Drop that takeout menu — we’re about to elevate your pizza night game with this fabulous Pepperoni Pizza Braid! We’re talking flaky puff pastry stuffed with savory marinara sauce, hearty pepperoni, and mounds of ooey-gooey mozzarella and parmesan. Baked to perfection in 20 minutes or less, it can be a main course or you can serve it as an appetizer that’ll have everyone’s taste buds begging for an encore.
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Do you have a weekly pizza night at your house? Ours usually falls on Fridays because, let’s be real, who’s got the energy after a week of adulting? Now, full disclosure – we’re occasionally guilty of dialing up the local pizza place for a quick fix. But more often we prefer to whip up some homemade magic in the form of this easy pizza braid.
One of the easiest ways to make pizza homemade while keeping it easy is with this simple Pepperoni Pizza Braid recipe! Always a hit, it uses pre-made puff pastry so you don’t have to dirty up your kitchen making the dough. Then, we stuff it full of all our favorite pizza toppings and just pop it in the oven to bake. The end result is a flaky exterior and a warm filling oozing with cheesy goodness. All in all, it’s a recipe no one can resist!
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Pizza Braid Recipe
- Baked in the oven in 20 minutes or less, it’s faster than takeout.
- 8 ingredients are all you need to create a bold, savory flavor.
- You can mix and match all your favorite pizza toppings.
- It’s great as an appetizer, snack, or main course!
What You’ll Need
We kept the ingredient list for this Pepperoni Pizza Braid short and sweet using budget-friendly items you can easily find at your local grocery store. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Puff Pastry – Find this in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.
- Fillings – To replicate the flavor of classic pepperoni pizza, we use marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade), low-moisture Mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni. Feel free to use regular pork pepperoni, turkey pepperoni, or mini pepperoni slices to fit your preferences and needs!
- Butter – Unsalted butter is melted and brushed on top of the dough to enhance the richness of the flavor and help the seasonings stick.
- Parmesan – This is added to the topping for extra cheesy goodness.
- Seasonings – Fresh minced garlic and Italian parsley help create that bold, savory pizza flavor we know and love. Depending on the marinara you use, you may need to add more or less to suit your tastebuds.
How to Make a Pepperoni Pizza Braid
Think of this Pepperoni Pizza Braid kind of like a homemade Hot Pocket. We’ll start by adding our fillings to the dough. Then, we’ll wrap it up, and bake it in the oven! Here’s how it’s done:
- Prepare the Dough. Let your puff pastry thaw just slightly in the fridge. It should be malleable and easy to work with but still cold. Then, open it up, spreading it out into a large rectangle.
- Add the Fillings. Spread the marinara in the center of the dough. Layer the Mozzarella and pepperoni on top.
- Fold. Slice 1-inch sections of the dough, from the inside out to create strips. Slice off the top two and bottom two strips of down. Then, fold the top piece down over the center. Begin braiding the strips, folding them into the center on alternating sides. Tuck the bottom piece under the braids of the dough.
- Top. In a small bowl, whisk the butter, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and Italian parsley. Use a pastry brush to spread the mixture over the pizza braid.
- Bake. Place the braid on a greased baking sheet, and bake it in the oven until the dough is golden brown and flakey.
Filling Options and Variations
There are endless varieties of pizza flavors out there so feel free to recreate your favorite by mixing and matching the ingredients in this Pepperoni Pizza Braid recipe. Need a nudge in the creative direction? Here are some of our favorite swaps and add-ins:
- Different Dough. If needed, you can easily replace the puff pastry dough with crescent rolls or a pre-made pizza dough crust instead. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions.
- Swapping Out the Protein. Replace the pepperoni with any protein you prefer or add another into the mix. Sizzling sausage or bacon, spicy taco meat, salty ham, or shredded chicken all work well. Ground beef is a solid option, too.
- Adding Produce. Add extra nutrients to your pizza braid with fresh fruit and veggies like onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, or pineapple (controversial, we know).
- Making It Extra Cheesy. You can never have too much cheese, right? Add more or replace the mozzarella with varieties like a shredded Italian cheese blend, a shredded Pizza cheese blend, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, feta, goat cheese, or whatever you like best.
How to Store
This Pepperoni Pizza Braid recipe is best enjoyed right away while it’s still warm. However, if you have leftovers or want to prepare in advance, it can be stored for later.
- Refrigerator: Once cooled, leftovers can be wrapped in aluminum foil or transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
- Freezer: For a longer-lasting option, transfer your pizza braid to the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To Reheat: To eat, let frozen leftovers thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, keeping it wrapped in foil, reheat your braid in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit until your desired temperature is reached
More Pizza-Inspired Recipes
If you enjoy this Pepperoni Pizza Braid recipe, you won’t want to miss out on more of the homemade pizza-inspired meals below!
- One Pot Pizza Pasta
- Whipped Feta Pizza
- Pizza Baked Chicken
- Pizza Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Pepperoni Pizza Braid Recipe
- 1 sheet puff pastry frozen and slightly thawed
- ½ cup marinara sauce
- 6 slices low-moisture Mozzarella cheese
- 4 ounces pepperoni
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease a baking dish and set aside.
- Thaw the puff pastry until it’s easy to work with but still cold. Open the pastry into a large rectangle.
- Spread the marinara in the center, and layer the cheese and pepperoni on top.
- Slice 1-inch sections of the dough on either side of the fillings from the center out.
- Carefully slice off the top two and bottom two pieces of dough.
- Fold the top strip of dough down over the fillings. Begin braiding, folding the strips of dough down into the center, alternating sides.
- Tuck the bottom strip of dough under the dough braids, forming a sort of pocket.
- In a small bowl, add the butter, Parmesan, garlic, and Italian parsley. Whisk to combine.
- Using a pastry brush, spread the mixture on top of the pizza braid.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until the dough is flakey and golden brown.
- Serve warm!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.