How to Make Italian Pizza Rustica (aka Easter Pie)

Updated: Feb. 01, 2024

Pizza rustica is traditionally served at Italian Easter celebrations. This deep-dish "pizza" folds eggs, cheeses, meats and more within a double pie crust.

Many food traditions surrounding Easter play counterpoint to the practice of fasting during Lent. Think about indulgent Fat Tuesday recipes and the rich Easter bread eaten on Easter Sunday. Throughout Italy and among many Italian American families, Easter pie holds the place of honor. This dish goes by many names—pizza rustica, torta di Pasqua, pizza chiena, pizza gain and more—with just as many variations. Italian tradition says to serve it on Easter Sunday.

What Is Pizza Rustica?

If you’re envisioning a thin-crust pizza, think again. This dish looks more like a deep, double-crust tart loaded with eggs, cheeses, meats and other savory ingredients.

Recipes vary widely among regions and families. Some Italian American versions layer in seven meats and cheeses, a number also significant in a Christmas Eve tradition, the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Eggs can hold the ingredients together, like in a quiche, or be hard-boiled and then nestled whole in the filling. An Easter pie known as torta pasqualina has a vegetarian twist, adding spinach to the cheese and eggs.

How to Make Pizza Rustica

Taste of Home contributor Kristy Pianoforte shares a recipe passed down from her nanny (grandmother), who continued to supervise its assembly for the family’s Easter gatherings long after she handed over the baking to a younger generation.

This recipe yields 8 servings.


  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 8 to 10 tablespoons ice water


  • 9 large eggs, divided
  • 15 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese (4 cups shredded)
  • 2 cups cubed dry salami
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced hard salami, chopped
  • 1/4 pound sliced provolone cheese, chopped
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto, chopped


  • Springform Pan: A springform pan helps to release the pie crust without tearing the flaky layers, making a holiday-worthy presentation.
  • Mixing Bowls: You’ll need a couple of mixing bowls for this recipe: a large one for mixing the dough and later the filling, and a small one for the egg wash.
  • Spatula: You’ll want to capture every last bit of filling when you pour it into the bottom crust, making a flexible yet sturdy spatula essential.


Step 1: Mix the pie dough

Pizza Rustica Easter Pie stueeing ingredients in bowlTMB Studio

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and pepper. Cut in the shortening until the dough becomes crumbly. Gradually add the ice water, tossing the dough with a fork and adding just enough water that the dough holds together when pressed between your hands.

Step 2: Shape and chill the dough

Pizza Rustica Easter Pie divided dow disk wrappingTMB Studio

Divide the dough into two pieces, forming one ball that uses about one-third of the dough and another about twice as large. Flatten each dough ball into a disk. Wrap each disk in parchment paper and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour to overnight.

Step 3: Fit the bottom crust

Pizza Rustica Easter Pie dough pressing into potTMB Studio

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Grease a 9-inch springform pan. On a lightly floured surface, roll the larger piece of dough into a 12-inch circle. Place it in the pan to line the bottom, and then press the dough up the sides of the pan.

Step 4: Make the filling

Pizza Rustica Easter Pie mixture in bowl with spoomTMB Studio

In a large bowl, beat 8 eggs and the ricotta until smooth. Stir in the mozzarella, dry salami, hard salami, provolone and prosciutto. Pour the filling into the dough-lined springform pan.

Step 5: Cover the pie

Pizza Rustica Easter Pie pie crust placementTMB Studio

Roll the remaining, smaller disk of dough to an 11-inch circle. Place the circle over the filling. Trim, seal and flute the crust’s edge. Cut venting slits in the top.

Step 6: Brush on egg wash

Pizza Rustica egg wash

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg until just smooth. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush it over the top crust and fluted edge.

Step 7: Bake and serve

Pizza Rustica; Easter Pie Knife TesrTMB Studio

Bake the pie for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, until the crust is golden brown and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Use a knife to carefully loosen the sides from pan before removing the rim. Let the pie cool to room temperature before serving.

Tips for Making Pizza Rustica

Can I make the pie dough in advance?

Yes! To spread out the work, make the dough the night before you plan to assemble and bake—or even earlier. Refrigerated dough will keep for several days when wrapped and sealed in a zip-close bag. Choose a freezer-proof bag to freeze pie dough disks for several months.

Do I have to make my own pie crust?

Nope. You can use store-bought pie dough if you’re pressed for time. Dough that isn’t preshaped will work best, because you need to fit it to the springform’s shape. When buying dough, don’t forget that you’ll need enough for the top and bottom crusts.

How long does pizza rustica last?

Some families make this traditional pie on Good Friday and eat it with Easter dinner, so you have some flexibility in the timing for baking and eating. It’s best to bake the pie as soon as you pour in the filling, but the dough, meats and cheeses can all be prepped in advance.

Once baked, Easter pie will have the best flavor and texture if you store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container and eat them within three days. Single servings can be packaged separately, frozen and then reheated in a toaster oven.