Chancey's Crusties are a classic late night snack near Radford University. This is my take on their most popular pizza roll. They are called Crusties because the cheese bakes on the bottom and gets crispy!
Snack Time

Pizza Roll Crusties

Many months ago I got an email from Betsy’s sister-in-law asking for a favor for the next time we saw them.

Her request:

In college, we had these things call Chanceys Crusties that were amazing and delicious and awesome (also possibly laced with something because they were amazingly addictive).  Chancey’s has since closed so you can’t get them anymore.  Will you make them for me?”

I’m always happy to help making long lost treats. There were a few versions of these on the internet, but I kind of made it my own, especially the filling.

If you’re wondering where the name “Crusties” comes from it’s because as these bake, some of the cheese filling actually comes out of the roll, browns on the baking sheet, and turns into crispy little cheese bits.

Crispy little cheese bits that you will want to eat.

Yield
About 30 crusties
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Yum

Chancey's Crusties

An easy to make copycat version of the Chanceys Crusties recipe. These pepperoni and cheese stuffed pizza rolls are amazingly addictive!

Ingredients

Crusties Dough:

1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teas. salt
Pinch sugar
3 cups all purpose flour, plus some for shaping

Crusties:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons dried oregano
8 ounces Provolone cheese, grated
4-5 ounces pepperoni or salami, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper
Ranch dressing, for serving
Print Recipe  

Directions

1) To make the dough, add yeast and water to a medium bowl with a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 minutes until yeast is bubbling. Then stir in salt and flour.

2) Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it’s very smooth and elastic, but not too sticky. If it gets sticky, feel free to add a bit more flour.

3) After kneading, place dough in a lightly oiled bowl for 2 hours or until it doubles in size.

4) When ready to make crusties, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grate cheese and mince the pepperoni or salami. Split dough into two even pieces.

5) Roll each piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s in a large rectangle (maybe 12×16 inches).

6) Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle with dried oregano, crushed red pepper (opt.), salt and pepper. Sprinkle on half of the cheese and pepperoni.

7) Roll dough into a tight cylinder and use a sharp (serrated is best) knife to cut it into 14-16 even pieces.

8) Places pieces on a baking sheet and repeat with second piece of dough.

9) Bake crusties at 400 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes until they are well-browned and crispy on the edges.

10) Serve while warm with ranch dressing!

Dough adapted from this youtube video.

Chanceys Crusties

The Dough

This is actually just a simple pizza dough recipe really. In fact, if you have a pizza dough recipe you love, I think you could use it.

You could also use store-bought pizza dough in a pinch without much issue.

If you want to make it homemade though, it’s not too hard. Just stir together the yeast with the water and pinch of sugar and let it sit until the yeast bubbles, about five minutes.

Yeasty.

Yeasty.

Then stir in salt and flour until it forms a loose dough.

Rough dough.

Rough dough.

Start kneading the dough in the bowl until it’s very smooth and elastic, but not too sticky. If it gets too sticky feel free to add more flour.

You should be kneading it for close to ten minutes so it’s the right texture.

Ready to rise.

Ready to rise.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl after you knead it and let it rise for at least two hours until it doubles in volume.

Then you can bunch it down and divide the dough into two even pieces which you’ll use to make Chanceys Crusties.

dough for Chanceys Crusties

After a rise.

Making the Crusties

There are two main fillings you’ll need for these guys. You definitely need lots of cheese. Personally I found provolone to be a good fit, but I think any cheese would work okay.

I also added in some pepperoni, but you could leave these out if you wanted.

Good fillings - Chanceys Crusties

Good fillings.

Roll your dough out into a large rectangle and then brush it with melted butter.

Sprinkle on some dried oregano, salt, and pepper. If you want to add some heat, sprinkle on some crushed red pepper also.

Buttered and spiced.

Buttered and spiced.

Then add the cheese and pepperoni. Notice how finely I diced the pepperoni so it rolls evenly.

Go heavy on filling - Chanceys Crusties

Go heavy.

