This is a delicious Italian calzone recipe that can be made vegetarian if you prefer.
You can start this recipe using frozen bread dough for a very easy dinner recipe, or put in a bit more effort and make your own pizza dough. Either way, just stuff it with a few tasty fillings and bake.
So good, family and friends will want them again and again.
Look below the recipe for lots of variations and suggestions. You can even turn this recipe into mini appetizer size calzones.
You can make this recipe healthier by adding lots of vegetables and holding off on the pepperoni. I LOVE pepperoni in pizza or calzones, but it is fatty. Use a bit if you really want to, but to keep it healthier, load up on the veggies, like mushrooms, onions, zucchini, chopped tomatoes and peppers.
If you really want the meaty flavor use lean sausage meat.
Calzones, Panzerotti and Stromboli
A calzone is really a pocket sandwich or a folded over pizza. You can add any of the sauces and toppings that you would put on your pizza. Just fold it over, pinch around the edges so the filling stays in, and presto, you have made a calzone.
The word calzone is Italian for pants or trousers. I guess they must have looked like trouser legs to someone. They are also referred to as panzerotti. Technically it’s a panzerotti if it’s fried, a calzone if it’s baked.
Stromboli are very similar. Debates rage of the differences between a stromboli and a calzone. Basically calzones or panzerotti are half moon shaped. Stromboli are stuffed, then rolled into a long log shape. Both are fabulous. Either can have tomato sauce or not.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms, fresh, sliced
- 1 onion, small, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 loaf bread dough, frozen, thawed OR 1 batch homemade pizza crust
- 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly or grated
- 18 slices pepperoni
- 12 slices capicola, or ham
- 1 egg, beaten
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- In a non-stick frying pan, saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic together until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is evaporated.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Divide the thawed dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll 1 piece on a floured board into a 7 inch (17.5 cm) round. Place about 1 tablespoon of the spaghetti sauce on the dough, spreading it out to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Place 3 pepperoni slices on one half of the circle and spoon about 1/4 cup of the mushroom and onion mixture over the pepperoni.
- Fold the dough over to form a half circle and pinch the edges to seal them. Place the calzone on a greased cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
- Brush the tops of the calzones with beaten egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you wish.
- Bake in a preheated 425ºF (220ºC) oven for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Great served with a side of pasta sauce for dipping.
Tips and Variations:
You can fill this calzone recipe with just about anything you want.
- Easily make them vegetarian by omitting the meat and upping the veggies. Add multicolored peppers, mushrooms, onions and zucchini.
- Make it vegan by using dairy free “cheese” or leaving it out altogether.
- Calzones are delicious with something like basil pesto instead of the tomato sauce.
- Really switch it up by adding Tex Mex flavors to a calzone. Use salsa instead of pasta sauce, add chorizo sausage or seasoned ground beef, peppers, onions and some corn.
- Cut the size of each calzone in half or smaller and they make great appetizers.
Find an easy tomato sauce for this calzone recipe here. For all of our Italian recipes, go to the bottom of the page and select Italian in the Cuisine drop down menu. Or find them on the top nav bar under Recipes by Cuisine – Italian.
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