Broccoli rolls, or broccoli stromboli, are a New York pizzeria-style classic made by rolling pizza dough around a stuffing of garlicky broccoli, mozzarella cheese, and Pecorino Romano.  They’re topped with sesame seeds and baked until golden and perfect with a side of marinara for dipping.

Closeup shot of broccoli rolls in sheet pan.

Walk into any pizzeria on Long Island, or around the tristate NY area, and you’ll likely find some type of rolled pizza dough, or stromboli, stuffed with veggies, meat, or cheese.

In fact, pizzerias that don’t make heroes will likely make rolls since they use the same dough as the pizza.

These broccoli rolls are just one of the many varieties of pizza dough rolls and one of our favorites.

The combination of the garlicky broccoli, melted mozzarella, and sesame seed-topped pizza dough is superb and while we love it with a side of marinara, it’s so good by itself!

While you can certainly use store-bought dough for this broccoli stromboli, we provide instructions below to make your own pizza dough if you’re so inclined.

Ingredients shown: mozzarella, broccoli crowns, olive oil, Pecorino Romano, eggs, hot red pepper flakes, garlic, sesame seeds, and pizza dough.

How to make New York-style broccoli rolls

First, make the dough

Note: you can skip this step and use store-bought pizza dough.

  1. To a very large bowl, add 9 ounces (260g) of water.  In a different bowl, add 3 1/4 cups (406g) of bread flour, 1/2 teaspoon (2g) of instant yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoons (8g) of fine sea salt, and 1 teaspoon (4g) of sugar, and stir until combined.
  2. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the water a little at a time, mixing to form a dry, rough mass.

Process collage for pizza dough needed for the broccoli rolls.

  1. Drizzle 1 tablespoon (14g) of olive oil over the dough and mix again to remove any residue stuck to the bowl. Move the shaggy dough to a clean work surface and knead for 5-7 minutes.  If the dough feels too sticky, place an inverted bowl over the dough and let it sit for 30 minutes before continuing.
  2. Return to kneading (total kneading time should be at least 5 minutes) and place the bowl over the dough one more time.  Allow it to sit for 30-40 minutes, then form a dough ball and pinch the seam side, placing the ball seam-side down into an oiled bowl.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, but preferably 1 full day prior to making the broccoli rolls.

Next, make the broccoli rolls

  1. 2 hours before starting your broccoli rolls, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.  Shred 12 ounces of block mozzarella cheese, grate 1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano, and mince 8 cloves of garlic.  Discard the bottom 2 inches from 1 head of broccoli and give it a rough chop. Preheat the oven to 425f and set the rack to the middle level.  Heat a large pan to medium-low heat and add 1/4 cup of olive oil and the garlic.  Saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until golden, then add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  2. Add the chopped broccoli to the pan and turn the heat to medium. 

Broccoli rolls recipe process shot collage group number one.

  1. Saute for 2 minutes, then add a 1/4 cup of water and cover the pan.  Allow the broccoli to steam for about 5 minutes or until soft, then uncover it and cook until the water has evaporated (about 2-3 more minutes).
  2. Remove from the heat and season the broccoli with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside to cool.
  3. On a floured work surface, open the dough ball with your hands, or roll it out to a 1/4″ thick circle about 17-18 inches in size.  
  4. Cut the circle into 4 equal-sized pie slices.

Recipe process shot collage group number two.

  1. Place a piece of dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and lay 1/4 of the broccoli perpendicular to the point in the center of the dough.  Leave at least 1 inch of dough without broccoli on either side.  Repeat for all 4 pieces of dough and the remaining broccoli. 
  2. Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella and 1/4 of the Pecorino on top of the broccoli.  Note: Balling the shredded mozzarella and placing it in the center can help some of the cheese from oozing out while cooking.
  3. Grab the point of the dough and wrap it over the filling, then tuck it underneath leaving the seam side down, and repeat the cheese and folding process for the other 3 rolls.  Note: It’s best to use 2 sheets for the 4 rolls.
  4. Place all 4 broccoli rolls seam-side down on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Beat together 2 teaspoons of water with 1 large egg to create an egg wash, then brush the mixture on top of each roll.

Recipe process shot collage group number three.

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits on top of each roll to aid with venting, then sprinkle each roll with sesame seeds (about 1 tablespoon total). 
  2. Bake the rolls on the middle rack for 18-22 minutes at 425f or until golden brown.  When done, allow the rolls to rest for at least 5 minutes then cut them in half and serve with a side of marinara for dipping.  Enjoy!

Overhead shot of Italian broccoli rolls in sheet pan.

