Who doesn’t love pepperoni pizza, right? Well, I decided to swap out the pizza dough and use bread instead, and you know, it makes a pretty tasty pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich. I don’t really like making pizza at home because I can never get it to taste as good as our local Italian pizzeria down the street, and let’s face it, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort. But if it’s not really pizza, but a grilled cheese sandwich instead, I can enjoy that pepperoni pizza taste without the hassle of making the dough. Here’s my pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich recipe.
What kind of mozzarella cheese should you use for a pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich?
If you’re making pizza – or something similar to pizza – you’ve gotta use mozzarella cheese. This is not a place for cheddar. To really replicate the pizza flavor, you need mozzarella cheese.
When I was shopping for the ingredients for the pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich, I decided to get three different kinds of mozzarella cheese to test them all out. I bought fresh (you know, the kind that comes in liquid), sliced, and shredded.
The fresh mozzarella is definitely the winner. Not really a surprise, right? It has the best flavor, and the thick, melty, oozy-ness felt decadent. It’s a little hard to cut thin enough slices for a sandwich, but it’s worth a little extra effort.
That said, the pre-sliced and shredded mozzarella still tasted good. If you don’t want to deal with the fresh mozzarella, you’ll still get a delicious grilled cheese sandwich here. I’d give a slight edge to the shredded because it’s closer to that gooey cheesiness you get with a real pizza.
Parmesan crusted bread
For an added bonus, add some parmesan cheese to your pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich! When crusted onto the outside of the bread, you’ll get an extra cheesy flavor and a little extra crispiness.
I think it’s best to wait until the sandwich is almost done cooking and then put the parmesan cheese on it. Sprinkle some grated parmesan onto the already grilled bread, and then flip it and grill it. Meanwhile, sprinkle some more cheese onto the second side so it’s ready to grill once the sizzling of the first side dies down.
You certainly don’t have to do this step, but I think it adds another level of cheesy goodness to your grilled cheese sandwich.
What kind of pepperoni should you use for a pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich?
Better ingredients make for better meals, and the same applies here. Sure, you can use the cheap pepperoni, and it’ll probably taste fine, but why not get something good?
Instead, get some high quality pepperoni from your deli counter. Or see if they have any spicy salami to make it a little closer to what you’d get on a pizza in Italy.
What about the bread?
Bread is something you can be a little flexible with when making a pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich. Certainly standard sliced bread will work. I made one that way, and it was quite tasty.
Though with all the cheese and other ingredients you’re going to pile on there, you might want to try something a little more sturdy. Try something like ciabatta cut open long ways, and since it’s Italian, it’s a good fit.
How to make a pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich
The pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich has a few more steps than a classic grilled cheese, but it’s still not a complicated meal to make.
I like to start off by grilling the bread slices on one side before even assembling the sandwich. This will become the inside of your sandwich. Since there’s a little more bulk to this one, I think grilling the inside helps hold everything together a little better.
Once you’ve grilled what will become the inside of the sandwich for about 3 minutes, take the bread out of the pan. On one piece of bread, grilled side up, lay out half of your fresh mozzarella cheese. If you’re using shredded mozzarella, about a 1/2 cup should do for the whole sandwich, so sprinkle in about 1/4 cup here.
Then spoon in your tomato sauce so it’s evenly distributed. I use plain old tomato sauce, the kind you would use as a base for pasta sauce, or if you want to buy something specifically labeled as pizza sauce, that’ll work too. Also sprinkle in the oregano here. If you want to add basil, which I think is a nice touch, add it here as well. I think 2 or 3 leaves chopped up is a good amount.
Next up, add a layer of pepperoni. Two rows of 3 slices of pepperoni should be enough, but if you want to squeeze in 3 rows of 3, for 9 slices total, go for it! If you got your hands on some spicy Italian salami instead, use your best judgement on how many slices you need to cover the cheese, but 2 or 3 is probably good.
Then layer on the rest of your mozzarella cheese and top off with the other piece of bread.
Once the butter is completely melted and starts bubbling a little, add your sandwich to the pan. Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn. When each side is golden brown and the cheese is gooey, you’re done!
Optional parmesan crusted bread
If you’d like to add a little something extra to your grilled cheese sandwich, add a parmesan cheese crust to the outside of the bread. Here’s how you do it.
When the bread golden brown, but maybe not quite as brown as you’d like, sprinkle some parmesan cheese onto one side. Then flip again and do the other side. Flip one more time to cook each side with the parmesan cheese. Yum!
I hope you enjoy this pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich recipe!
- 2 slices of bread
- 2 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (or as much as you need to cover both slices of bread)
- 6-9 slices of pepperoni
- 1-2 Tbsp of tomato sauce
- Pinch of oregano
- Basil leaves, chopped up (optional)
- 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese (optional, for cheese crusted outside)
- Heat the pan on medium.
- Add a slab of butter to the pan and let it melt completely.
- Once the butter is completely melted, coats the whole pan, and starts bubbling a little, put the bread slices into the pan. This is to grill the inside of the sandwich a little before assembling it. Cook for about 3 minutes on one side only.
- Remove bread from pan. Line one piece of bread with half of the mozzarella cheese.
- Spoon in the tomato sauce and distribute evenly. Sprinkle in a pinch of oregano. If you want to add in some chopped basil leaves, add them here.
- Cover the cheese and sauce with a layer of pepperoni, and then the other half of the cheese and close up the sandwich.
- Put your sandwich into the pan to grill. You might need to add more butter. Grill on one side for about 4-5 minutes. Then carefully flip the sandwich to grill the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Check to make sure the bread doesn't burn, and you can flip more often to be sure. You want golden brown on each side.
- Optional: To get a crusted parmesan outside, grill the sandwich for about a minute less than done. While it's in the pan cooking on the second side, sprinkle on the parmesan cheese. Flip and repeat for the other side. The cheese will sizzle in the pan, and a minute or so is all you should need to get it crusted on.
- When both sides are a crispy golden brown and the cheese is melty, your pepperoni pizza grilled cheese sandwich is done and ready to eat.
Make this gluten free with your favorite gluten free bread.
Instead of normal sliced bread, try ciabatta, cut open long ways.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 546Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1239mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 23g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by a third party app and should not be used in place of the advice of a professional nutritionist.