A Spicy Secret: What’s Pepperoni Made Of?

Pepperoni is a type of dried sausage, similar to salami. Its primary ingredient is ground beef and pork. Either meat is used in varying degrees, but pork is the most typical ingredient. Pepperoni’s sensational flavor, palate-pleasing texture and rich color are achieved when these other ingredients are added:

  • Salt
  • Spices such as paprika and black pepper
  • Water
  • Sodium nitrate, which activates the color
  • Flavorings such as mustard seeds or powder
  • Lactic acid as a starter culture

Pepperoni can be consumed raw or cooked, and it contains high amounts of fat, salt, and sugar. It also contains significant amounts of micronutrients needed for building our body cells. Let us find out more about this tantalizing Italian-American food.

Is Pepperoni Pork?

No, pepperoni is not entirely pork. Most pepperonis are made from a mixture of beef and pork. However, they were made from pork initially, but food enthusiasts are also experimenting with other meats like turkey.

The cuts used to make pork-only pepperonis are the shoulder and belly, which have high-fat content. These fatty and flavorful sections give pepperoni pizza its superior taste. Contrary to popular opinion, pepperoni is not made from sub-standard leftover meats or fillers. You will know a genuine and low-quality pepperoni from the taste and eating pepperoni pizza from pizza places like ours.

Like other natural sausage casings, pepperoni casings are made from the animal’s intestines. The casings secure the meat and add a firm feel to every bite. Due to its popularity, manufacturers have been forced to produce collagen casing. These casings are made from proteins extracted from animal hides and are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni?

Generally, it is not advisable to feed your dog pepperoni because it has copious amounts of fat, leading to obesity and other health challenges. Furthermore, pepperoni’s salt content is exceptionally high and can cause excessive thirst and urination in dogs. 

Sodium nitrates and nitrites are known to have harmful effects on dogs. Additionally, spices and strong flavors do not go well with dogs, and ingredients like garlic are highly toxic.

With this in mind, you can occasionally treat your dog to pepperoni but in small amounts. Dogs have a shorter digestive system; they can’t process fatty foods well, which can cause digestive problems. 

Where Does Pepperoni Come From?

Peperone is the Italian word for Pepperoni, meaning bell pepper. The first use of this word can be traced back to the early 20th Century when it was used to refer to a sausage. In the early 1900s, Italians began to relocate to America and brought their food culture with them.

The Italian immigrants started combining their Southern Europe superior flavors with American ingredients. In 1919, the first mention of pepperoni occurred in New York City. It gained popularity and was used as toppings for most Italian pizzerias and delicacies. Pepperoni is widely accepted as an Italian-American food.

Pepperoni Pizza

Did you know pepperoni is undoubtedly America’s favorite pizza topping by a wide margin? Pepperoni has a combination of tastes: spicy, sour, salty, and smoky — in addition to its curly and soul-satisfying taste. While you may not succeed in making a masterfully-crafted and restaurant-quality pepperoni pizza like that from Made in New York Pizza, we will give you a proven recipe that will bring you closer to getting the taste, texture, and appearance right.

How to Make a Homemade Pepperoni Pizza


  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder 
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1teaspoon dried and crushed basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried and crushed oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 6 ounces pepperoni 
  • 1 cup or more shredded mozzarella

Pizza Crust

  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1⅓ cup warm water (120-130°F)
  • ⅓ cup oil


  1. Sauce: Mix all the pizza sauce ingredients with ½ cup of water and put aside for flavors to set in. 
  2. Crust: Mix two cups of flour with sugar, salt, and dry yeast. Next, add the water and oil. Mix for about a minute. Moderately add the flour until you form a sticky dough ball.
  3. Divide the dough into two and place each on an ideal pizza pan.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425°F as you top crusts with sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake until crusts brown and cheese bubbles (approx 20-25 mins).

There you have it. With a little practice, you will be making pizza the Italian way. But before you get there, order your favorite pepperoni pizza at Made in New York Pizza, where the pizza is bursting with intense flavors and an alluring aroma. You will not experience the delightful taste of pizza anywhere else in Manhattan.