While I love homemade pizza, I am also a big fan of pizza’s modest cousin, calzone. And while I am all for a from-scratch calzone recipe (and I will share some below), this post is more about ways to make easy calzone using different types of crust mixes or store-bought dough.
Calzone is different from stromboli in two ways. Stromboli is rolled, like a pizza cinnamon roll, while a calzone only has a top and bottom layer. If a calzone is a pressed sandwich, stromboli is a pinwheel burrito. I also think of calzone like a pizza pocket (or my childhood favorite: hot pocket).
The second difference is calzone is usually made with ricotta cheese (or a mix of cheese including ricotta). This adds moisture to the calzone.
Table of contents
What is a Calzone
Calzone = Dough + Sauce + Cheese + Other Fillings (Like Pepperoni)
Another key to great calzone is you should serve it alongside dipping sauce—preferably marinara. Whatever red sauce you use inside the calzone can be served for dipping, so you don’t necessary have to make or buy two different sauces unless you want to.
From Scratch Dough Options
For an easy calzone recipe, use one of the store-bought options below. But, if you are looking to make calzone from scratch, here are few pizza dough recipes that can work well:
- Deep Dish Stuffed Crust Cast Iron Pizza – divide the dough into six to eight calzones
- Deep Dish Pizza Recipe – divide the dough into at least six calzones
- 30-Minute Sheet Pan Pizza – divide the dough into six to eight calzones
Other pizza dough recipes can work, but avoid anything that is super thin or crispy. These will not bake as well. It’s best to stick to a pizza dough recipe that contains yeast, although there are some exceptions.
Store-Bought Calzone Dough Options
- Frozen dough for bread loaves – This is my favorite store-bought option. Each loaf will make three calzones, so this entire package you see above would make nine calzones if I used it all at once. You will need to thaw and roll this dough out with a rolling pin.
- Refrigerated pizza dough (like Pillsbury) – I also like this option because it works well and is easy to shape into a number of different calzones, depending on the size.
- Dry pizza crust mix (like Jiffy) – Although this will work and is the most shelf-stable option, it can make your calzone crust kind of thin and dry.
This is the frozen bread dough before rolling it out. Whatever dough you use, make sure to roll it out to a desired thickness before baking.
If you leave the dough super thick (more than 1/2 an inch), it may be kind of doughy on the inside while fully baked to burning on the outside. Adjust the bake time as needed depending on what dough recipe you use.
- Sauce – I like red sauce. You won’t need much for the inside of each calzone—just a couple spoonfuls at the most. But you will want some on the side for dipping. You can make calzone with other sauces like Alfredo or other pasta sauces or BBQ sauce. Any sauce you like on pizza you will probably like in a calzone.
- Cheese – I usually use a mixture of ricotta cheese and shredded mozzarella. The ricotta cheese adds moisture to the inside of the calzone so it doesn’t dry out in baking. That being said, if you want to skip the ricotta, the best substitution is fresh mozzarella which has higher moisture.
- Toppings – Pizza toppings can become fillings for calzone. My family likes pepperoni, and if I have some fresh basil, I’ll usually add that too. If you want to use vegetables, you may want to consider cooking them slightly first, like sautéing bell peppers, onions, or mushrooms. But this is personal preference and just depends on what kind of textures you prefer.
Roll out the dough. For this bake time I’m recommending here, the dough should be roughly 8-10 inches in diameter and 1/2 an inch thick or less.
Add a spoonful or two of sauce and spread more or less evenly toward the edges, leaving a little edge all around.
On half of the calzone add 2-3 tablespoons ricotta cheese, crumbled. Also 2-3 tablespoons shredded mozzarella. Then add a handful of any toppings you like.
Fold the dough over on itself, making an empanada shape (half moon). I like to use a fork to press the edges together, but you can also roll them up. This will depend on your dough.
Optional: Brush the tops with an egg wash before baking.
Once baked, serve alongside with dipping sauce. If you want to feel healthy, maybe add a salad. You do you. Enjoy! -Emma
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- 24 ounces frozen bread dough
- ½ cup red sauce (plus more for dipping)
- ⅔ cup ricotta cheese
- ⅔ cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 1 egg (optional, for egg wash)
- 1 rollling pin
- Roll out the dough. For this bake time I’m recommending here, the dough should be roughly 8-10 inches in diameter and 1/2 an inch thick or less.
- Add a spoonful or two of sauce and spread more or less evenly toward the edges, leaving a little edge all around.
- On half of the calzone add 2-3 tablespoons ricotta cheese, crumbled. Also 2-3 tablespoons shredded mozzarella.
- Then, add a handful of any toppings you like, if you are adding any.
- Fold the dough over on itself, making an empanada shape (half moon). I like to use a fork to press the edges together, but you can also roll them up. This will depend on your dough.
- Optional: Brush the tops with an egg wash before baking.
- Bake at 400°F for 13-15 minutes. The edges should look golden brown.
- Serve with warm dipping sauce.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.