Top tips

  • Dough. We provide instructions here to make your own dough at home, but you can use store-bought dough, or dough from a local pizzeria, as a shortcut. If you are making your own dough, be sure to allow it to cold ferment in the fridge for at least 12 hours, but ideally 24-48 hours for even better taste.
  • Cheese.  The combination of mozzarella and Pecorino will contribute to the New York pizzeria flavor.  We recommend using a drier mozzarella here.  Galbani brand is a great choice as it tends to be lower-moisture than Polly-O.  
  • Broccoli. We recommend using fresh broccoli as frozen broccoli tends to be waterlogged and won’t be as good here. If you’re looking for a recipe using broccoli rabe, check out our broccoli rabe and sausage roll recipe.

Hands holding cut open broccoli roll.

More pizzeria-style recipes

Here are just a few more of our favorite pizzeria-style recipes.  For more recipes, check out our pizza recipe category.

  • Pepperoni pinwheels – mozzarella, pepperoni, ham, and marinara rolled up with pizza dough and baked until golden.
  • Cheese calzone – ricotta, mozzarella, and Pecorino filled pocket of pizza dough.
  • Garlic knots – garlic, parsley, and cheese-covered knots of pizza dough.

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Broccoli Rolls

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Cold fermenting time: 1 day
Total: 1 day 1 hour
Servings: 4 rolls
Broccoli rolls are a pizzeria classic that combines garlicky broccoli, mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano cheese wrapped in pizza dough and baked until golden. Perfect for lunch or snack with a side of marinara for dipping!

Ingredients 

For the dough

  • 3 1/4 cups (406g) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons (7g) diastatic malt powder optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) instant yeast I always use SAF brand
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8g) fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) sugar
  • 9 ounces (260g) cool water
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) olive oil

For the broccoli rolls

  • 1 24 ounce pizza dough ball from above or with store bought dough
  • 12 ounces block mozzarella shredded, I use Galbani
  • 1 head broccoli chopped, bottom 2 inches cut off and discarded
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Instructions 

For the dough

  • Place water into a bowl large enough to hold both the water and all the dry ingredients and still have room to spare. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in another bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the water a bit at a time and mix thoroughly to form a dry rough mass. Pour the oil over the dough, mix again to scrape off any dough residue stuck to side of the bowl, and place the rough shaggy dough onto a work surface.
  • Knead the dough for 7 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, place a clean bowl inverted over the dough and wait 30 minutes before resuming. Return to kneading (just make sure to knead for at least a total of 7 minutes).
  • Place the bowl over the dough once more and let sit for 30-40 minutes to warm up before forming the dough ball.
  • Once the time has elapsed, pull the dough towards its end repeatedly to form a smooth ball. Pinch the seam side and place the dough ball seam side down into an oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before using.

For the broccoli rolls

  • Remove the dough 2 hours before using so that it warms up. Preheat oven to 425f and set the rack to the middle level.
  • Heat a large pan to medium-low heat and add the olive oil and garlic. Once the garlic turns golden (about 2-3 minutes) add the hot red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the broccoli to the pan and turn the heat to medium. Saute for 2 minutes then add a 1/4 cup of water and cover. Steam the broccoli for 5 minutes then uncover and cook until all of the water evaporates from the pan. Turn the heat off and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the broccoli aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, on a floured work surface, open the dough ball with your hands or roll it out to a 1/4" thick circle about 17-18 inches in size. Cut the dough into 4 equal sized pie shape pieces.
  • Arrange the dough with the point facing upwards and lay a 1/4 of the broccoli perpendicular to the point in the center of the dough. Leave at least 1 inch of dough without broccoli on each side.
  • Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella and 1/4 of the Pecorino on top of the broccoli.
  • Grab the point of the dough and wrap it over the filling and then tuck it underneath leaving the seam side down.
  • Repeat for the next 3 rolls. Place all 4 rolls seam-side down on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
  • Beat the egg and water together and brush it on top of each roll. Cut a few slits on top of each roll for air venting. Sprinkle each roll with the sesame seeds.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 18-22 minutes at 425f or until golden brown.  When done, let rest for at least 5 minutes.  Cut the rolls in half and serve with a side of marinara if desired for dipping. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Feel free to substitute 24 ounces of store-bought pizza dough.  
  • The dough can be cold fermented for as little as 12 hours in the fridge, to as long as 72 hours.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated at 350f on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet until hot. About 10 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 845kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 37.3g | Fat: 39.2g | Saturated Fat: 18.2g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1350mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2.8g | Calcium: 685mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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8 Comments

  1. What can I use in place of 2 tsps (7g) diastatic malt powder and what does this powder do for the dough. Thank you.

    1. Hi Baker, you can omit the diastatic malt powder as it is an optional ingredient (see the recipe card). It gives the dough a more golden color but is not necessary.

  2. 5 stars
    One of our new favorites! I am making one roll vegan for my daughter so I’m just adding a sprinkle of “nooch”. Any other suggestions?

    1. Hi Linda, the nutritional yeast sounds like a good add. I haven’t tested the recipe without cheese though. You could probably add another type of veggie as well, like sauteed mushrooms.