Chances are that if you’ve never been to Western New York, you’ve never had, or even heard of, a pizza log. I hadn’t until I visited my in-laws in Rochester.
We went out one night for a garbage plate (another Rochester classic) and since those didn’t appeal to me (they take a while to grow on ya), I opted for another dish I had never tried: the pizza log.
What is a Pizza Log?
A pizza log is just a pizza egg roll. Sauce, cheese and pepperoni rolled up in an egg roll wrapper and fried to golden perfection with a gooey inside. Serve it with a side of marinara, blue cheese or ranch and you have the first pizza pocket.
Not very appetizing in name and so simplistic in preparation, it is a wonder these little crunchy bad boys haven’t caught on like wildfire through the whole US.
Why You’ll Love These Pizza Logs
Cheese and pepperoni rolled up in a crunchy wrapper and served with a delicious dipping sauce? What’s not to like? But here are a few specific reasons we love this recipe:
- Quick and easy – Besides freezing time, the prep and frying only takes 35 minutes. It makes the perfect quick after school snack.
- Easy to prep & freezer friendly– You can always prep these logs ahead of time and store them in your home freezer. Great for a grab and go recipe.
- Simple ingredients – You only need five, yes FIVE, ingredients to make these pizza logs! Delicious and easy to find.
Homemade Pizza Logs
To be put simply, it is nothing but pepperoni and mozzarella cheese wrapped in an egg roll wrapper and deep fried. They are dipped in marinara or pizza sauce. It’s like the best of a French bread pizza, thin crust and Chicago deep dish in handheld food.
Some claim the original pizza logs have a little sauce on the inside, but to be honest, I’m pretty sure it was just pepperoni grease mixed with gooey cheese.
Pizza Log Ingredients
To make this restaurant quality appetizer at home, you only need a few simple ingredients. Some of which you might already have on hand. If not, you will easily find them at the local grocery store.
- Pepperoni – I used regular pre-sliced pepperoni, about 5-6 slices per roll, but you can also use turkey pepperoni or even thinly sliced salami.
- Mozzarella Cheese – I will tell you that the best cheese to use in pizza rolls are reduced fat mozzarella string cheese sticks. You don’t have to prep anything by cutting, and mozzarella sticks are kinda dry and rubbery by nature which makes them low moisture and perfect for frying without excess water.
- Egg Rolls Wrappers – These can usually be found somewhere in the produce section. They’ll be be kept refrigerated and come in two sizes. The first are small and about 3 1/2 inches and the large are closer to 6 inches. To be authentic, I use the large which is the perfect size for one stick of string cheese. You can cut these down for bite-size pizza logs too.
- Marinara Sauce – There is much debate over whether or not there is tomato sauce in the actual egg roll or just for dipping. What I know is that it tends to leak out while frying, so I prefer to just dip mine.
- Egg – We need a lightly beaten egg to make an egg wash. The egg wash will help secure the bottom corner of the egg roll wrapper to the rest of the pizza log.
How to Make Pizza Logs
These pizza egg rolls could not be simpler to make. Check out just how easy they are:
- Add pepperoni and cheese to egg roll wrapper. Layer several pieces of pepperoni on the center of the wrapper. I used 5 slices. Then top it with a piece of string cheese.
- Brush with egg wash. Baste the edges with egg wash and then fold over one corner to cover the stuffing ingredients.
- Tuck corners. Tuck in both corners and secure with a dab of egg wash. It will look like an open envelope.
- Roll it up. Continue to roll until it looks like an egg roll. Brush edges of the remaining top corner of the wrapper with egg wash.
- Add to wonton wrappers. Place all rolls on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet or in a plastic container or bag that will fit into the freezer.
- Freeze. The next step is to freeze the egg rolls. Do not skip this. Freezing well is imperative so the cheese won’t immediately melt and start oozing out into the oil. If it is frozen, there will be enough time for the egg roll wrapper to brown and crisp up before the cheese starts to escape.
- Frying– See the whole section below for tips and tricks on frying!
Next, you’ll fry your pizza logs. I use peanut oil because the smoke point is high and I don’t have to worry about it burning.
Vegetable oil and refined peanut oil are both 400°F and won’t run the risk of burning as long as you keep the oil around 325°F.
If the oil is too low, it will take longer to cook and the cheese will have longer to melt and escape. If the oil is too hot, they will brown (or burn) immediately and the cheese won’t have enough time to thaw. You are like the Goldilocks of fry temps to get it “just right”.
I also like to use a high sided Dutch oven or enamel pot so the spitting oil is less likely to burn me. You can use a fry screen, but since these fry up so fast, you’ll barely have it on before you need to flip them.
