Pizza Night: Pepperoni and Broccoli Rabe

Friday night is pizza night in the Spencer home. It became a habit not long after Eli was born, mostly so I’d stop getting delivery the other 6 nights of the week and to act as a reward for making homemade dinners during that time.

Pepperoni and Broccoli Rabe pizzaAt first we ordered from a new pizza place every time. Since we live in Brighton, home to more banks and pizza joints than any other U.S. destination,* that was easy enough. Then we got stuck on a Big Daddy tear, which was delicious but getting pricey. Finally we looked at each other and asked, “Why aren’t we just making our own?”

Now every week when we grocery shop we pick up some frozen whole wheat pizza dough and whatever toppings we’re experimenting with. Our criteria for pizza are these:

  • Crust that’s chewy inside, crispy outside.
  • Toppings that are fresh and seasonal
  • Some kind of meat

Goat cheese and pork sausage served us well for a while, but I was craving something different. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, until I stumbled on this recipe for pepperoni, fontina, and broccoli rabe pizza.

This was the best pizza we’ve made to date, in large part because the crust was perfect. Before this, we were precooking the crust at 450 for about 8-10 minutes to keep it from getting soggy. The higher temp and lack of sauce here produced a great chewy:crispy ratio; I’m looking forward to seeing if it’s as effective with a light sauce.

Pepperoni and Broccoli Rabe Pizza

adapted from YumSugar


Olive oil for cookie sheet
1 store-bought pizza dough
1/2 pound fontina cheese, thinly sliced
30ish sliced of pepperoni
1 small bunch broccoli rabe, chopped into big pieces
2 tsp minced garlic
Red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  2. Oil a large cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven.
  3. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll or stretch the dough so it will fit on the cookie sheet.
  4. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and place the pizza dough on top.
  5. Place the fontina cheese evenly over the dough.
  6. Top the cheese with pepperoni.
  7. Spread the broccoli rabe over the top.
  8. Sprinkle with garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  9. Finish by grating parmesane cheese over the top of the whole pizza.
  10. Bake in the middle of the oven for 12-15 minutes until the crust is crisp and brown, the broccoli rabe is slightly charred, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let rest for 1-2 minutes, slice, and enjoy!

The bitter rabe and salty pepperoni get along well, and the creamy fontina brings it all together into a team of awesome taste in your mouth. This is going to be a go-to recipe for a while.

Do you make your own pizza? What are your favorite toppings?


*pretty sure that’s accurate.

Categorized as Recipes Tagged

By Jennifer Spencer

I'm a storyteller, food lover, book collector, and a Southerner at heart. I love connecting people.