Pepperoni Bread

Pepperoni Bread, a.k.a. Pepperoni Rolls | #recipe

If you are from anywhere near West Virginia or western Pennsylvania, chances are good that you’ve heard of (or eaten!) pepperoni bread (sometimes also called pepperoni rolls). It was pretty much a staple at my grandma’s house when I was a kid. Walking into her kitchen and seeing mounds of pepperoni bread stacked all over her counter was like Christmas morning. Needless to say, they didn’t last long at all at her house. What we didn’t devour while we were there was divvied up between my family and our cousins to eat at home.

Words truly do not do justice to how absolutely, positively in love my family was with my grandma’s pepperoni bread.

Pepperoni Rolls | Pepperoni Bread | #recipe

I also cannot tell you how utterly elated I was when I found out early on in our courtship that my Chief Culinary Consultant’s mom also made pepperoni bread. I’ve only made it a handful of times myself, so I’m always ecstatic when I find out that his mom is making a batch.

Pepperoni bread was one of the earliest recipes ever posted here on Brown Eyed Baker, but it was terribly vague and in desperate need of a makeover. Any excuse to make pepperoni bread!

Pepperoni Rolls | Pepperoni Bread | #recipe

Now, a few notes about the recipe:

  • My grandma (and my mother-in-law) used Rhodes frozen bread dough. I highly recommend it. I know. You could totally make your own dough. I have. It’s fine, but it’s not the same, and sometimes you just want what you’ve loved since you were four years old, right?
  • When my grandma first told me how she made hers, she said she would get two rolls out of one loaf of bread dough. However, mine seemed to come out quite bigger than I remember hers. It doesn’t really matter, but if you’d prefer smaller rolls, you could certainly divide the dough into three or even four pieces.
  • Feel free to adjust the amounts of pepperoni and cheese, and use more or less of either based on your personal preferences. You could also add/substitute other meats like salami or different cheeses (although in our family it’s straight pepperoni and mozzarella; I do make one roll with the addition of green olives for my Chief Culinary Consultant because he loves them).
  • You will almost certainly find that some pepperoni and/or cheese spilled out of the side of some of your loaves. Embrace it. As kids, we used to fight over who would get the roll with all of the cheese stuck to the outside. I have yet to meet pepperoni bread without at least a little “seepage”.
  • My family always kept these (and ate them) at room temperature, but my Chief Culinary Consultant’s family refrigerates them and reheats them. You could do either.
  • If you have a pizza stone, you could bake the pepperoni bread on there, as they would get a crispier bottom, which I love (my grandma always made hers on VERY seasoned baking sheets).

Pepperoni Rolls | Pepperoni Bread | #recipe

If you like pepperoni pizza, these will be right up your alley. It’s basically pizza without the sauce!

I love the memory of seeing pepperoni bread in my grandma’s kitchen; I need to make them appear in mine more often!

Pepperoni Rolls | Pepperoni Bread | #recipe

One year ago: Crab Rangoon
Two years ago: No-Bake Banana Split Dessert
Three years ago: Broccoli Salad
Four years ago: Rock n’ Roll Baby Onesie Cookies

Pepperoni Bread

Yield: 6 to 12 rolls

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 to 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

A staple here in western Pennsylvania, pepperoni bread (or pepperoni rolls) use frozen bread dough, sliced pepperoni and shredded mozzarella.


1 (3-pound) package Rhodes frozen bread dough
12 to 14 ounces sliced pepperoni
24 ounces shredded mozzarella


1. Follow package instructions for thawing/rising frozen bread dough.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

3. Cut each loaf of dough in half and work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining pieces covered under plastic wrap that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Roll the dough into a thin rectangle about 7 inches by 12 inches. Cover the surface with sliced pepperoni, then sprinkle shredded mozzarella over top. Starting with a long side, roll the dough up tightly and pinch the seams and ends to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining pieces of dough.

4. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving. The pepperoni rolls can be served warm or at room temperature. Store leftover pepperoni rolls in resealable plastic bags at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The rolls can also be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, for up to 1 month.

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38 Responses to “Pepperoni Bread”

  1. Ami@naivecookcooks on April 23, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Looks so delicious ! Comfort food at its best!


  2. Natalie on April 23, 2014 at 2:17 am

    I lived in West Virginia for 9 months and learned to make these with the frozen bread dough. They are delicious and easy to make. I highly recommend this recipe. Thank you for sharing!


  3. Helen @ the crispy crouton on April 23, 2014 at 3:11 am

    I haven’t come across these before but they look too delicious not to try! I like to make my bread dough from scratch but I do have a bread machine that takes out most of the hard work :-)


  4. Marie @ Little Kitchie on April 23, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Cheese, bread, pepperoni… what’s not to love?!


  5. Joe Guzzardi on April 23, 2014 at 6:32 am

    What about if you want to use dough from scratch? Just make your usual pizza dough recipe?


  6. Nancy Long on April 23, 2014 at 7:21 am

    bread and pepperoni, what could be bad! lol


  7. Alice // Hip Foodie Mom on April 23, 2014 at 7:49 am

    oh my gawd, love this!!! Brilliant!


  8. Robby on April 23, 2014 at 8:20 am

    This recipe looks like an instant ‘keeper’ at our house. Can you clarify which direction you cut the dough in half? I am assuming you cut across the log, but then again….


    • Michelle on April 23rd, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Robby, Yes, I just cut straight across, although it technically doesn’t matter much since you’re going to roll it out anyway.


