Thursday, December 5, 2013

Italian Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Bread @LucyBurdette

Lucy Ready for Anything
LUCY BURDETTE: In this little rest period between holidays, sometimes we crave non-holiday food. No more leftover turkey and mashed potatoes, no matter how good it was! 

I like to make my own pizza dough (and my favorite barbequed chicken pizza, which I will bring you next time.) But this time around I had a hankering to experiment with making stuffed bread. I've seen this in Italian delicatessens and in fact I've special ordered it in Key West for a cocktail party. The insides can be anything--ham and cheese, pepperoni and cheese, broccoli rabe and sausage and cheese, or in this version, spinach, onions and cheese.

The Joy of Cooking recipe that I often use for the pizza crust makes enough for two--so you can have, as we did, pizza one night and stuffed bread another. This bread slices up nicely and can be served for lunch, dinner, or party snacks.


1 recipe pizza dough (can buy this if you don't want to make it)
1 box chopped spinach
1 onion
1-2 balls fresh mozzarella
freshly grated parmesan
2-3 basil leaves
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Chop the onion and saute in olive oil until soft and beginning to brown. Drain the spinach and squeeze it dry. (Use your hands for this.)  

Grate the mozzarella and the parmesan cheeses. (You can use pre-shredded but it's saltier and the flavor not as good, I think.) Shred the basil. 


Mix the spinach, cheeses, onion and basil in a medium bowl.


Set that aside while you roll out the dough on a well-floured surface--it should be a rectangle, about 12 by 15 but don't sweat the dimensions. (I used a big cutting board so it would be easy to move the bread to the cookie sheet when the time came.) 

Now spread the filling over the dough, leaving an inch or more around the edges. Fold in the short edges of dough and roll the rest of it carefully over the filling. *See note below for what I'd do differently next time.

Bad photo of uncooked log

You should be left with a log-shaped bread.

Place this on an oiled pan and bake about 20 minutes until golden. 

Let this rest for about ten minutes, then slice and serve hot or at room temperature. Isn't it pretty?

*What I would do differently next time: There was a little too much "bread" in some of the slices. I might try rolling the dough more tightly so the filling was more evenly distributed, or spiraled. 

**Don't skimp on the cheese! And don't be afraid to experiment with the stuffing. And it might be nice with a little marinara sauce on the side...

***And always, always, leave time for reading:) Don't forget that three of our MLK regulars have wonderful new mysteries out this week! Let's support them by filling up our relatives' Christmas stockings with books:). Congratulations Krista for MURDER SHE BARKED, Cleo for BILLIONAIRE BLEND, and Victoria for THE SAYERS SWINDLE!


Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out in February, but you can pre-order it now.

Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest! She loves it when you pin her stuff:) 

AND last but not least, there's a contest going on at Goodreads for 3 galley copies of Murder with Ganache. You can enter right here.


  1. Lucy, I'd gobble this up for lunch right now. Thank you for the tasty recipe, and have a great weekend.

    ~ Cleo

    1. Thanks Cleo--you need special nourishment for this big launch week!

  2. I'm with Cleo--I'd happily eat it right now.

  3. and I'd happily share Libby! i was just looking at my photo and thinking how pretty it would be for Christmas if I put in some chopped red pepper--or pimento...

  4. This looks great! Just the thing for holiday parties.

    1. One time we got one stuffed with pepperoni and sausage--gone in a flash, even at room temp!

  5. Looks yummy. I can do this with gluten-free pizza dough, too. Great idea!

    Daryl / Avery

  6. What a nifty idea. I will be sure to try it. We do crave different tastes in between the holiday traditions!

    Thanks Lucy, Roberta!


  7. Oh, this is so going on my New Year's menu! What a great idea, Lucy. I can just smell it! Yum!