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Pepperoni Rolls with Broccoli

Katie Lee serves up delicious pepperoni rolls.
Nathan Congleton / TODAY


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • One 1¼ ounce packet active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup or more as needed
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 60 slices pepperoni
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed, drained and chopped (I press the broccoli between paper towels to remove as much water as possible)
  • Garlic salt, for sprinkling
  • cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Pickled banana peppers, for serving
  • Marinara sauce, for dipping
  • Chef notes

    Hailing from West Virginia, pepperoni rolls are a popular snack of chewy dough stuffed with pepperoni and gooey cheese. Here, Katie Lee makes a homemade version with the addition of broccoli. It's perfect for entertaining and a great way to sneak in the vegetable.



    In a small bowl, mix the warm water with the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside for about 5 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken and bubble slightly. If the mixture does not start to thicken and bubble slightly, the yeast is not working. Check the expiration date on the yeast and start over.


    In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the egg, oil and salt. Mix in the cold water and then the boiling water. Add the yeast mixture and stir until well blended. With a wooden spoon, slowly add in the 4 cups of flour until incorporated.


    Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Coat the palms of your hands with flour and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes. If the dough remains sticky, add an extra 1/2 cup or more of flour as needed. When you're done, the dough should be stretchy, like elastic. Put the dough into a clean large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it has doubled in size, about 3 hours.


    Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.


    Punch down the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 20-by-10-inches with the long edge facing you. Line the dough with the pepperoni. Top evenly with the broccoli and sprinkle with the garlic salt. Top with an even layer of the mozzarella cheese. Roll up the dough starting with the long edge facing you into a long, tight cylinder. Gently squeeze the cylinder to seal it. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12 even rounds. Place the rounds, cut side down, into the prepared baking dish. There will be some space in between the rounds. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1½ to 2 hours.


    Preheat the oven to 350°.


    Bake the pepperoni rolls until golden, about 40 to 45 minutes. When the rolls come out of the oven, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve while warm with the banana peppers and marinara sauce, if desired.