Panzerotti recipe: from the dough to the filling… to the frying (or baking)

panzerotti recipe
panzerotti recipe from Puglia

When I go to Taranto, my husband’s city of birth, we have a couple-tradition: we go to a beautiful bar in the main street and order a classic aperitivo. This means you sit at an alfresco table and wait for the multitude of things they’ll bring you. An incredibly sweet fruit-based drink, olives, almonds, chips, peanuts, taralli (kind of round shaped breadsticks), “mozzarelline” (tiny mozzarella bites), ham or salami stuffed croissants, friselle (dried bread, usually garnished with diced tomatoes), pizzette, and my favorite… panzerotti!

Panzerotti are quite similar to calzoni: pizza dough stuffed with tomatoes, mozzarella, and ham, or at least that’s the classic stuffing; the region is full of delicious variants – I lately found out about a carbonara panzerotto… imagine!

Panzerotti may be fried or baked. But fried are so much tastier!

If you don’t have the time or the patience to make the dough, buy pizza dough, it’s quite the same.

Otherwise, use my dough recipe, it is crunchy and was delivered to me by Apulian hands.

Panzerotti are eaten as an aperitivo, as an antipasto, or as a street food. Actually, any excuse is plausible to have one!

panzerotti recipe

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 30 small panzerotti
Author Claudia Rinaldi | Gourmet Project



  • 17.5 oz 00 flour 500 gr
  • 1 cube fresh brewer’s yeast 0.9 oz - 25 gr
  • 3.5 milk 100 ml – room temperature
  • 2.6 unsalted butter – room temperature 75 gr
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Filling & frying:

  • 1 cup tomato passata
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 mozzarella
  • 3.5 oz ham (or prosciutto cotto) 100 gr
  • 2 cups vegetable frying oil


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the milk.
  2. In a mixer or bowl, mix all the ingredients, including the milk-yeast mixture. Work with your hands or dough hook until a ball forms. Add a few teaspoons of water if necessary, but gradually.
  3. Sprinkle some flour on the bottom of a bowl, place the ball, cover it with a damp cloth and let rise for 2 hours. A hot spot (next to the radiator) is the ideal position.
  4. Season the tomato puree with salt and oil. Julienne the ham and finely dice the mozzarella.
  5. Once the dough has raised, divide it and form 3 inches (6-7 cm) diameter balls. Roll them out (0.25 inches – 0.5 cm height) to get a round shape (I rolled out and shaped with a circular cutter). Place a teaspoon of tomato sauce, 2-3 cubes of mozzarella and ½ teaspoon of ham in the center of each circle. Lightly brush some water over the perimeter edges and fold the dough into a crescent shape. Press with your fingertips to seal. If you want you can use a decorated cutter to make edges cuter.
  6. Heat a couple of cups of frying oil (i used a wok) and fry the panzerotti less than a minute per side, until lightly golden brown. Serve hot.

Enjoy your panzerotti recipe!