  9. Lisa @ Simple Pairings on April 23, 2014 at 9:45 am

    My co-worker makes these all the time! So fabulous and savory! I can make a meal out of the bread and a little marinara sauce for dipping :)


  10. Liz on April 23, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Love this! I grew up in WV and was SHOCKED upon learning my NC-bred husband had never heard of them! What the..? We never had cheese in them, and were typically made with the sticks of Pepperoni rather than slices, but any version is good for me now that they aren’t available at my beckon call anymore!


  11. Andrea Hubbard on April 23, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Used to buy a version of these when in school in Lake City, Michigan. Used to be a line out the door at the bakery every day.The ones I bought also had a schmear of marinara sauce and no cheese in them. Thank you for the memories and the recipe.Pinning , printing and liking this one.


  12. Lenore on April 23, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I have someone who would love pepperoni bread. When I make this I would like to use a from scratch bread dough. Can you suggest a good bread dough recipe to use as a substitute for the frozen bread dough? Have a wonderful day! :)


  13. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough on April 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I feel a little cheated that my life has not yet involved pepperoni bread, because oh my lans, it looks so good. Will be changing that ASAP!


  14. Beth on April 23, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I’m from the Youngstown, OH area and am amazed that this is a “local” thing. I can’t imagine life without pepperoni rolls!! Or cookie tables at weddings for that matter, but that’s a whole other post…


    • Michelle on April 23rd, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      How the rest of the world survives without cookie tables at weddings is beyond me! I was actually at a baby shower last Sunday, and they had a cookie table there :)


  15. Susannah on April 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I had no idea these were considered a regional thing. My mom made this all the time and almost exactly like this. Frozen bread dough and everything. The only change was that under the pepperoni was a good dousing of garlic butter and on top of the cheese was plenty of oregano and crushed red pepper. DELICIOUS! I may have to make this bread this weekend!!


    • Michelle on April 23rd, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      My mother-in-law does the oregano in hers; I like the idea of the crushed red pepper, I’m going to try that next time!


  16. Arthur in the Garden! on April 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm



  17. KATHLEEN on April 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Your blog is AMAZING!!!!! I love your recipes, your pictures, and your stories!! I visit almost every day–you are bookmarked !!


  18. Rachel on April 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    These look wonderful. If I were to freeze them, would I cook them first for the full amount of time, cook for a smaller time, or freeze raw and cook for a longer time when I pull them out? Thanks!


    • Michelle on April 23rd, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Rachel, I bake them the whole way, then once they are cool, if you want to freeze any, do so then.


  19. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on April 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    this looks THE perfect cheesy, carby fix! yum!!


  20. kim on April 23, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    My track teammates and I never missed an after-meet pepperoni roll…NW PA high school (15+ years agp) Now I live in SW PA and make them regularly for my gang. Always leave a party with an empty tupperware if I make these. Thanks for the recipe!


  21. Karen on April 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I first had Pepperoni bread some 30 years ago from a local Annapolis bakery. After they went out of business, I was sooo upset that I wouldn’t be able to buy this bread anymore! I stumbled across the Rhodes bread recipe and have been making it ever since; but I must say it’s only a substitute for what that bakery made. I believe the secret was in their dough. It was a little softer, thinner, and definitely sweeter than the Rhodes. I was never willing to experiment with doughs to find something comparable, so my kids have grown up on the Rhodes version. So far, no complaints. If anyone has any ideas or recipes on doughs that meet the description above, please share!


  22. Martha in KS on April 23, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    These remind me of strombolis I used to buy at a local Italian deli. Rhodes frozen dough is terrific! I’ve never “killed” it like I do when I try to make bread from scratch. Jeff Mauro on FN made a similar recipe that his grandmother in Chicago made.


  23. Emily on April 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Never had these, but can see this as the perfect snack for when kids’ friends are over after school! Thanks!


  24. Mary Jo on April 23, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    This is new to me…wish I had known of something like this when my kids were growing up. I am sure the grandboys will love them! And probably the husband, too. Thanks.


  25. Tieghan on April 23, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    This looks amazing!! So good!


  26. My Linh on April 24, 2014 at 7:18 am

    I’ve never heard of pepperoni bread before, but this sounds DELISH! I think I would love this and my boyfriend most definitely too. I’m adding this recipe to my “to-bake” list!


  27. OLWomen on April 24, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Just wow, delicious and easy to make, these pepperoni rolls are on my weekend to do list. Your blog is amazing.


  28. Monica - Pizza Blonde on April 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Yum! Wish I had some of that for dinner.


  29. Kloe @ Kloe's Kitchen on April 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

    This looks like fun spin off of pizza! I make some very similar to these except I cut the rolls to make them like pinwheels/cinnamon rolls. I might give your recipe a try though. On most Fridays we do family night with homemade pizza, but this could be a fun alternative! Thanks for sharing!
    -Kloe ♥


  30. Fleur-de-lis on April 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I had never heard of pepperoni bread prior to this blog. I immediately went and bought all the ingredients and make a couple loaves late last night. I highly recommend this recipe. It’s easy, simple to make and addictive. One loaf is already gone.


  31. Meghan on April 27, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    I so just pinned this & will be making it soon. We are huge lovers of pepperoni bread in this house!


  32. Cinny's Cookin on May 5, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I have made this recipe with Rhodes rolls delicious I brush the top with butter, garlic salt and oregano once cooked. Warmed pizza sauce on the side. My teenagers eat about 6 rolls each this bread will be a quicker version.
    Making your recipe today. Adults love these as much as kids.


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