This Italian sandwich recipe is full of salami, pepperoni, ham and melty cheese baked between two layers of flaky crescent dough. Serve for lunch and dinner or slice smaller for an easy delicious appetizer!
Every time I go to a sub sandwich shop, I always order the Italian sandwich. Ok, maybe not always, sometimes I'll go with a turkey club, but the flavors of all the Italian meats like pepperoni, salami, ham with provolone or mozzarella cheese are typically my usual craving. Even better than Italian cold cuts is a HOT Italian sandwich loaded with warm slices of meat and melty cheese between crispy halves of bread like these baked Italian cresecent sandwiches.
This is one of the easiest recipes ever! Do not click away from this one, because you want to save this for a quick lunch or dinner, or throw it together for an easy appetizer that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, loves.
This recipe is super easy with the use of refrigerated crescent dough. I use the tubes crescent sheets that Pillsbury sells, but you can also use the tubes of crescent rolls and just seal the perforated edges together. Either way, you will need two 8 oz. tubes and a few other items.
Here's What You Need:
- Refrigerated crescent dough (2 tubes) -- any brand will work.
- Sliced salami (6 oz.) -- I prefer hard salami or genoa salami.
- Smoked ham slices (6 oz.) -- Or maybe you prefer prosciutto?
- Pepperoni slices (3 oz.) -- My favorite part.
- Sliced Mozzarella (8 oz.) -- Or try provolone cheese.
- Pickled peppers (optional) -- Adds a kick!
The measurements for the meats and cheese can vary depending on how thinly sliced. Just make sure you have enough of each meat and cheese to cover a 9 x 13-inch pan, each having it's own yummy layer.
I like tomatoes on my Italian sub sandwiches, but I left them off this baked version because I didn't want to make the crescent dough soggy.
How to Make Hot Italian Sandwiches
Hardly any prep time for this recipe. Believe me when I say it's easy as 1-2-3!
- Layer one crescent sheet in bottom of 9 x 13-inch pan and bake 10 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.
- Remove from oven and layer meats and cheese (and optional peppers). Top with second crescent sheet.
- Bake another 15 minutes then raise temperature to 375°F and bake for 5 more minutes until top is golden.
You can layer your favorite meats and cheeses, and also include some sort of pickled peppers from a jar (like pepperoncini or banana peppers) or a giardiniera mix. Roasted red peppers is also YUM! Since my kids don't want the peppers I layer it on just one side and leave the other half without.
You might wonder why I pre-bake the bottom half of dough? I do not like a gooey crust for my Italian sandwiches. Pre-baking it ensures the bottom half of the bread is baked through and helps keep it crispy. But I do not want it to bake too quickly, so I bake at 350°F instead of the 375°F listed on the package of crescent dough. This ensures the middle layers get hot and the cheese melts, then for the last 5 minutes I increase the temperature to get that crusty golden top.
I recommend using a metal pan to ensure even baking, although a Pyrex or ceramic pan will get the job done but may take a little longer and not be as crispy. If using a metal pan, make sure you use plastic knife to slice so you do not scratch the surface.
How to store leftovers.
Store any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to reheat leftovers.
Reheat leftovers in the oven for a crispier finish, or individually in the microwave if you're in a rush. A toaster oven works GREAT here.
Can I freeze leftovers?
You can freeze leftovers wrapped individually in foil then reheat in the oven. To reheat from frozen, remove bake in the foil at 350°F until heated through. Or, thaw in the fridge overnight and bake unwrapped.
More Italian Recipes
- Crockpot Italian Meatballs
- Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole
- Homemade Italian Sausage
- Crockpot Italian Meatloaf
- Italian Stuffed Shells
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Baked Italian Crescent Sandwiches
- 9x13-inch pan (preferably metal)
- 2 (8 oz. each) tubes refrigerated crescent dough
- 6 oz. thinly sliced salami
- 6 oz. thinly sliced smoked ham
- 3 oz. thinly sliced pepperoni
- 8 oz. thinly sliced Mozzarella cheese (or provolone)
- pickled peppers (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 9x13-inch pan.
- Layer one sheet of crescent dough on bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and layer in this order: half the cheese, salami, ham, pepperoni, optional peppers, then rest of cheese. Top with other sheet of crescent dough.
- For the optional topping, combine the oil, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Brush over the top layer of dough.
- Bake 20 minutes, then increase oven temperature to 375°F (do not remove from oven) and bake an additional 5 minutes until golden and crispy.
- Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.
- Nutrition information is based on sandwich size servings with a yield of 6 full sized sandwiches without peppers and with optional topping.
- Serves 12 appetizer sized portions.
- Store in fridge up to 3 days.
- Reheat leftovers in oven for best results.