Classic Calzones

Asking yourself, what to make for dinner tonight? Calzone night is one of my family’s favorite. I cut the dough into triangles and chop up all the ingredients. Everyone gets to make their own special creation and there is zero whining about “I don’t want *^(R^T!”

This Easy Calzones Recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients! This homemade calzones recipe is perfect for a “make your own calzone bar” for any party! #calzonerecipe #howtomakeacalzone #homemadecalzonerecipe www.savoryexperiments.com


 

Easy and Cheesy Homemade Calzones are perfect for a family meal at home. Get the kids involved and have a calzone bar!

Easy Calzones are another “mommy” recipe and now a favorite of my husband who squeals like a pig when he knows it is calzone night.

They are a kid friendly cooking experience that allow each family member to make their own unique creation, kind of like pizza stuffed peppers.

I find that individuals enjoy what they are eating when they have a sense of accomplishment and take pride in their food. And gosh darn it, who doesn’t like calzones?

Answer: NO ONE!

Easy Homemade Calzone Recipe- With just a handful of ingredients, you’ll be devouring these calzones in no time! Create a “make your own calzone bar” for a crowd or kids party. www.savoryexperiments.com

Set up all stuffing options along the side of the dough and allow each person to make their own calzone. I use small airtight containers so that I can easily pop the top on and clean up after everyone is done creating their masterpiece.

There are two ways to uniquely identify them. Either soak toothpicks in water and stick in the top in a unique shape or number, or slide just under.

For example, dad’s calzone has three toothpicks, mom’s has two.

Or you can make fun designs hashed on the top to allow the steam to release. Just make sure they aren’t too ornate or big or else your stuffing will come bubbling out during the cooking process.

This Easy Calzones Recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients! This homemade calzones recipe is perfect for a “make your own calzone bar” for any party! #calzonerecipe #howtomakeacalzone #homemadecalzonerecipe www.savoryexperiments.com

I often get asked what the difference is between calzones versus stromboli and the easy answer is very little. Both are pizza dough stuffed with cheese and marinara sauce.

However stromboli is generally rolled into a log shape and then sliced, while calzones are folded in half to a semi-circle or triangle shape.

FACT: There is much debate about whether a true calzone has marinara sauce on the inside or just for dipping.

Regardless of whether you are making a calzone or a stromboli, one thing is your enemy here. MOISTURE!

Moisture will make your precious pizza dough soggy and yuck. There are a couple of ways to prevent soggy pizza dough.

  1. Make sure the ingredients that naturally hold moisture are as dry as possible. Drain, saute and even dab with a paper towel before adding to your calzone.
  2. Use a low moisture cheese. Many cheese have a lot of water. Use a hard cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano or look for “low moisture” on the packaging.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut slits in the top of your calzone. This will allow the steam to release. You can also make fun patterns to mark each individual’s calzone.
  4. Use a pizza stone. Pizza stones are great for keeping the underside nice and crunchy.
  5. Dust the pizza stone or baking sheet with corn meal to soak up moisture and create a slight elevation allowing moisture to release and hot air to flow.
  6. Cook to nice golden brown!

Have fun creating your Easy Calzones. Put on some fun music and have a family dance party while you are at it.

Check out these other easy homemade recipes:

Sweet peppadew peppers stuffed with tangy goat cheese, tossed in cornmeal and then lightly fried. Dip in a chipotle aioli, green goddess or honey mustard sauce.

Peppadew Popper Recipe

4.17 from 6 votes
Sweet peppadew peppers stuffed with tangy goat cheese, tossed in cornmeal and then lightly fried. Dip in a chipotle aioli, green goddess or honey mustard sauce.
See The Recipe!