Then just roll the dough up into a tight cylinder and cut it into 14-16 even pieces. It helps to use a knife serrated knife to cut these.

Place your rolls on a baking sheet and line the sheet with parchment paper if you can for easy cleanup.

Locked and loaded - Chanceys Crusties

Locked and loaded.

I recommend making the second batch of Chanceys Crusties also before you bake them.

Then bake these guys at 400 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes until they are, well, crusty.

Chanceys Crusties after a hot bake.

After a hot bake.

Apparently, the only way to eat these is with ranch dressing.

I’m happy to oblige.

I get why Chanceys Crusties are a hit with a late night college crowd. They are seriously good. I actually thought they got better as they cooled down and were best just at room temperature.

Serving them with a beer or two is pretty much a must.

Chancey's Crusties are a classic late night snack near Radford University. This is my take on their most popular pizza roll. They are called Crusties because the cheese bakes on the bottom and gets crispy!

Has anyone else heard of these things? They were new to me!

57 comments on “Pizza Roll Crusties

    1. Oh wow…It has been over 20 years since I graduated from Radford University and I remember ordering these after midnight to my dorm. It was long gone when I went back to see the campus. These were a staple in my diet at college. I gained my freshman 15 with these. Thanks Chancey’s! Can’t wait to make them. I appreciate the recipe.

  1. Thanks for the tip on using pizza dough. These were great when you made them but I am not good with yeast. Will head to publix and get the remade dough.

  2. I haven’t heard of these ones specifically, but many bakeries here make similar treats, called scrolls, twists or twirls. They have fillings like ham & cheese, garlic, caramelised onion… you can even get a Vegemite & cheese one!
    I’ve also made homemade ones: wholemeal pizza dough, pesto, cheese, semi dried tomatoes, olives, prosciutto, etc. They are delicious even if I do say so myself ;-)

  3. Did her sister in law go to Radford?! I remember ordering Chancey’s crusties my freshman & sophmore year of college. They were amazing, especially the buffalo chicken ones dipped in the homemade ranch dressing. Thanks for sharing this post! Brings back great memories!

    1. Yep! That’s the place Julie. :) I thought about trying the buffalo chicken ones but honestly, I think once you get the dough and method down you could fill them with anything.

    2. My wife went to Radford as well. We found them in the Outer Banks, NC at a place called Yellow Submarine under the name “Rip Curls”. Just FYI for anyone looking for them

  4. I went to Radford. I lived this. Crusties are amazing, BBQ chicken is he way to go! Will be making these soon! Also, don’t forget to water down the ranch!

    1. These take me back a few years to my time at Radford, the bbq chicken crusties were a go to for late night munchies after too many natty lights.

    2. I agree that you need to water down the ranch. Also, they have to be cooked unevenly too. So break your oven.

  5. I worked for Chancey’s. Spot-on recreation down to the sprinkle spices, but don’t forget the garlic powder.

    Also, the two most popular types by far were the barbeque (or buffalo) chicken, and later, cheeseburger.

    Also, he definitely burned the place down.

      1. The guy that owned the actual building after it closed. I watched it burn down. Made a night at joe’s more entertaining than usual.

      2. Mary was the nice lady who owned the business with her husband. The year it closed they decided it wasn’t worth the drama/late nights anymore. And it was her turn for a business of her choosing (he having been the one to choose Chancey’s as the business they currently had).

        As Rob said below, the owner of the building itself. Ruled an ‘electrical fire’ when all utilities had been shut off for 4 months [including to the transformers outside, it was to be bought and knocked down when the deal stalled], and major appliances had all been sold to surrounding restaurants.

        Definitely the money, Nick. Was the last piece that couldn’t be sold.

    1. I know the owners, and they most definitely didnt burn it down. I drive by the building twice a day. It’s hard to have a business in a college town… During summer and winter breaks its a ghost town here. They just weren’t making enough profit. That’s all. No insurance fraud, no fires

      1. I knew the dunbars, one of the last owners. I know it’s been thru a few; but as far as I know it didnt burn down, like I said building is there…. But it could have happened to previous owners,

  6. I remember chanceys! They closed the year I moved down here but I got to try them the year before at quadfest! Highlanders pizza actually makes amazing “highlander rolls” that are the same idea as crustys :) my husband and I live in christiansburg and order the rolls occasionally– and yes, ranch is a MUST.