Working in Batches
Next, fry the pizza logs in batches so you don’t crowd the pan. Adding too many at once will reduce the oil temp too fast and not allow them to cook. You are essentially adding ice cubes to hot oil.
Pizza logs will float freely and you’ll easily be able to flip them without risking injury to yourself from oil spats.
Remove logs from oil and place them on a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. If you are making a lot, place them in the oven on a low or “keep warm” setting.
Air Fryer Pizza Logs
You can also make these crunchy egg rolls in the air fryer. You will need to brush the outside of the rolls with butter or olive oil to prevent sticking.
Heat the air fryer to 380ºF and place the coated pizza logs in the air fryer basket. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until crispy. Make sure to flip halfway through cooking.
What to Serve with Pizza Logs
First, you need a good dipping sauce. The most traditional of dipping sauces is of course a plain marinara or pizza sauce.
However, I’ve been known to use my Garlic Butter sauce for pizza or even Ranch Dressing. I suppose Blue Cheese or Creamy Italian would also be a good choice. Or make them spicy with buffalo or honey sriracha.
Serve these rolls with other appetizers like spring rolls, a veggie tray or chicken wings with your favorite wing sauce.
The most classic way to make these pizza logs is laid out for you in this recipe. However, there are a few ways that you can take them a step further and make them your own.
- Extra flavor – After the pizza logs are fried, you could sprinkle the tops with a pinch of Italian seasoning. You might also consider brushing the tops with melted garlic butter.
- More tomato – While we don’t add any marinara to the inside of these rolls, you could spread some tomato paste, tomato concentrate or even a teaspoon of pizza sauce on the roll before adding the cheese and pepperoni.
- Baking – I do not recommend baking pizza logs. While in theory you can do it, it takes too long for the egg roll wrapper to crisp up and the cheese will all melt out
- Mini pizza logs – You can also make mini-bite size pizza logs with the smaller egg roll wrappers. These measure about 2.5 inches square. Like mini Bagel Bites, but in a roll. Cut each cheese stick into 3 pieces and use 2-3 slices of pepperoni per roll. Follow the same instructions for rolling, freezing and frying.
Freezing & Making Ahead
Like most fried foods, they are best eaten freshly fried. You can, however, assemble and freeze all the pieces so they are all ready to go when you want to serve.
Freezing: You can also freeze them indefinitely after rolled. I might have a batch in my freezer right now just waiting for a rainy day lunch.
Reheating: After they are fried, you can reheat them in the oven for about 5 minutes at 350. Again, you run the risk of the cheese escaping, so don’t let them stay in there too long.
Refrying: Refrying is also an option, just heat up oil like you did the first time and plop them in for just 20-30 seconds on each side. Enough to warm them up, but not cook further.
I do not recommend baking pizza logs. While in theory you can do it, it takes too long for the egg roll wrapper to crisp up and the cheese will all melt out.
Frequently Asked Questions
A filled pizza log really couldn’t be more simple. Inside, it’s simply whole milk mozzarella cheese & pepperoni. Wrapped around a crispy wrapper and dipping into marinara sauce, these bad boys can’t be beat.
Cooking time varies on cooking method, but the way this recipe is written, you fry each pizza log for 1-2 minutes on each side.
Just like the famous garbage plates, yes, pizza logs are very much a New York thing- specifically a Rochester thing. However, they’re delicious and can be served anywhere.
Usually, no. Instead of putting sauce inside the pizza logs, you serve this quick snack with a cup or marinara sauce for dipping.
More Fried Appetizers
- Place all of your ingredients around a work space, like a cutting board or plate.
- Baste the edges of a large egg roll wrapper with the egg. Overlap 5 pepperoni slices in the center and top with a cheese stick.
- Fold over one edge, then the sides to look like an open envelope. Roll into an egg roll.
- Continue with the remaining egg roll wrappers.
- Place onto parchment or wax paper and into a container to freeze. You can also use a baking sheet if you plan to fry them later that day. Avoid the rolls touching because they will stick and you’ll have trouble pulling them apart for frying.
- Freeze for a minimum of 1 hour, but up to 6 months in a freezer bag.
- When you are ready to fry, heat the oil in a large, high-sided Dutch oven, pot for deep fryer. Using a thermometer, make sure the oil is 325°F.
- Place 3-4 of the egg rolls (depends on size of your cooking vessel) into the hot oil, making sure to not crowd the pan. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned, but before the cheese melts and starts to escape.
- Remove to a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining pizza logs. Serve immediately with marinara sauce.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!