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How To Make a Quick & Easy Stromboli the Whole Family Will Love

Stromboli might actually be the most perfect weeknight meal. You roll up your family’s favorite fillings — meat, cheeses, or veggies — in pizza dough (store-bought, obviously) and bake the whole thing to golden-brown perfection. Then you slice the stromboli into portable, easy-to-dip 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 really 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.

Easy Stromboli Everyone Will Love

Stromboli is one of the all-time best, most satisfying midweek choices for hungry families. How do I know everyone will love it? For one, I tested it several times on my own family — including a temperamental 4-year-old and a curious second-grader. Plus, this recipe hits all the high notes of stromboli: layers of meat and cheese, with the ease of a grocery-store shortcut in the pizza dough.

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 kind of make you love it even more.

The Difference Between Stromboli and Calzones

The main difference between stromboli and calzones is their shape and size. Calzones are folded and made single-serve, while stromboli is basically pizza rolls in loaf form, and is made for a crowd. Some calzones include their sauce inside, but stromboli is destined for dipping.

4 Tips for Building and Rolling Stromboli

1. Bring the dough to room temperature. You’ll want to take the chill off your 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 half way, then stop, tuck in the outer edges — like you would a burrito — and keep rolling.

4. Bake seam-side down with vent holes. Your ultimate 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 4 to 5 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 pretty traditional for dipping, but pesto and ranch are also popular dips for second-graders and temperamental preschoolers alike.


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