  7. My husband and I are RU grads and he makes these too. I feel for the kids at Radford! Can’t imagine our late nights without Crusties!

  8. I recomend not using parchment paper, place each roll on top of a few pepperoni slices. The bottom becomes a crusty mess of pep and cheese.
    RU 90-95….

  9. Grew up in Radford and these were a way of life!!! Many in the area have tried to replicate. There is a whole FB group dedicated to Radford Crusties!

  10. OMG!!!! I cannot thank you enough for this!!! I drive by the now encased in vines building once or twice a week. YAY CRUSTIES!!!! I shared this with all my college friends. <3

  11. Wow! My best friend and RU roommate were just talking about these this weekend!! The BBQ Crusties were the best!! RU Alumni 2006!!

  12. Never made anything like these, but when I make cinnamon rolls, I find that using a piece of unflavored floss to cut the roll into slices works perfectly. You wrap around and tie it. It’s pretty even pressure all around. I always squished them too much with a knife. I can’t imagine it matters much for drunk late night food like crusties, but thought I’d share that tip I picked up somewhere. I’ve eaten plenty of pizza with ranch (don’t judge!) so I imagine I’d enjoy these just fine!

  13. Look up on FB I love Chancey’s Chrusties at Radford University . You will find Mary’s recipe. Radford University also has a cookbok with her recipe or a loose version of it. Their Ranch is key too. The Chrusties are easy to make. You just have to adjust them a bit. The true/loose version is from Mary on the FB. Dough, Seasoning, and Cheese truly make a difference. Just search a bit on the interwebz and you will find it.

  14. We would order a bucket of crusties . The only thing I remember from Radford is the message you would get if Chanceys couldn’t answer their phone. In a southern voice…..Chanceys line is currently busy. So we hang up and dial back like 50 times. Got a ride home once from the Chanceys driver bc he was making a delivery Lawrence street. I have bought dough from trader joes and I hear lite house ranch is the closest to Chanceys ranch.

    1. Haha, I must have done this 50 times. I’d always stop on the bridge in winter to grab whomever wanted to come from Hunter’s Ridge.

      Anyway, we used to make our ranch on site. Ranch powder and a lot of buttermilk, some heavy cream, then beat the hell out of it. Oh, and water.

  15. An RU grad myself 90-94…I don’t remember much of my education, all the parties save a few have all blended into one giant 4 year long party. But I distinctly remember, and can almost taste, Chancey’s Crusties. They are a legend in their own right. But you had to get the order in by midnight on the weekends to ensure they arrived before 3am or there was virtually no chance of getting an order in. I remember being at parties and someone yelling “did anyone order crusties yet? Christ…its midnight…who ordered the damn crusties?…..” followed by a collective noise of sighs and cursing as someone went crashing through the house looking for the phone.

    I only found out about a year or two ago that it had closed. Thanks for the updates Allen. Thanks everyone for the memories.

    (I also distinctly remember walking from Hunters Ridge back to Draper Hall in the dead of winter at 3am once…that sucked)

  16. Chancey’s Crusties were at staple at Radford, until they closed. If these taste anything like them I cant wait to try them.

  17. I live in Radford Va and miss Chancy’s from my college days… my favorite was bacon cheese burger! I make them almost exactly like this. I do one thing differently to get that addictive cheese, topping, dough, grease crust that had us hooked in college. I bake the whole batch in one long roll and then I cut them into individual rolls and fry them topping side down on a lightly oiled flat grill or frying pan for about 30 seconds per side.

