Sometimes the inspiration for a meal comes from a surprising place. For instance, my desire to make calzones came watching the final episodes of the television show Parks and Recreation. I love Amy Poehler…she’s a rockstar…and we love watching Park and Recreation but, the series ended last week. So, why calzones? Well, Ben Wyatt (Leslie Knope’s husband) loves calzones and he tries to work them into every meal he eats. For some reason this makes me laugh and it makes me want to make and share these yummy, sweet calzone and savoury calzone recipes.
What is a calzone?
A calzone is basically a pizza that is stuffed and folded in half and then baked in the oven. Calzones are often confused with a panzerotti, but a panzerotti is actually deep fried, not baked. Once you make up a batch of pizza dough, the filling possibilities are endless. Kids love calzones. Kids love filling them with their favourite ingredients and dipping them in sauces. Calzones are a great meal to make with a child’s assistance. They make a great addition to the kid’s lunchbox.
3 Sweet and Savoury Calzone Filling Recipes
Sundried Tomato and Prosciutto Calzone Filling
calzone dough recipe – check out our easy calzone dough recipe
passata – or your favourite pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tbsp dried oregano
Curried Chicken Calzone Filling
1 shredded chicken breast
butter chicken paste
Mixed Fruit Calzone Filling
1 cup mixed frozen fruit
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix a batch of your favourite pizza dough. Check out our easy calzone dough recipe. I keep the pantry stocked with yeast packets, so we are always ready to make a pizza or calzones. Alternately, most grocery stores carry balls of fresh pizza dough in the bakery department.
Once you have your dough made, divide it into 4 balls. Work with one ball at a time, being sure to cover the other balls with a tea towel. We like to use durum semolina flour to flour the work surface, but all-purpose flour will work as well. Roll out the ball of dough, into a 1/4 inch thick disk. Now it’s time to add the filling to one side of the disk, making sure to leave 1-inch edge free of filling.
Let’s start with our savoury calzone – the sundried tomato and prosciutto calzone filling. This calzone is filled with 2 tbsp tomato passata, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1 slice of prosciutto (cut into small pieces), 1 slice of soppressata (cut into small pieces), 1 tbsp sundried tomatoes (chopped) and 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella. Change the filling as you like.
For next savoury calzone filling is our curry chicken calzone filling. This calzone is filled with 1/2 cup of shredded cooked chicken that has been warmed in a small saute pan with 1 tbsp curry chicken paste and 1 tbsp water. Once warmed through, add the cooled filling to the calzone. You could add a little steamed and cooled cauliflower to the curry paste and chicken mixture…or this is a great way to use any leftover curry chicken you have.
Finally, the sweet calzone filling is all about the fruit. Warm through 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit, 1 tbsp of brown sugar and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. Let the fruit filling cool and then add the cooled filling to the calzone.
How to fold and close a calzone
Now for the fun part, folding and closing the calzones. Stretch and fold the side without the filling over top of the filled side. Press the edges together. Fold the bottom edge up and over the top layer and crimp the dough with your fingers. Fold, pinch and press..it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Finally, lightly brush the tops of the savoury calzones with olive oil. Brush the sweet calzone with melted butter and a pinch of sugar.
Bake the calzones on parchment paper, which prevents the calzones from sticking to the baking surface. Place the calzones on a pizza stone or on a baking sheet. Pop the calzones into an oven that is preheated to 425°C for 15-20 minutes.
Calzones are super easy to freeze. Make the calzones and before baking them, place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer, once frozen transfer the calzones to a freezer bag and store them until you need them for lunch, dinner or a snack. Bake them from frozen.
So, now the question is…what will you fill your calzone with?