This classic Italian stromboli recipe uses a rich, homemade sun dried tomato paste, Italian meats, mozzarella and fresh basil.
Despite being named Italian stromboli, stromboli is actually an American thing. The “Italian” part here comes from the flavour – from the Italian deli meats, to the fresh basil, homemade sun dried tomato paste and finally, the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
I’ve added a sun dried tomato paste to the typical Italian-style stromboli mix, for a hit of tomato flavour. Lots of fresh basil leaves complement the tomato flavours perfectly and add lovely colour, too.
This is a savoury treat, pairs well with beer for entertaining (fabulous football food!) or simply enjoy a slice or two with a salad for lunch or dinner.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Italian Deli Meats – You can use any Italian deli meats you like. You’ll often find a “trio” pack in the packaged deli meats section. Pepperoni, salami, prosciutto, sopressata, capocollo etc. would all be good choices.
Basil – fresh basil leaves will always give the best flavour in stromboli. If you can’t get your hands on fresh basil leaves when it comes time to make this one (always happens to me!), I’d look for the freeze-dried basil that you often see in jars in and around the produce section. Rehydrate with a bit of water, drain and use a generous sprinkling in place of the fresh basil leaves.
Sun Dried Tomatoes – I love the sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, as I feel like they always have better flavour and texture. You could also use dried sun dried tomatoes and rehydrate them by soaking in warm water.
With the sun dried tomatoes and deli meat, there is no need to add additional salt with this one, in case you’re tempted to salt the top.
This recipe will make two stromboli. If you don’t need both right away, simply cool, wrap well and freeze for later. To enjoy later, simply thaw then rewarm in a moderate oven wrapped in foil.
Use the stromboli dough to make any kind of stromboli! Fill it with ham and cheese or buffalo chicken. How about a cheesy sausage mix or Philly cheese steak? If you can imagine it, you can stromboli it :)
Get the Recipe: Classic Italian Stromboli
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water, 110F
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon fine table salt
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Sundried Tomato Paste:
- 3/4 cup oil packed sundried tomatoes, removed from oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes
- 10 oz. assorted Italian deli meats
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup basil leaves, packed
- 1 large egg, beaten lightly
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook, add yeast and sugar to bowl. Add water and let stand a few minutes. Add 2 cups of the flour, the salt and the olive oil. Mix to combine. Begin adding more flour, as needed, until you have a smooth, but still moist dough. Remove dough to a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, make the sundried tomato paste, by combining the sundried tomatoes, garlic and oil in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425F. and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once dough has risen, remove to a floured work surface. Deflate slightly, then divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll one of the pieces of dough into a 8×12-inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/2 of the sundried tomato paste. Top with about 1 1/2 – 2 overlapping layers of cold meats, then 1/2 of the mozzarella, 1/2 of the Parmesan, then top with a single layer of basil leaves. Starting with the long side, roll up the filled dough, pinching the seam and the ends together. Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other piece of dough and place on the baking sheet, several inches away from the other one.
- With the palm of your hand, flatten the stromboli slightly. Brush lightly over each one with the beaten egg. Using a sharp knife, cut slits in the top of the stromboli, about 1 1/2-2 inches apart, but not cutting all the way across. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and some freshly ground pepper, if you like.
- Allow to rise for 15 minutes, then place in the preheated 425F oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 400F and bake for a further 10 minutes or so, or until firm and golden. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing/serving.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!