want to deal with, especially not on game day. Definitely not good juju.
Using a sharp, serrated knife cut the loaf into finger food sized slices.
Be careful not to apply to much pressure on the dough while cutting though, as this may cause the melted cheese filling to squeeze out.
Serve the sliced stromboli warm with marinara sauce for dipping.
I highly recommend using our easy crockpot marinara sauce. Quality counts and this one pairs perfectly!
Other Football Party Foods To Serve
This meat & cheese stromboli is simple to whip up, and makes for a totally satisfying, hearty appetizer.
Feel free to chase it with a swig of beer in between bouts of screaming at the tv.
Looking for other options to serve on game day?
Check these recipes out:
- Philly Cheesesteak Dip
- Homemade Pretzel Dogs
- Bacon Beer Cheese Dip
- Pepperoni Pizza Pull Apart Bread
- Bacon Cheeseburger French Fry Platter
If you’ve tried this EASY MEAT & CHEESE STROMBOLI RECIPE or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Easy Meat & Cheese Stromboli Recipe
- 1 16 oz loaf of bread dough thawed according to package directions or homemade pizza dough
- 1/4 lb thinly sliced ham
- 1/4 lb pepperoni hard salami
- 1/4 lb salami optional
- 1/2 tsp dried basil divided
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano divided
- 1/4 lb thinly sliced provolone cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 1 tsp cornmeal optional
- Place bread dough on lightly greased baking sheet. Pat into a 15 x 10” rectangle.
- Arrange ham slices lengthwise down center; place pepperoni on top, then salami. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon basil and ¼ teaspoon oregano.
- Arrange provolone cheese over herbs and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with remaining herbs.
- Moisten all edges of dough with water; bring each long edge of dough to center. Press edges together securely to seal. Seal ends.
- Brush dough with 1 Tablespoon butter; sprinkle with cornmeal and carefully invert so that the seam side is down. Brush top with remaining butter.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until browned.
- Remove from oven and place on a cutting board. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Cut horizontally into slices with a serrated (bread) knife. For smaller portions, first cut vertically down the center, them into horizontal slices.
originally published September 22, 2013