Foodstuff: Sausage Bread recipe from Grandma’s cookbook

The most requested recipe I’ve never made.

Katherine Roberts
The authors mother, Rose Roberts preparing sausage bread.

It’s almost Christmas for some of us, and, for the family on my mother’s side (Hello, heirs to the Capasso throne!), that can only mean one thing: Time to stuff some cheese and meat into dough. My mother has four siblings, all sisters, and you can count on this being at each of their tables every December, as it was at my grandmother’s table before them.

To that end, I’ve never actually made this myself, as someone else is always making it for me. But, every person we invite for the holidays gets a little sample to take home. I can share from personal experience it does not disappoint, and you’re going to want it at your gatherings this year. Below is the recipe, from my oft-mentioned grandmother’s cookbook, You Take a Little Oil and Fry Onions… (Martel Publishing Company, 1983).

The authors mother, Rose Roberts preparing sausage bread.
Sausage Bread Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


3T olive oil

2 T butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 loaf frozen pizza dough, thawed

1 lb. Italian sausage*

1/2 lb. Provel** cheese, shredded

1/2c grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2T olive oil


Preheat oven to 350

Cook Notes

Heat oil and butter in a skillet and sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add sausage and break up in pan, stirring and cooking until meat is no longer pink. Drain off excess fat, and set aside.

Roll dough into a large oblong about ¼ inch thick. Brush with olive oil. Cover with meat mixture and spread to edges of dough. Sprinkle with cheeses and salt and pepper. Starting at the long end, roll up tightly, tucking in sides. Seal with water. Shape into a half circle and place on a lightly-greased baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool slightly before slicing.

*My family likes a mix of half mild sausage and half hot sausage.

**Provel cheese, for the uninitiated, is a white processed cheese, a St. Louis, Missouri, concoction of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses and is difficult to find outside of my home state. Use a combination of the above and/or what you like here.



Prepared plate of Christmas Day pasta with sausage-bread leftovers.

We usually make this on Christmas Eve, and this bread is delicious after a few minutes out of the oven (The wait will kill you, but it’s worth it to avoid burning your tongue on molten cheese), room temperature on an antipasto platter for your guests, or as leftovers on the side of my family’s customary Christmas day pasta dish with meat sauce, along with a side salad. Easy, savory, and probably a decent snack to stick in your ski jacket, as long as you wrap it tightly. Happy Holidays!

Katherine Roberts is a mid-Valley based writer and marketing professional whose favorite Roaring Fork holiday tradition is cutting down her own Christmas tree, which she probably never would have done had she not moved here, and she’s so happy she did. She can be reached via her marketing and communications firm, Carington Creative, at

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