  18. I helped develop the original crusties recipe with Mary. This recipe should be pretty close, but we never put melted butter or red pepper flakes in ours. Just garlic powder, Italian seasoning, heavy on provolone cheese, light on mozzarella. Could also serve these with marinara sauce. Mary’s posted recipe calls for Bridgeford bread dough, but I prefer to use a pizza dough, so I will try out this recipe.

  19. Just to clarify………….I sold the Chancey Building and leased the building to the owner. He did not make a go of the business and Chancey’s closed. Eventually I sold the building and the night before the documents were signed, the building burned down. The cause of the fire was a
    short in the hot water heater. The one breaker that was left on for the need lights was also the
    breaker that turned on the hot water heater. No insurance fraud! Eventually I sold the burned
    down structure and supposedly the building will be torn down and a parking lot will be there.
    Glad everyone continues to enjoy the memories of Chancey’s and of Chrusties. I live in California now and have an H & R Block Franchise. Best wishes.

    1. Currently the building is still there, over grown trees and weeds cover it. I’m sure it will be a parking lot soon, unfortunately. Highlander’s Pizza makes their own version of Crusties, and they are pretty good, but nothing like the originals!

  20. This is exciting. I was the crusty cook on Thirsdays and Saturdays till 3:00 a.m. I did this from 1995 through first half 1998. I noticed in your recipe you added a pinch of sugar. I would do that when I baked my own, otherwise the original recipe did not have sugar. At the beginning of my tenure there I made the dough and rolls and then later I picked up delivery shifts, but I was always a late night crusty cook.

    1. I loved crusts so much! I’m glad to hear Mary is doing well. Chuck, you definitely delivered crusting to me many times! Cheers!

    2. You rock Charles! I graduated in December of 1995 and crusties were always perfect all the time. I have tried to make these on my own but failed to make them the way I remember. I will definitely try this recipe and Mary’s original. My daughter is going to college in two years and we visited Radford and I was so disappointed they were closed down. I wish a big chain like Papa Johns or Pizza Hut would make these. I would buy them all the time. They were the best pizza product out there. We never ordered anywhere else and I worked at Papa John’s part time when I went to Radford, if that tells you any thing. My family used to make me bring a bucket home to Richmond when I came home and we would reheat them. They were so good!!!

  21. How weird!! I just stumbled upon this page (I don’t even know how I got here) and the last two comments are Chuck and John!!! Sara got me hooked on the barbecue chicken with pineapple chrusties!!

    I miss you guys so much. I think I’ll be making Chrusties this weekend and thinking of Cindy, Sara, Chuck, John, Lauren, and Jenn!!!!

  22. The owners of The Yellow Submarine in Nags Head, NC are RU alum and have perfected this recipe. They call them rip curls, and they are the most accurate recreation of this recipe I’ve had. They are my first stop every time I go to the beach!

  23. This is good to know. I went to RU and vacation in the OBX. I have a nephew going to RU today and I so wish he could experience crusties. Late night staple of every party goer at Radford. Cant’s wait to try Yellow Submarine”s or make my own. Love this post.

  24. But what about the ranch recipe? Was it store bought or made??? That’s half the deliciousness of these!

    1. It was Hidden Valley Ranch recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing. It was freshly made. Dukes mayonnaise and fresh buttermilk with Hidden Valley packets.

  25. I graduated from Radford in 07 and loved eating Crusties! The best was after working at Joes from 10pm to 4 am I would get home and all the drunk people would have a few left over! Such great memories☺

  26. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you for posting such detailed instructions. Katie, Radford 94-98

  27. ’96-’01, absolutely loved Chances Crusties. In Roanoke, and I go to Highlanders. Can’t wait to try this recipe. This goes against clean eating, but that’s ok. I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!

  28. I was fortunate to live on the 1st floor of Muse Hall 20 years ago and these bad boys aroma would draw me in right through Chancey’s front door like a magnet! I ate these with marinara sauce and they were a must on any occasion! Thanks for the receipe!

  29. If you live in Richmond, there is a pizza place in Midlothian called Twisted Tomato that makes them…they’re pretty close to the RU version (a little smaller) and their Ranch is spot-on. –Lauren ’01

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