Pizza Giana Rustica – Italian Savoury Easter Pie

Pizza giana rustica is an Italian Easter pie. This Easter brunch or dinner recipe features a variety of meats and cheeses in every bite. It’s like a cross between a pie, a quiche, a pizza, and a calzone and you’re going to love it! Read on to discover how to make authentic and classic Easter dish with leftover ham for yourself. This egg, cheese and meat pie is sure to impress! This flavour-rich dish is known by different names, including pizza ripiena, and pizza chiena, along with pizza giana rustica or giana pizza.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

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Also known as pizzagaina, pizza rustica, Italian ham pie, pizza gana and pizza chiena, this egg, cheese and meat pie is a feast for the eyes as well as for the stomach. Tasty ingredients like eggs, ham, sausage, mozzarella, and provolone make this one of the most satisfying Easter dishes ever.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

Why You’ll Love This

  • Authentic: This traditional Italian Easter savoury pie is well-known and well-loved all over Italy as well as in Italian homes everywhere. If you can get the right ingredients, you can rustle up this classic Italian dish easily.
  • Tasty: If you love Italian meats, cheeses and the richness and appeal of pie and pizza, there’s no way your tastebuds aren’t going to be thrilled with this classic pizza giana.
  • Versatile: Feel free to make any tweaks or changes you want, such as using different meats. It’s your savoury pie, so you can make it your way.

Pizza Giana Rustica Ingredients

Using premade pizza dough for this egg, cheese and meat pie saves you time and effort. Of course if you prefer to make your own pizza dough or you need to use a special type (for example, gluten free) go ahead. You will also need puff pastry.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

As for the filling, the recipe calls for eggs, 4 kinds of meat, 4 kinds of cheese, garlic, and paprika. The recipe is wide open to tweaks and changes, so if you prefer other types of meat and/or cheese feel free to sub your favourites.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

You will see the giana pizza recipe lists ham, Italian sausage, capicola, and salami as the meats. Capicola, which is also known as capocollo or coppa, is a wafer-thin pork shoulder cold cut. You can find it at all good deli counters. This is the perfect recipe for using leftover ham.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

If you want to experiment with this pizza gana recipe, pretty much any cold cut would work here, such as pastrami, prosciutto, bacon, or soppressata. Bear in mind a lot of these meats range from a bit salty to very salty. This is why you might need to adjust the amount of salt you add to the recipe.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

The same applies to the cheeses. I typically use the parmesan romano, ricotta, mozzarella, and provolone listed in the recipe. However you can use whatever kinds of cheese you prefer. Stick to Italian cheeses for the most authentic result though!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

How to Make this Classic Easter Dish

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Prepare the sausage and crust: Brown and drain the sausage first of all and then mix it with the parmesan, eggs and other meats. Roll out the pizza dough and put it in a greased pan.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.
Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

Add more ingredients: Next you can add the mozzarella and provolone cheeses to the pizza gianna recipe. Combine the eggs with the spices and seasonings and beat until frothy. Whisk in the ricotta.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

Mix the two mixtures together: Now mix the two bowls together and add half to the prepared pan. Add the rest of the mozzarella and provolone then the rest of the meat mixture.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.

Top the pie: Cut the pastry into strips and use these to top the meat mixture. I like to weave them together because it looks pretty! Make an egg wash with the egg, water and garlic then brush this over the Italian meat pie.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.

Bake and serve: To cook, you can bake in the oven covered with foil for 1 hour (then remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes until golden brown) or you can smoke it for about 5 hours. Serve this pizza gana recipe warm, garnished with herbs if you like. This egg, cheese and meat pie smells incredible while it cooks and it’s the perfect Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.

History of Pizza Giana Rustica

This Italian savoury Easter pie is a traditional Italian savoury Easter pie which makes an eagerly awaited appearance during Easter. It was first made in Naples in the 1600s. As you might have guessed, is a great way to celebrate the end of Lent.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.
Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.

Whether or not you fast from dairy and eggs for those 40 days or not, pizza rustica is the ideal dish to present those delicious ingredients.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.

Southern Italians, including those from Naples, brought this recipe to America when they immigrated. The range of cold meats and cheeses was different in America so the Italian immigrants improvised, using locally available cold cuts and cheeses.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.

Since the recipe has evolved over time to reflect locally available ingredients, you can see why it’s perfectly fine to make the recipe your own and experiment with different kinds of cheese and meat.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.

This Easter meat pie traditionally uses Italian basket cheese. That cheese is often hard to find, so ricotta salata (salted ricotta) is used in this recipe. These cheeses add a nice softness and flavour to the pizza rustica. Another traditional Easter recipe is this sweet ricotta pie.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.

Italian Savoury Easter Pie FAQs

Is pizza giana rustica usually served hot or cold?

It’s completely your choice but in my opinion you can’t beat this classic Easter dish still warm from the oven! In Italy it’s typically served as an appetizer at room temperature.

Why does this dish have so many names?

This classic Easter dish is known by different names, including pizza ripiena, pizza chiena, pizza gana and pizza giana rustica. One reason for all the different names is regional dialects around the country, but each one means ‘stuffed pizza’. Since the Italian word ‘pizza’ translates to mean ‘pie’ in English, you can see how this mouth-watering dish got its name!

What is the difference between ricotta and ricotta salata cheese?

