Home » Recipe » Easy Homemade Ground Beef Pepperoni Recipe

Easy Homemade Ground Beef Pepperoni Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate if you purchase through those links I earn a small commission. Thank you!

If you’re looking for a simple, preservative-free recipe for homemade sausage that tastes a lot like pepperoni this Pepperoni Recipe may be JUST the recipe for you.

Whats the Bonus to Making This Pepperoni Recipe?

It’s Clean Eating friendly, Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Allergy Friendly. And I’ve even added some notes about Whole30 as well.

This Homemade Pepperoni Recipe is Keto, Low Carb, Paleo Gluten Free, Preservative Free and Clean Eating and I've even added some notes about Whole30 as well.  #whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #homemadepepperoni #pepperonirecipe #pepperoni #howtomakepepperoni

Why Make This Homemade Pepperoni Recipe?

I’ve meant to make homemade beef pepperoni for quite a while. Why am I making my homemade pepperoni? While we generally enjoy store-bought pepperoni I wanted to know if I could make some using beef because we have a couple of hundred pounds of it in the freezer.

I also wanted to make some without nitrites, a preservative in many modern cured meats. I always love a good challenge, and this one was tasty as well.

This Homemade Pepperoni Recipe is Keto, Low Carb, Paleo Gluten Free, Preservative Free and Clean Eating and I've even added some notes about Whole30 as well.  #whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #homemadepepperoni #pepperonirecipe #pepperoni #howtomakepepperoni

Old Fashioned Sausages

My mother used to prepare little beef/moose summer sausages every fall and then smoke them in the smoker. All winter long we would have sliced sausage to eat along with smoked salmon, crackers, and cheese if we happened to get company we’re always prepared.

That sausage also made its way into sandwiches which were particularly tasty and had a pleasant texture, definitely a change from store-bought lunch meat.

While mixing up the meat, I noticed two things

  1. the beef and spices smelled quite a bit like the sausages my mother used to make
  2. it also really did smell like pepperoni you buy from the store
This Homemade Pepperoni Recipe is Keto, Low Carb, Paleo Gluten Free, Preservative Free and Clean Eating and I've even added some notes about Whole30 as well.  #whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #homemadepepperoni #pepperonirecipe #pepperoni #howtomakepepperoni

I let the meat cure for two days, then rolled them into two sausages and baked them for 8 hours in a 200˚ oven.

While they don’t taste exactly like the sausages my mother used to make, they are incredibly close, and perhaps the only difference is hers were smoked and mine are baked with smoke flavor added

Uncured Pepperoni for Whole30 or Paleo Pepperoni

This is an Uncured pepperoni, no pink salts, no preservatives of any kind, so you know you should store it in the refrigerator or freezer and just pull out what you need.

If you are on Whole30 simply leave out the sugar or honey, it will change the taste, BUT it will still be awesome.

To replace the liquid smoke use real smoked salt OR smoked paprika OR smoke it in a small smoker. Any of those options will make a smoky sausage without the use of liquid smoke.

If you’re worried about the liquid replacement, then add an equal amount of water. The version listed below is already Paleo so have fun!

This Homemade Pepperoni Recipe is Keto, Low Carb, Paleo Gluten Free, Preservative Free and Clean Eating and I've even added some notes about Whole30 as well.  #whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #homemadepepperoni #pepperonirecipe #pepperoni #howtomakepepperoni

Spicy Pepperoni

And of course, you know I made a Spicy Homemade Pepperoni version for my husband. It’s excellent but hot, but I guess that’s the point though.

The nice thing about making it yourself is you can easily modify the heat. But he likes it hot, so I make it for him.

