7 Ways to Use Pepperoni (Besides Putting It on Pizza)

published Oct 26, 2015
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

It’s easy to think of pepperoni solely as a pizza topping, but this cured meat is actually pretty versatile. Whether you have a stick of hard pepperoni or a pre-sliced package, there are so many delicious ways to use this flavorful meat — ways that go far beyond putting it on top of pizza.

1. Add to cheese boards.

Paired with Parmesan, Gouda, or cheddar, thick slices of pepperoni make a perfect addition to your cheese board.

2. String on antipasti skewers.

Food on skewers is always more fun! Skip the antipasti platter and forks, and instead load all the essential ingredients — including pepperoni, cheeses, olives, and tomatoes — onto wooden skewers.

3. Top potato skins and twice-baked potatoes.

Topped with melted cheese, meat, and a dollop of sour cream, potato skins are total comfort food. Most recipes include bacon, which can easily be substituted with sliced or cubed pepperoni.

4. Sandwich into grilled cheese.

You don’t need a lot here, but adding a few thin slices of pepperoni is a quick way to make your grilled cheese sandwich even better!

5. Stuff inside mushrooms.

With the holidays on the horizon, I’m focused on bite-sized appetizers and hors d’oeuvres to feed a crowd. One that always stands out as a guest favorite is stuffed mushrooms — they’re easy to prepare and the filling is really versatile. Try changing up this recipe by using half sausage and half pepperoni.

6. Layer into quesadillas.

Whether you go with the classic fillings — like cheddar, beans, corn, and salsa — or give your quesadillas an Italian twist — with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and fresh basil — go ahead and add cubed or sliced pepperoni to the mix.

7. Chop into pasta salad.

Give your pasta salad an Italian twist with add-ins like pepperoni, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and smoky Gouda or mozzarella cheese.

How else do you use pepperoni? Any good ideas that we didn’t mention?