These are several differences between these two cheeses. Ricotta salata (also known as salted ricotta) is much saltier than ricotta cheese. As well, ricotta has a creamy and spreadable texture but ricotta salata is dry and crumbly. Lastly, ricotta salata is usually made with sheep’s milk ricotta, but fresh ricotta is typically made with cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, or even goat’s milk.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica. It is a tasty egg, cheese and meat pie.

Pizza Giana Rustica Recipe

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for pizza giana rustica which is an Italian savoury Easter pie. You will love this classic Easter dish which is a tasty Easter brunch or dinner recipe.

Pizza Giana Rustica – Italian Savoury Easter Pie

5 from 10 votes
Course: Meals
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Easter
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 240kcal
Author: Bella Bucchiotti
Pizza giana rustica is an Italian savoury Easter pie. This Easter brunch or dinner recipe features a variety of meats and cheeses in every bite. Discover how to make authentic and classic Easter dish for yourself. This egg, cheese and meat pie is sure to impress!
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Ingredients

  • 1 Pound pizza dough pre-made
  • 2 Sheets puff pastry
  • 11 eggs
  • 3 eggs hard boiled, chopped
  • 1 Pound ham baked or leftover, chopped
  • 1/2 Pound sausage Italian, ground
  • 4 Cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 Pound capicola spicy, chopped
  • 1/4 Pound salami chopped
  • 1/4 Cup parmesan cheese grated Romano
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper coarse
  • 1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 1 Pound ricotta salata or the traditional Italian basket cheese
  • 8 Ounces mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 8 Ounces provolone cheese sliced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garlic paste
  • Fresh basil chopped, optional garnish

Instructions

  • If cooking in an oven, preheat to 350 degrees F.
    If cooking in a smoker, preheat the smoker to 300 degrees F for 15 minutes with the lid closed.
    **I recommend using hickory wood chips, but this recipe will work with most.
  • Brown and drain the Italian sausage. Add sausage to a large mixing bowl.
  • Combine with grated parmesan Romano cheese, chopped hard-boiled eggs, ham, capicola, and salami.
  • Lightly flour a wooden cutting board. Place the pizza dough onto the flour and cover with parchment paper. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Butter the sides and bottom of a 10 inch spring form pan. Add dough to the pan and press to form up the sides. Allow 1” of the dough overhang.
  • Use a fork to pierce the bottom of the dough 3 to 4 times. Lay ½ of the mozzarella and provolone to cover the bottom.
  • Add 10 eggs to a large mixing bowl with garlic, pepper, smoked paprika, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until frothy.
  • Add the ricotta cheese and whisk until smooth.
  • Combine the 2 bowls together and stir with a wooden spoon. Pour ½ into the spring form pan and cover with remaining sliced mozzarella and provolone. Top with remaining egg and meat mixture
  • Unroll the puff pastry sheets and cut each sheet into 6 equal strips. Lay 6 strips on a wooden cutting board side by side. Place one strip horizontally across the top of the 6. Weave the strips together.
  • Place on top of the pizza giana and trim away any overhang.
  • Roll up the overhanging pizza dough around the top of the pan to form a rim and cover the edges of the pastry.
  • Whisk the remaining egg, 1 tablespoon of water, and garlic paste to form egg wash. Brush on top of the pie.
  • If cooking in an oven, cover with foil and cook for 1 hour. Then remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes until golden brown. Check centre to make sure cooked through. If needed, cook longer but check often.
    If cooking in a smoker, place into the smoker and smoke for 5 hours. Check centre to make sure cooked through. If needed, cook longer but check often.
  • Let it stand 15 to 20 minutes. Release the pan sides and transfer the pizza to a platter to cut into wedges.

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 762mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
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The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Whether you enjoy it as an Easter brunch or dinner recipe, there’s no doubt you will love this dish that uses leftover ham. Pizza giana rustica sandwiches various meats and cheeses with eggs, garlic, and seasonings, in between two layers of pastry for the ultimate Easter treat. This pizza gana recipe will become a holiday tradition! Everyone loves Easter pizza!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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Recipe Rating




  1. Rochelle M wrote:

    5 stars
    oh my, this is like a quiche but in a crust. YUM! 🙂

    Posted 2.25.22 Reply
  2. Tracy wrote:

    5 stars
    Made this for Easter Friday dinner and it was just perfect! We all loved it. Next time I will try the smoker option

    Posted 4.7.23 Reply
  3. Kyla Simpson wrote:

    5 stars
    My partner and I made this today. It was delicious! Thank you.

    Posted 4.7.23 Reply
  4. Diane wrote:

    My Grandma from Naples made something called Patela at Easter.
    Made with fresh cheese, and similar cheeses, had pepperoni and also raisins in it. Baked in a crust also. Have you heard of this? Haven’t tried your recipe yet, looks great!

    Posted 4.8.23 Reply
    • I have not heard, but I will see what I can find and try to make it!

      Posted 4.15.23 Reply
  5. Maria Arena wrote:

    5 stars
    Too good to only enjoy once a year over Easter. I made it yesterday and there’s none left today. Very tasty.

    Posted 10.24.23 Reply
  6. Elizabeth M wrote:

    5 stars
    So good. I’ll be making this again and again.

    Posted 2.15.24 Reply