This Homemade Pepperoni Recipe is Keto, Low Carb, Paleo Gluten Free, Preservative Free and Clean Eating and I've even added some notes about Whole30 as well.  #whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #homemadepepperoni #pepperonirecipe #pepperoni #howtomakepepperoni
This Homemade Pepperoni Recipe is Keto, Low Carb, Paleo Gluten Free, Preservative Free and Clean Eating and I've even added some notes about Whole30 as well.  #whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #homemadepepperoni #pepperonirecipe #pepperoni #howtomakepepperoni
This Homemade Pepperoni Recipe is Keto, Low Carb, Paleo Gluten Free, Preservative Free and Clean Eating and I've even added some notes about Whole30 as well.  #whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #homemadepepperoni #pepperonirecipe #pepperoni #howtomakepepperoni

If you like my Homemade Pepperoni Recipes you might like these other recipes as well:

Easy Homemade Ground Beef Jerky

Spicy Hot Homemade Pepperoni

Rose Hip Ketchup

Homemade Sriracha

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Homemade Pepperoni Recipe
Yield: 2 rolls

Homemade Pepperoni Recipe

#whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #homemadepepperoni #pepperonirecipe #pepperoni #howtomakepepperoni

Homemade Pepperoni Recipe. This easy Homemade Pepperoni is preservative free and can easily be made to be Paleo and Whole 30 Approved as well.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper or 3peppercorns*
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper or 1of dried pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pounds very lean beef
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons honey


  1. grind the peppercorns (if using), fennel seeds and the dried red pepper together in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder
  2. mix all the dry spices together in a bowl and set aside, leave out any spices you dont care for
  3. break up the ground beef in a mixing bowl
  4. sprinkle the dry spices over the meat and mix well
  5. once mixed add the smoke flavor and the honey and mix well
  6. cover tightly and refrigerate for 48-72 hours
  7. to cook: pre-heat oven to 200˚
  8. cover a baking sheet with foil and place a baking rack over it
  9. form the meat into two long sausages, mine were about 12 inches each
  10. roll them firmly on a clean surface until they are well compacted
  11. gently transfer to the prepared baking sheet
  12. bake for 8 hours
  13. try to roll them over every two hours, they will be firm and this will help them maintain their shape and evenly cook
  14. remove after 8 hours and wipe them off
  15. let them cool and wipe again
  16. wrap and store in the fridge until chilled
  17. slice and use as desired


  • **if you want you CAN use Morton's Tender Quick curing salt which will make it pink, mine were made purposely without pink salt which is why they are brown, if you are trying to avoid preservatives yours should be made without pink salt as well
  • If you're looking for a Spicy Hot Homemade Pepperoni I've just recently posted on the blog so hop on over and check it out! And it's Paleo, Whole30 and Gluten Free!

Would you pin this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Follow me on social media:

37 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Ground Beef Pepperoni Recipe”

  1. This is VERY exciting, I've thought about making peperoni for a long time, but never have. I usually have 90% lean ground beef on hand, do you think that is lean enough? Also, I'll probably use Tender Quick, would you suggest the same amount as regular salt? I'm SO ready to try this. Thank you.

    • I think your beef is probably leaner than what I used–ours was unlabeled because we bought the whole cow and they just don't add more fat to this ground beef.
      I'd think you can use the same amount of tender quick as you would salt–the original recipe I worked from used it. I hope you like it, we LOVE it.

    • hahha yes 40 pounds since september–restricted calories, duct tape over my mouth HA! and lots of moving I ski/walk/snowshoe 5x a week–walking now because we have NO SNOW left

  2. Wow. And it really tastes like pepperoni? I thought this was going to be complicated, but it looks really simple. I might have to try it–just have to figure out a day where I'll be home for eight hours. Will this keep long, do you think? We tend not to use a whole lot of pepperoni. Maybe it could be frozen?

    • It has a great flavor and it does taste like pepperoni but it's actually better-it's toothier if that makes sense, more in your mouth than ultra processed pepperoni–I'm working on with some lean pork AND beef we'll see how it comes out. I'm assuming it will be just as tasty and a huge hit like the original and gone before it hits a pizza. Let me know if you try it!

  3. Just made this last night. This recipe is awesome! It tastes just like the pepperoni you buy at the store, only healthier without the food coloring and additives. And, as you note, cheaper. Now I'm going to whip up a paleo pizza to put it on! Thanks!


