If you follow this blog with any regularity, you’ve probably seen at least one of my many, many posts about creative or unconventional uses for everyday household items. Over the past several years, I’ve shared creative uses for aluminum foil, label makers, shaving cream, and clothespins, just to name a few!
Making the most of the stuff you already have isn’t just a smart way to save money and conserve resources—it makes life easier too! A little creativity and resourcefulness can help you solve problems and navigate challenges faster than you ever thought possible.
This principle works just as well in the kitchen too, and that’s what I want to explore in today’s post. I’ll be sharing 7 uses for pepperoni that can impress guests, add flavor to lunches, feed a hungry crowd, and much more! By the end of this post, you’ll see why I always keep as stash of pepperoni in my fridge! :-)
7 Useful (And Delicious) Things You Can Do With Pepperoni
1. Whip Up A Cheese Board
Thick slices of pepperoni make a great accompaniment to Parmesan, Gouda, or cheddar on a cheese board. Add your favorite crackers and some grapes or other fruit, and you’ve got a delicious snack spread you can throw together and serve at a moment’s notice!
2. Add To Pasta Salad
In addition to being a staple side dish at backyard barbecues, pasta salad is a great choice for picnics, camping trips, or any other outdoor outing! It’s not particularly messy, fares well in a cooler or insulated bag, and the flavor often gets better over time (unlike most other foods!)
Give your favorite pasta salad recipe a boost of flavor by adding chopped pepperoni (or mini pepperoni). Or to give it a thoroughly Mediterranean twist, add chopped pepperoni and roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, or cubed Gouda too.
3. Heartier Grilled Cheese
Take your grilled cheese to the next level by layering in some pepperoni! Even a few slices will give the whole sandwich a deeper and more satisfying flavor, especially if you’re dipping it into a bowl of tomato soup! (Now I’m just making myself hungry…)
4. Dress Up Quesadillas
You may only need cheese and a tortilla to make a quesadilla, but there’s so much more you can add to them! You can add slices of pepperoni to a quesadilla along with Mexican staples like salsa, corn, or beans, or pair it with Italian ingredients like tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella.
Either way you slice it, quesadillas and pepperoni are a match made in heaven!
5. Make Antipasti Skewers
In a barbecue or potluck setting, serving food on skewers is a great way to simplify your food spread! Skewers make it easy for guests to serve themselves, and you can create delicious appetizers and sides by mixing and matching different foods on one skewer.
Antipasti skewers are a great example of this. Just layer pieces of pepperoni, cubed cheese, grape tomatoes, and fresh basil onto each skewer for a delicious appetizer or side!
6. Start A Sauce
Cured meats like pepperoni make a great starting point for homemade pasta sauces. Just chop up a handful and sauté it for a minute or two to start rendering out the fat, then add onions and garlic and you can build your sauce from there.
Starting your sauce with pepperoni is an easy way to create a rich, flavorful sauce that will have everyone going back for seconds.
7. Roll Up Some Snacks
Crescent rolls make a quick and easy side dish when you’re in a pinch, and they’re great for satisfying those afternoon snack attacks too. If you also happened to have pepperoni and mozzarella on hand, you could turn those plain Jane crescents into delicious meat and cheese rolls!
Unroll and separate the crescent roll dough pieces, then add a pinch of mozzarella cheese and a few of slices of pepperoni to each. Roll the dough pieces up, arrange them on a sheet tray, and bake as directed for a cheesy snack the whole family will love!
Are there any versatile foods or ingredients that you always keep on hand?