This Easy Calzones Recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients! This homemade calzones recipe is perfect for a “make your own calzone bar” for any party! #calzonerecipe #howtomakeacalzone #homemadecalzonerecipe www.savoryexperiments.com

Questions you might have about how to make calzones:

What can I put in my calzone? The possibilities for calzone toppings are endless, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • Mushrooms (canned and drained or fresh and sauted- either way, get excess moisture out)
  • Bell peppers
  • Fresh tomatoes (squeeze out pulp)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Banana Peppers
  • Black olives
  • Broccoli (blanched)
  • Lots of cheese!
  • Bacon
  • Artichokes (drained)
  • Bacon or ham
  • Fresh or dried herbs and spices
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pineapple
  • Jalapenos or other hot peppers

What kind of cheese can I use in my calzone? Any type you want! Here are my favorites for classic calzones, but you can get fancy and creative using whatever you’d like!

  • Mozzarella (low moisture)
  • Asiago
  • Ricotta (drained well)
  • Parmesan
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Provolone

Do I have to use marinara sauce (tomato sauce)? Nope! You can use an alfredo sauce, garlic sauce or no sauce at all. You pick! You can buy jarred marinara or make my quick 30 minute marinara.

overhead shot of marinara in a jar

Do I have to make my own pizza dough? No, in fact, I prefer a store bought dough. It just makes getting dinner on the table that much easier.

Can I make calzones in advance? You can! You can either make them and then bake when ready or even cook them and just reheat. The pizza stone works wonders for reheating and keeping the dough tasting freshly baked.

Can I freeze calzones? You sure can! I mean, that is basically what a hot pocket is, right? Baked the calzone how you like, allow it to cool complete so the condensation doesn’t pool in the freezer bag.

Then package and freeze for up to 6 months. Simply heat in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

This Easy Calzones Recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients! This homemade calzones recipe is perfect for a “make your own calzone bar” for any party! #calzonerecipe #howtomakeacalzone #homemadecalzonerecipe www.savoryexperiments.com
This Easy Calzones Recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients! This homemade calzones recipe is perfect for a “make your own calzone bar” for any party! #calzonerecipe #howtomakeacalzone #homemadecalzonerecipe www.savoryexperiments.com

Easy Calzone Recipe

4.39 from 13 votes
Easy Homemade Calzone Recipe- With just a handful of ingredients, you’ll be devouring these calzones in no time! Create a “make your own calzone bar” for a crowd or kids party.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon corn meal
  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 links of Italian turkey sausage cooked and crumbled, mild or spicy
  • 1/2 cup turkey pepperoni slices cut into quarters
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 small can of drained mushrooms stems and pieces, cut
  • 1 small can of black olives drained
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg yolk whisked
  • Parmesan Reggiano cheese grated

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pizza stone or baking sheet by dusting with cornmeal.
  • Roll out pizza dough to approximately 18×12 inches. It does not have to be exact.
  • Sprinkle the Italian seasoning and the garlic powder over the dough. Allow each family member or guest to build their own calzone by placing stuffers in the corner of one square of dough about 1/2 inch in. Top each with 1 tablespoon of mozzarella cheese (not too much) and a tablespoon of marinara sauce.
  • Fold dough over the tops and pinch together the seams. Using a very sharp knife, cut three one inch slits in the tops to allow the steam to escape. If you have holes, patch them using excess dough from corners.
  • Whisk egg yolk with a sprinkle of water and brush over the tops. Sprinkle with additional Italian seasoning.
  • Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned.
  • Heat remaining marinara sauce for dipping.
  • Remove calzones from oven and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes before serving. Top with marinara sauce and Parmesan Reggiano cheese. Crushed red pepper is optional for all you spice lovers!
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was! 

Nutrition

Calories: 544 kcal, Carbohydrates: 58 g, Protein: 36 g, Fat: 19 g, Saturated Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 149 mg, Sodium: 2427 mg, Potassium: 732 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 11 g, Vitamin A: 865 IU, Vitamin C: 9.9 mg, Calcium: 202 mg, Iron: 6.1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 544
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: homemade calzones
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Questions and Reviews

    1. We use pizza dough, like raw dough, not pizza crust. And you don’t need to precook it- you roll the ingredients in the raw dough and then bake it.

  1. 5 stars
    We made this recipe for Calzones two nights ago. It never disappoints! We love to make each Calzone exactly as we want it according to our individual tastes. Great, easy (and low budget) recipe! Perfect for a week night after work, a kid slumber party or a weekend lunch.