    • YEAH! Just now saw your comment and I'm glad you liked it! I'm about to make about ten pounds of this for some clean eating this December : )

    • CAMMI!! ok so liquid smoke is out how about smoked salt? or spanish paprika BOTH smokey and good alternatives? YES?? as for the sweetener, leave it out, it might change the taste but I bet it would be fine-so go make it and tell me how it tastes!!

  4. What would you replace the Liquid Smoke with if you were going to smoke it in a smoker? As most of my sausage recipes call for some type of liquid to help hold the meat together?

    • If you plan on smoking in a smoker just leave it out. The amount of liquid smoke is negligible but if you're worried you could probably add an equal amount of water. Let me know how it turns out?!?

  5. Don't know if my first comment "took"- just want to say that I'll be using this seasoning mix to flavor ground turkey breast for my spaghetti sauce so I can have pepperoni flavor without actually having pepperoni 🙂

  6. Finally got around to making this recipe with ground buffalo. The extended family loved it. I've shared the recipe link with them. Looking forward to more!

  7. Thank you for the awesome recipe! Can you please elaborate on storage? What do you store it in and how long it will keep in fridge vs freezer? Thanks in advance…

    • Hi Ken thanks for the question! I think I’ve never had these last more than a few days because I have 3 boys but if you wanted to store it for a longer time probably wrapping it and freezing it would work really well.

    • Good question Matt! No, I haven’t, we don’t have a lot of deer available to us where I live in Alaska. Mainly because they don’t live here lol. We do have moose though and I’ve mixed in ground moose with the beef. It was great!
      If you’re wondering about spice levels, try mixing in the spices, and frying up a little to taste the results. If you like it great! If it feels a little bland, remember that after sitting for two days it will be more flavorful. If you want to add more of anything add it in small amounts. I’d suggest 1/2 teaspoons?

  8. I rolled my pepperoni more snack size so I think I’ll halve the time in the oven, what do you think?
    Also, i started a comment and it disappeared… it was incomplete, so pls delete if it did go through somehow, thanks for this recipe!

    • Yes I think that will work! Trial and error, right? If it doesnt feel cooked or dry enough go ahead and cook it longer. AND!! Let me know how it worked for you!

  9. My husband needs to eat low FODMAP and it’s frustrating not being able to find pepperoni that doesn’t contain onion or garlic. Since I don’t like to buy transformed food anyway, it was a good reason to start making my own. I love vegetarian pizza but the low FODMAP diet is quite restrictive and my husband sometimes feels discouraged about what the food he misses. And he LOVES pepperoni.

    So I decided to search for a recipe and I found yours. Surprise, it seemed easy. So I just decided to make it. I made a few minor modifications:
    – The meat bought at the grocery store has to be cooked really soon so I only let the mix rest in the fridge overnight
    – I omitted the garlic for the reason mentionned earlier
    – I replaced the honey with maple syrup for the same reason
    – I reduced the salt just a little because I always find everything too salty
    – I added paprika because some recipes include it and I like that spice.

    Another surprise: It really smelled like pepperoni.

    And then I waited. And it smelled good. I never wanted a vacation day to pass that fast. When the pepperoni was ready, I had to let it rest but it was supper time so I would be able not to think about it while I eat (for the record, I wasn’t).

    And then it was time. I cut the pepperoni and we both took a bite. It was good. Very good. Now I am making some sourdough for the crust. It will only be ready for tomorrow evening’s supper but it’s worth it, right?

    Thank you for the super nice recipe. I’ll be making it again and again.

  10. Would you think that this would work with ground turkey or chicken. Also would you cook this to a generic temperature that the fda deems safe (like 165 for ooultry)?

  11. I got a similar recipe years ago and lost it so I was very happy to find this. I will make it soon. Has anyone played with the seasoning to make it taste like Polish sausage or chorizo? I have a vegetarian daughter in law and am wondering if the ground beef substitute would work so she won’t be excluded. On to the other recipe I lost, an Italian S shaped cookie made with oil rather than butter.


Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!