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This Homemade Calzone Recipe is so fun to make with your family. An easy dough and sauce combined with lots of gooey cheese and favorite pizza toppings make this a simple supper everyone will be happy to help prepare!
Homemade Calzone Recipe
I was watching the TV show Parks and Recreation with my family the other night and we watched the episode where Ben Wyatt talks about opening a calzone restaurant. He would call it “The Low-Cal Calzone Zone”. We cracked up over this, but then next thing we knew, we were driving to the store to buy ingredients to make calzones. This easy recipe uses store-bought frozen bread dough, which is so yummy and convenient. But if you want to make them more from scratch, try our Homemade Pizza Dough recipe. It’s soft, flavorful, and simple to make!
What is a Calzone?
Ben Wyatt said it best. A calzone is “a delicate little dough pocket filled with tomato sauce, cheese, and seasoned meat.” It is basically a stuffed pizza or you can think of it as a folded pizza. The word “calzone” actually comes from an Italian word that means “stocking”. So I guess its like a little bread sock full of deliciousness? Maybe I should think of a better way to say that. 😂 Anyway…calzones have been around since the 18th century! They originated in Naples as a portable, walking-friendly alternative to pizza. Now, I don’t know if I would trust my kids to walk around the house with a calzone, but I can see where they are coming from. Traditional calzones were filled with salami, ham or vegetables, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan or pecorino cheese, as well as an egg. Now, the fillings more resemble popular modern pizza toppings. In Italy during the 60s most pizza places only delivered calzones because they thought that was the most efficient way to keep the pizza hot during transport.
Stromboli vs Calzone
A calzone is kind of like an inside-out pizza, while a Stromboli is similar to a rolled up sandwich. A Stromboli is made with square shaped bread dough, topped with sandwich toppings like cold cuts, cheese, and veggies, then rolled into a log and baked. A calzone, on the other hand, is pizza dough stuffed with cheese and any other yummy pizza toppings, then folded over like a turnover. They can either be baked or deep fried.
Let’s Talk Toppings
As far as toppings go, the sky’s the limit. When I made calzones for this post, I just stuck with classic pepperoni, but when I make them for my kids we do all kinds of toppings! I wanted to share a few of my favorite topping combos, but feel free to get creative! Anything you can put on a pizza, you can put in a calzone! Just maybe not the M&M pizza from Princess Diaries. You can also experiment with different sauces. Instead of marinara, try pesto, Alfredo, or bbq sauce.
- Classic – pepperoni or just cheese
- Hawaiian – Canadian bacon, pineapple tidbits
- Supreme – Italian sausage, pepperoni, olives, peppers, mushrooms
- BBQ Chicken – shredded chicken, red onion, cilantro, bbq sauce
- Alfredo – chicken, bacon, Alfredo sauce
- Meat Lovers – pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham
- Veggie – peppers, olives, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes
How to Serve our Homemade Calzone Recipe
This recipe can be served a couple of ways:
- Serve the sauce on the side for dipping. My older kids like it this way, but it can get messy for my younger ones. My kids have also been known to dip calzones in ranch. Any other moms of ranch-lovers out there?
- Or, pour sauce over the top of each individual calzone and let that glorious sauce seep into the crust. Delicious!
Can You Freeze Calzones?
Yes! Once they’re all baked and cooled, wrap any leftovers individually in plastic wrap. They’ll freeze beautifully for up to three months. On a busy day, pull some out of the freezer and let them thaw for a few hours in the fridge. You can also pop them into the oven frozen, and just allow a longer time for cooking.
More Delicious Italian Dishes
I love a good Italian dish! Usually when I think about Italian food I think of pasta, but there are so many other delicious Italian recipes out there. Try some of our favorite pasta and non-pasta Italian recipes.
Homemade Calzone Recipe
- Divide bread dough into 5 equally-sized dough balls (they should each be a little smaller than a softball). Spread each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin as if you were making a pizza (spread it out as much as you can without tearing it). Roll into a 6-7 inch circle.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of sauce on the center of each pizza leaving about 1 inch uncovered around the edge for sealing.
- Remove plastic wrap from each cheese stick and place a cheese stick in the center of each pizza. Put as many toppings as you would like in the middle then sprinkle on a couple of tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Carefully fold the dough over the toppings and pinch the edges together well so they seal. I like to use a fork and push down on the edges all the way around. This helps the edges stay together better.
- Using a sharp knife, make a couple little slits in the top of the dough, spray the top lightly with cooking spray or brush with egg wash. Then bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until the tops and bottoms of the calzones are golden brown.
- Heat the remaining spaghetti sauce in a small pot or in the microwave and simmer until calzones are done. You can serve the calzones with the sauce on the side then dip the calzone into it OR you can pour the sauce over the calzones and top with cheese.