Easy Calzone Recipe

This easy calzone recipe features a homemade pizza dough and a spinach, mushroom, and two-cheese filling. It’s the ultimate weekend dinner!

Easy calzone recipe | how to make a calzone | calzone dough recipe | Homemade calzone

Alex and I love making our own pizza, so why not calzones? While sharing half a pizza is wonderful, eating that same pizza half in the form of your own personal pizza pocket is that much more fun! You can use any vegetables you like in this easy calzone recipe, especially if you’re not a mushroom lover (we’d recommend substituting artichokes if that’s the case). Even better, use any cooked vegetables (or meat) that you have on hand, which is the easier and more traditional Italian way. Keep reading for our easy calzone recipe.

Easy calzone recipe | how to make a calzone | calzone dough recipe | Homemade calzone

What is a calzone?

Calzones originated in Naples, Italy (where all the best food comes from) and are essentially a giant pizza pocket. Although they can be packed with anything you’d like, they’re traditionally filled with cured meats, cheeses, and whatever veggies you have on hand. Calzones typically don’t have any tomato sauce in them, as you’re supposed to dunk them in sauce before each bite. (For this recipe, we’ve included a bit of the sauce in the filling for more flavor.) Calzones are folded over and crimped along the edges to seal all the fillings in, and are baked until the outside is golden brown and the cheese filling is bubbly.

Easy calzone recipe | how to make a calzone | calzone dough recipe | Homemade calzone

Easy calzone recipe | how to make a calzone | calzone dough recipe | Homemade calzone

How to make a calzone

Many people mistakenly believe that calzones are a tricky dish best left to the professionals at your local pizza parlor. However, homemade calzones surprisingly easy to make! I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say this easy calzone recipe takes less effort than making a full pizza, but you really don’t need a lot of specialized skills to make one of these bad boys.

Arguably the most important part of making a calzone is the filling. Make sure to sauté your veggies before filling the calzone; this not only ensures that the calzone will be fully cooked through once it goes golden brown on the outside, but sautéing the vegetables also releases most of their liquid. This last bit is especially important because there’s no way for steam to be released from a calzone. If you don’t sauté the veggies, you’ll wind up with a soggy calzone, which isn’t what you’re looking for.

Easy calzone recipe | how to make a calzone | calzone dough recipe | Homemade calzone

When filling the calzone, put in less cheese and vegetables than you think you’ll need. An overstuffed calzone will start oozing in the oven and the crust will get soggy. Overfilling it will also make it tougher to crimp the edges of the calzone closed and will make the whole process incredibly messy (it’d still be delicious though!).

If you’re planning to make this easy calzone recipe for guests, I’d recommend making the pizza dough in advance. This way it’s on hand the day you’re ready to start baking and you won’t have to worry about letting the dough rise the day of. You can also make the red sauce ahead of time as well, although it’s not much trouble to whip it up while the calzones are baking.

Easy calzone recipe | how to make a calzone | calzone dough recipe | Homemade calzone

Easy calzone recipe | how to make a calzone | calzone dough recipe | Homemade calzone

Looking for more vegetarian Italian recipes?

Looking for Italian recipes? Here at A Couple Cooks we specialize in Italian recipes outside of this easy calzone recipe, here are some of our favorites:

Easy calzone recipe | how to make a calzone | calzone dough recipe | Homemade calzone

This recipe is…

This easy calzone recipe is vegetarian.

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Easy calzone recipe | how to make a calzone | calzone dough recipe | Homemade calzone

Easy Calzone Recipe


1 Star (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: A Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This easy calzone recipe features a homemade pizza dough and a spinach, mushroom, and two-cheese filling. It’s the ultimate weekend dinner!


