Pepperoni Vs Salami: Key Differences And Similarities

When it comes to pizza, the number one question most people ask is the difference between pepperoni and salami. And while we all love pizza equally, there are some who prefer one over another.

Pepperoni and salami are two foods that have taken different routes to popularity. Although both are mostly available at any pizza place, there is a lot more to them than just being tasty.

Pepperoni and salami add quite a bit of flavor to the background of a meal or even make their own unique masterpiece.

If you’re going to have a party, do you want to serve a pepperoni or salami pizza? Or maybe they’ll both taste good together and you want to find out which is better?

This guide will cover the differences and similarities between both sausages so that you can choose correctly for your next pizza night.

What is Pepperoni?

Pepperoni is a type of Italian sausage. It’s the most popular type of pizza topping in Italy and it’s also common in other countries where pizza is popular.

In America, pepperoni is usually made with pork and beef, but there are many other types of pepperoni made with other meats as well.

Pepperoni has been around since ancient times. Ancient Romans used pork and beef to make pepperoni, while modern versions use pork or beef depending on preference and availability.

The meat has been seasoned with spices such as garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, and paprika which gives it its distinctive flavor. You can slice your pepperoni into thin or thick depending on how you like your pepperoni to look.

SEE: Can You Freeze Pepperoni for Later?

Types of Pepperoni

Based on shapes, type of meat used, and ingredients, the following are some of the pepperoni types you may come across:

  • Cubed Pepperoni
  • Stick Pepperoni
  • Pork Pepperoni
  • Beef Pepperoni
  • Turkey Pepperoni
  • Venison Pepperoni
  • Halal Pepperoni
  • Kosher Pepperoni
  • Flat-Laid Pepperoni
  • Cup Char Pepperoni
  • Gluten-Free Pepperoni
  • Low Sodium Pepperoni
  • Plant-Based Pepperoni (for vegans)

SEE: Pizza Hut Vegan Options: The Healthy Choice

What is Pepperoni made of?

The main ingredients of pepperoni include: 

  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Sugar
  • Insta Cure 
  • Hog casing
  • Ground pork 
  • Ground beef  
  • Allspice powder
  • Aniseed powder
  • Red pepper powder

What is Salami?

Salami is a traditional Italian cured meat made of pork and beef. The most common type of salami is made with pork, although some now contain beef, venison, lamb, or even duck. You can use it as a sandwich filling or sliced and eaten plain.

The word salami is an Italian word, which means “salted meat” in English. Salami is sometimes referred to as “Italian sausage” in English-speaking countries. Although this term may also refer to other types of cured meats such as chorizo and linguica.

You can make salami using dry-curing or wet-curing methods. Dry-curing allows a longer shelf life for the meat than wet-curing does, but it requires that the meat stays in a cool environment during curing to prevent spoilage from bacteria.

Salami can be flavored with various spices and seasonings, including garlic, oregano, and salt. When ready, salami can be sliced and served on bread or used as part of a sandwich filling.

SEE: Can You Put Pizza Box In Oven – Dos and Don’ts

Types of Salami

Depending on your region or country, here are some of the types of salami you may come across:

  • Genoa salami
  • Milanese salami
  • Finocchiona Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • ‘Nduja
  • Salami cotto
  • Soppressata
  • Saucisson Sec
  • Salchichon
  • Mortadella
  • Felino Salami
  • Hard Salami

SEE: Maggiano’s Happy Hour: Get Italian Dishes For Lesser Prices

What is the difference between Pepperoni and Salami?

Pepperoni is made from fresh pork meat while salami is made from cured meat. The meat for pepperoni is usually cut into small pieces while the meat for salami may be ground into a paste before being stuffed into casings.

Pepperoni is shaped like a cylinder while salami is shaped like a rectangle, although there are some variations on this.

The main difference between the two types of sausages is that pepperoni has a stronger flavor than salami does. Pepperoni also tends to be spicier than salami because pepper seeds are added to it during processing.

This gives it a stronger flavor and heat level than other types of sausage like chorizo or linguica which do not contain any added spices or chili peppers.

SEE; Difference Between Burritos, Chimichanga, and Enchiladas

What is the similarity between pepperoni and salami?

Pepperoni and salami are two types of Italian sausage that are similar in taste and texture. The major ingredients you need include lean pork, salt, and seasoning. Both types of sausages have a mild flavor and you can use them in many dishes.

Pepperoni and salami are both processed meats. They come from the same animal, originally pork. They are sliced, cured, and smoked.

Pepperoni is usually made with lean meat, spices, salt, and sometimes bread crumbs. Salami has similar ingredients, but its making requires lean meat, spices, and fat.

Both pepperoni and salami have different flavors and textures depending on what type of meat you use in making them. For example, if you compare pepperoni to salami you’ll notice that one tastes saltier than the other; however, if you compare them side by side they both taste very similar in terms of flavor profiles.

SEE: What Animal Pepperoni Comes From

Are Pepperoni and Salami prepared the same way?

Salami and pepperoni are prepared differently, with the key distinction being that pepperoni is made from cured pork or beef. Compared to salami, pepperoni features finer ground meat and spicy tastes.

The entire pepperoni comes in a casing. Salami, on the other hand, requires two processes in the preparation process: fermentation and drying.

The fermentation process requires the combination of the meat with yeast and bacteria (Lactic Acid). Additionally, a natural gut casing is used to case salami.

Which lasts longer pepperoni or salami?

Salami has a longer shelf life; even when cut, it can stay out of the fridge for 40 days in a hygienic atmosphere. In earlier cultures without freezers or refrigerators, this was the meat’s major use. A steady supply of beef that won’t go bad for up to 40 days.

Pepperoni Vs Salami: Can you substitute one for the other?

You can use salami in the place of pepperoni on a pizza and vice versa. However, if you use salami in the place of pepperoni, it will have a milder flavor. Therefore, I would recommend that you season the salami very well before adding it to your pizza.

You could season the salami with chipotle or garlic before putting it in the oven, but you should expect an odd color as it cooks because the spices burn quickly.

The perfect option I’d recommend would be to marinate your salami in pepperoncini for 10 minutes before adding it to your pizza, or you could marinate it in olive oil for an entire night.

SEE: Lamb vs Goat – Learn the Similarities and Differences


Is salami healthier than pepperoni?

When it comes to taste and spice, pepperoni is more flavorful. Although pepperoni contains more calories and fat, it is also higher in vitamins A, E, and D. In comparison, salami has more proteins, the majority of the B complex vitamins, and minerals.

Which one has more calories?

While they are both low in carbs, pepperoni has higher calories than salami.

What do you make salami with?

Salami is often made with air-dried or fermented meat—beef, lamb, venison, etc.—that has been combined with oregano, black pepper, salt, garlic, or other herbs and spices.

Is salami better than pepperoni on pizza?

While this depends on your preferences, pepperoni has become the most popular pizza topping in America.

Conclusion: is salami the same as pepperoni?

While many people believe they are the same thing, pepperoni and salami are actually two different sausages. A significant difference between the two is that pepperoni is saltier and spicier than salami. Also, salami has less fat than pepperoni.

Due to the use of nitrates, nitrites, and a combination of modern curing agents in its production to eliminate the possibility of botulism rearing its ugly head, Pepperoni typically has a much darker red color than Salami.

The two sausages are made from processed meat and can be eaten with different dishes or used for filling. But in less than a century, Pepperoni has overtaken Salami as the most popular pizza topping in America.

I hope you found this article helpful. You should also check out the Cheffist comparison category. There are plenty of helpful comparison articles to help you clear up confusion surrounding many similar cuisines, ingredients, and food items.

Thank you for reading.