Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Make Ahead Meals: Stromboli

It's pretty much official. While summer isn't over according to the calendar, in most other ways, it's done. Carefree days and nights are gone, school is back in session, and after school activities have started up. I know how easy it is to fall into the "take-out trap" now. You're tired after a long day, and won't be home until it's practically dinnertime. You're just busy.

This is why it is so important to plan, plan, plan, so you can get home, throw something in the oven, and relax for a few quiet minutes while dinner cooks itself, all without the dread of cooking hanging over your head all day.

That's where this stromboli comes in. You can prep this "inside out pizza" the night before or in the morning, then just bake it when you get home. As it bakes, warm up some tomato sauce and throw together a side salad (or roast some vegetables alongside the stromboli for even less work, which is what I do.) Dinner will be markedly better than take-out or fast food, with barely any extra work.

You can customize the fillings as you see fit. I kept it simple here with cheese, pepperoni, and mushrooms. Recently I made an especially delicious version with provolone, mozzarella and parmesan, plus sun-dried tomato chicken sausage and vidalia onions. I'll definitely be enjoying that again soon. Really, anything you'd normally put on a pizza would be great here - any combination of veggies, a simple cheese, sausage and pepper or vegetable combination, barbecued chicken, or even spinocolli!
I took this to a friend who had recently had a baby, and it was a great meal for them as well. Make two, share one!

More Make-Ahead Meal Ideas:
Classic Macaroni & Cheese
Shrimp & Feta Quinoa
Cheesy Chicken & Basil Stuffed Potatoes
Baked BBQ Pork Taquitos
Foil-Baked Fish (Greek-style and Mexican-style)
Crockpot Tequila-Lime Turkey Chili
Crockpot Korean Beef Tacos
Spicy Chicken & Rice Casserole
Vegetable Enchiladas

Make-Ahead Stromboli
adapted from Cook's Illustrated.

Note:  While any combination of toppings can be used here, be careful not to over-fill the stromboli. The entire rectangle doesn't need to be covered. If the toppings are scattered evenly over the cheese, it will be fine. Adding too many toppings will make the stromboli harder to roll, and it could tear. No one wants a leaky stromboli!
  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • flour, for the surface
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 oz. pepperoni
  • 4 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • oil, for brushing
  • pizza sauce, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush lightly with oil.

On a well-floured surface, roll the pizza dough into a 10x12 inch rectangle, with the long-side facing you. If you are having trouble getting it to stretch without springing back, let it rest for about 10 minutes, then try again.

Sprinkle the dough with the cheeses, leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch border around the edges. Top with pepperoni and mushrooms, scattering them evenly over the cheese.

Brush the border with water. Starting with the side closest to you, begin rolling the pizza dough tightly into a long cylinder. Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and brush liberally with oil and sprinkle with the reserved Paremsan cheese.

Cover with foil that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, then bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, until the outside is golden brown. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with pizza sauce, for dipping.

Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare the stromboli as directed. After it's assembled (but not baked), it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake it, add 5 minutes to the covered baking time (so bake 25 minutes covered with foil, remove foil, and bake 20-25 minutes).


Eileen said...

This sounds like one of the best ideas ever for a quick lunch. Bake, slice, throw a couple slices in your lunchbag, add a piece of fruit--what could be easier?

Joanne said...

My dad used to make these all the time for us as kids but we always just used to call them "dad's breads". :P My favorite is an asparagus/ricotta/mozzarella version that he makes. Definitely great for a make-ahead meal and beloved by all!

Angela @ AnotherBitePlease said...

I love make ahead meals...thanks for sharing!

Jessica said...

I don't have kids (yet!), but I still love make ahead meals! I especially love stromboli! Yours looks great!

Erica said...

Do you think you could freeze the prepped stromboli and then defrost it in the fridge the day you want to bake it then pop it in the oven and bake?

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

Make-ahead meals are a life saver! Especially when you have 3 kids like me! I still want to serve wonderful meals to my family, but week nights can mean limited cooking time. This make-ahead stromboli looks absolutely delish! Who doesn't like inside out pizza? Hehehehe.

Anonymous said...

I've never had stromboli before!! Seems like it's about time, especially seeing how easy and delicious this is!

Elena @ Herbal Stimulant said...

This pepperoni and mushroom Stromboli looks very delicious and does not seem too difficult to make. i will try to make it this weekend. Thanks for posting!

Betsey said...

I just made this (a couple weeks after pinning it), and it was so good! Thanks for sharing. : )

I used this pizza dough recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pizza-Dough-108197

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