Homemade pepperoni rolls are the fluffiest rolls made from a soft, homemade dough, stuffed with pepperoni, sauce, and cheese. You’ll love this twist on the classic pepperoni pizza and simplified version of the stromboli pizza!
The rolls are perfect for a filling snack, a game night appetizer, or an easy weeknight dinner.
Pepperoni rolls are made with a delicious homemade dough that’s so soft and easy to work with. The pizza rolls are filled with traditional marinara, cheese, and pepperoni slices, then brushed with garlic butter and baked until golden and fluffy. Once baked, the rolls are best served warm with marinara sauce on the side.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Pack for lunch. A great item to pack in lunch boxes!
- Freeze for later. They freeze well for a last-minute freezer dinner.
- Make it with kids. This a great recipe for kids to be involved in making!
- Change it up. The dough is so versatile and there are countless ways to fill them.
Pepperoni Roll Ingredients
The ingredients for the easy pepperoni rolls are essentially the same as what you would use to make a classic pepperoni pizza.
- Liquids and oil- the combination of milk with water and oil give the dough its softness.
- Yeast- active dry yeast works as the leavening agent in the dough.
- Flour- all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, then sifted to prevent lumps.
- Pasta sauce – marinara or pizza sauce will both work here.
- Pepperoni- a high-quality pepperoni will yield the best flavor.
- Shredded cheese- mozzarella cheese melts well in pepperoni rolls, but cheddar or provolone will work as well. For best results, shred your own cheese from a block of cheese.
- Topping- we just combine melted butter with Italian seasoning, garlic, and parmesan cheese for the topping. It adds so much flavor.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.
How to Make Pepperoni Rolls
The rolls require more resting time than hands-on time. They’re easier to make than you expect, don’t shy away from giving these a try!
- Preheat oven: Preheat the oven to 375°F at step 8.
- Activate yeast: In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, oil, warm water, and warm milk. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and then sprinkle the sugar over the yeast. Allow the mixture to stand untouched for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
- Add flour: Gradually add the sifted flour and salt, with this sifter. Mix until the flour is well incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
- Let rise: Leave the dough to rise in a warm spot for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the dough is at least doubled in size.
- Divide dough: Divide the dough into 20-24 equal parts, depending on how big you want your rolls.
- Roll and fill: Roll out each piece of dough into a small circle. Add some pasta sauce, shredded cheese, and top with pepperoni slices. Close the dough up and pinch to close. Turn the dough over, seam side down, onto a lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Make topping: Combine the butter, Italian seasoning, and garlic in a small bowl. Brush the top of each roll using a pastry brush. Sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese over the top of each pizza roll, if using.
- Rise again: Allow the dough to rise again for 30 minutes, until doubled in size and puffy.
- Bake: Bake the rolls uncovered for 18-22 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are golden brown in color.
- Serve and enjoy, friends!
Substitutions and Variations
These are great recipes to adjust to your family’s preferences. Here are some ideas:
- Different filling: There are countless unique combinations of pizza toppings, all of which can be tried as a filling in these mini pizzas!
- Margherita: Fill with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and chopped basil.
- The meats: Add a combination of meats such as slices of pepperoni, ham, bacon, cooked sausage, and chopped chicken. Don’t forget to add cheese!
- Barbeque chicken: Add a teaspoon or so of barbeque sauce and shredded, cooked chicken, chopped red onion, and shredded smoked gouda cheese.
- Hawaiian: The filling will include pizza sauce, finely diced pineapple, Canadian bacon, and cheese.
- Veggie: Add some cheese and pizza sauce along with your favorite veggies to put in the pizza rolls. Peppers, corn, and greens will work well in these pizza rolls.
- Different shape: Instead of shaping the rolls into the shape of traditional dinner rolls, you can shape them into long ovals instead.
- Different cheese: A block of cheese, cut into small cubes or into small cheese sticks (if shaping into oval rolls) is a good substitute for shredded cheese. It may even make shaping the rolls easier and will prevent cheese from falling out of the rolls.
Though the pizza is delicious as is, you can’t go wrong with a side dish to make it a meal. Here are some ideas:
- With marinara: Serve the rolls with a side of dipping sauce such as warm marinara.
- Fresh salad: Make it a complete meal with a side salad like a simple Caesar salad or with an Italian tomato mozzarella salad or classic pasta salad.
- Refreshing drink: Compliment the rolls with a drink like a simple raspberry lemonade or an energizing peach lemonade for a kid-friendly meal.
If you want a deeper golden color, you can substitute the butter mixture and brush with a regular egg wash instead.
Use good quality all-purpose flour such as Sapphire or Canadian flour. Or, use bread flour, but keep in mind that you may need to use slightly less bread flour than if you were to use all-purpose. Bread flour has a higher protein percentage, which may result in a drier dough if the ratio of water to flour is the same as when using all-purpose.
Pepperoni rolls stem from the coal mine industry in West Virginia, where coal miners who immigrated to the US from Italy would often bring pepperoni rolls in place of pizza to work. They’re easy to pack for lunch and have become a popular food country-wide since!
Yes, for a shortcut, use store-bought pizza dough! The rolls will still turn out delicious and you’ll cut down on prep time by using premade dough.
Store & Freeze
- Storage. Cover and store leftover pizza rolls refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- Freeze. The pepperonis rolls can be frozen to have on hand for busy evenings. Cool completely to room temperature, add to a freezer-safe bag or container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and bake for a few minutes to reheat!
- Reheat. The pepperoni rolls can be reheated in an air fryer, oven, or microwave until warmed through.
More Pizza Recipes
Homemade Pepperoni Rolls Recipe
- 1 cup pasta sauce
- 8 oz pepperoni slices, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese
- Preheat oven at step 8 to 375°F.
- In a bowl, whisk together mayo, oil, salt, warm water and warm milk. Sprinkle yeast over top of mixture and sprinkle sugar over yeast, let sit 5 minutes to activate.
- Gradually add flour, mix until flour is well incorporated and combined. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Set dough aside to rise 1 ½ to 2 hours until the dough doubles, almost triples in size.
- Divide dough into 24 parts.
- Roll out each piece of dough. Add cheese, some pasta sauce and pepperoni. Close up dough and turn over. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Combine butter, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Brush the tops of rolls with the butter mixture using a pastry brush.
- Set aside and let rise 30–45 minutes, until about doubled in size.
- Bake 18–22 minutes until tops of rolls are really golden brown.
- Serve with marinara sauce, optional.