Ingredients

  • 1 recipe pizza dough (stand mixer or food processor method)
  • 16 ounces baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 6 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach leaves (roughly chopped and washed, if using standard spinach)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil (or a handful of chopped fresh basil if in season)
  • 1 cup Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce, plus more to serve
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough using either the stand mixer or food processor methods. After kneading, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Brush the bottom of a container with olive oil, then brush the dough balls with olive oil on all sides and place them in the container. Cover the container and allow the dough to rise 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make the Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce, but use 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder instead of the garlic clove.
  3. Make the filling: Slice the mushrooms. Mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and sauté the mushrooms, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt until soft, around 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir; sauté for 1 minute. Add the pizza sauce and spinach and cook down until the liquid has mostly cooked out. Remove from the heat. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Stir to combine with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  5. Working dough 2 balls at a time, place the dough on a floured surface and gently press each into a roughly 5 to 6-inch circle (it’s helpful to measure to make sure it does not get too large). On one half of each dough circle, add a 1/3 cup of the filling mixture, making sure to leave 1/2 inch of space around the edge of the dough. Fold the other half of the dough over so that the calzone forms a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges together using a fork (we used a large serving fork). Use a spatula to transfer the calzones to a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat for all 8 calzones, split between two baking sheets.
  6. Beat the egg together with 1 tablespoon water and brush the egg wash onto the top of the calzones.
  7. Bake the calzones until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then serve with the remaining pizza sauce on the side.

Keywords: Easy Calzone Recipe, How to make Calzones, Calzone Recipe, Italian, Vegetarian Calzone, Vegetarian

 

 

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.

17 Comments

  • Reply
    Caramel Wings
    January 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I absolutely love this recipe :) I need to try it out, since I have tried out your Classic Tomato Sauce last week, and made my own Pizza Bread Dough too, I will definitely give this a go :)

    Love your site, last time my comment did not get published. I am still new to the whole food blogging thing, but you do inspire me a lot :)

    Ashrita @ Caramel Wings

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy the blog :) I made a small update to the classic tomato sauce after making these calzone to add a bit of lemon juice at the end to smooth out the flavor a bit – let me know what you think if you try it again!

      • Reply
        Caramel Wings
        January 12, 2011 at 3:52 am

        Hey there :)

        Guess what, I just made my own Calzones <3 And they are DELICIOUS! I tried the alternative recipe on the comments section of your Classic Tomato Sauce and added the Lemon Juice for an extra twist. But it is safe to say that I might not be ordering for Pizzas/Calzones again!!

        Unfortunately it was all gone before I could click some snaps! But the next time I make them (And I will) I will surely blogpost them!

        Thank you so much for the recipe :)

        • Reply
          Sonja
          January 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm

          Great!! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    Nikki (Pennies on a Platter)
    January 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Wow! That looks so delicious! I love calzones, but never tried my hand at them. Bookmarking this and getting ready to just do it! :)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Great! It’s a bit of work but it pays off :) Let us know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    suchitra
    January 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    would you believe that I also tried out calzones for the first time yesterday and loved the outcome- I made a simple veggie filling though- nxt on list is spinach stuffing- looks super delicious

  • Reply
    Annie
    January 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    That is such a gorgeous picture! I haven’t had a calzone in ages and that one looks delicious. I like the idea of using veggies instead of meat because it wouldn’t be as greasy. Plus its a good way to get some veggies ;)

  • Reply
    Melinda Neely
    January 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    You read my mind! I was just speaking to a friend of mine today about good recipes using spinach. I will forward this to him as this sounds wonderful!

  • Reply
    Lindsey at Burn Me Not
    January 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    These calzones look incredibly delicious! I am definitely flagging this for a later date. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    January 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Calzones are great because you can fill them with whatever you have in the fridge! Great ‘go to’ dinner!

  • Reply
    kitchenarian
    January 13, 2011 at 1:07 am

    I love calzones, especially spinach (and artichoke too). While I have made pizza a million times, I have never made calzones. I will be correcting that shortly with the help of your recipe. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kristin
    May 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Made these tonight with your classic tomato sauce…absolutely amazing!

  • Reply
    G.G.
    November 8, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Hi! could you recommend a way to swap the egg to veganize this? Wondering if you tried and had a bad outcome.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      November 8, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Good question! The inside does have cheese, so you’d have to do a cheese substitute. Instead of the egg wash, you can brush with olive oil!

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    November 8, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    My kids loved helping me make these and they were delicious! I really love how easy it is to customize them too!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      November 8, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Thank you SO MUCH for trying out this recipe and I’m so glad it was a hit! What did you do to customize them?

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