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Homemade Calzones

Have you ever had homemade calzones before? You will after this! Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

calzone ready to eat

I may not have a drop of Italian blood in me, but you wouldn’t know it. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be retiring somewhere in a small village in Tuscany, and Italian food is one of my favorite things to cook.

When I asked Little Miss what she wanted me to cook for the first night in our new house, she unhesitatingly replied, “Pizza!” So, of course, I did.

And when I make pizza, I tend to make a lot of dough, but I didn’t feel like making extra pizzas like I usually do and having leftover pizza for the next few days.

No, instead this time, I stuck my dough into the fridge, vowing to make something different with it the next day. When I went to the store to stock up on my requisite fruits and veggies, I saw that they had their homemade mozzarella on sale, which I buy every time it goes on sale and enjoy those little morsels until they’re gone.

As I ordered up my container of bocconcini, I noticed that they also had ricotta on sale. And an idea was born.

I already had spinach and garlic in my cart, as well as tomatoes and fresh basil. I had mozzarella at home from the pizzas I’d made the night before, and I had a little sauce left over from the pizzas, although not a ton.

Instead of making more pizzas, I was going to make homemade calzones.

Calzones for dinner

Calzones are a lot like pizza, but they have are so different at the same time with their oozing cheese and crispy crust. Just like “real” calzones, mine have the sauce on the outside, served as a condiment rather than being baked into the calzone.

It’s a perfect complement, and I love that you can easily customize calzone to anyone’s taste preference. My personal favorite is calzones stuffed with three cheeses, herbs, spinach, and tomatoes.

You could easily sautee mushrooms and add them or toss in some pepperoni. You could be adventurous like Mister Man who loves his with pineapple and Canadian bacon. Your homemade calzones are a blank canvas of goodness.

Feel free to buy some pizza dough from your local store, or simply whip up some of my homemade pizza dough, which is super easy and forgiving. I use the same homemade pasta sauce I use for many Italian dishes, but a jarred marinara works if that’s your preference.

Lastly, I tend to make three large calzones and then cut them to share. If you prefer, it’s easy to make six smaller calzones that are perfect to pair with a salad for a delicious family meal.

Fortunately, these make fantastic leftovers. Just reheat the same way you do leftover pizza and enjoy. 

Looking for more fun pizza alternatives? Check out some of my favorites at the bottom of this article.

How to Make Homemade Calzones

Make your pizza dough ahead of time to let it start rising. Once the pizza dough is made, start on your spinach so that it has cooled enough for you to drain when you’re ready to make the filling.

Peel your garlic and chop it. Heat a pan and add the oil.

Once the oil has heated and is starting to shimmer, add the garlic. Once it starts to smell fragrant, add the spinach and stir quickly so that the garlic isn’t all on the bottom of the pan. Your spinach will wilt quickly and significantly. Once it has wilted, remove it from the heat and let it cool.

Prepping your spinach for the calzones, and it will be amazing how much it wilts

About twenty minutes before you want to start cooking your calzones, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

While your spinach cools, prepare the rest of the filling. Wash your tomatoes and cut them in half. Remove the seeds and ribs so that you have just the outside of the tomato remaining.

Chop the remaining tomato relatively finely, and add it to a bowl. Place the ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses into the bowl, along with the pepper.

Chiffonade your basil, and add it to the bowl, as well. With a spatula or fork, stir together the filling ingredients.

Once the spinach cools, place it onto a thick paper towel and squeeze out all the moisture you can. You want as little liquid in the filling as possible. Otherwise, you’re more likely to have the filling spill out while your homemade calzones cook.

Once you’ve gotten the spinach as dry as possible, add the spinach to your filling and stir to distribute.

Make your filling for the homemade calzones

Cut your dough into three equal pieces, each about the size of a baseball. If you make 6 smaller calzones, make six pieces instead.

Flour your surface well, and carefully roll your dough into about an eight inch circle. Make the circle a little thicker than you would for a pizza to ensure that it doesn’t break and release the filling.

Roll out your dough for calzones to 10 inch circles

Scoop a third of the filling onto the bottom third of one circle. Drape the top two thirds of the dough over the filling, and carefully tuck the dough into itself starting at one end and finishing on the other so that it is sealed in a roll pattern.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Check your seal one more time to ensure nothing leaks out.

How to make a homemade calzones

Liberally sprinkle corn meal onto a pizza peel. Gently pick up and place each calzone onto the pizza peel.

Add a tablespoon of water to an egg white and use a fork to whisk it together. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash atop your homemade calzones, then place into the 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.

I bake mine on a pizza stone to get a crispy crust. If you don’t have one, use a jelly roll pan lined with a silpat or parchment paper instead.

Beautiful homemade calzone with tomato sauce garnish

Remove from the oven and serve immediately with your tomato sauce as a garnish.

Feel free to enjoy leftovers the next day, but they’re truly best fresh. These can be cooled, then refrigerated in an airtight container and reheated in the oven at 200 degrees for 5-10 minutes.

calzone ready to eat

Homemade Calzones

An easy-to-follow recipe for spinach and cheese calzones. Use store-bought pizza dough and sauce or make your own. This will make 3 large calzones or 6 smaller calzones.
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: main dish
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 3 calzones
Calories: 324kcal
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • cornmeal as needed

Instructions

  • Make your pizza dough ahead of time to let it start rising.
    1 recipe pizza dough
  • Peel and chop garlic. Heat a pan and add oil, then add the garlic. Once it starts to smell fragrant, add the spinach and stir. Once wilted, remove from heat and let it cool.
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, 4 cups fresh spinach
  • About twenty minutes before you want to start cooking your calzones, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Wash tomatoes and cut in half. Remove seeds and ribs. Chop remaining tomato relatively finely, and add it to a bowl. Place ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses into bowl along with pepper.
    16 ounces ricotta cheese, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 tomatoes
  • Chiffonade basil, and add to bowl. Stir together filling ingredients.
    1/4 cup fresh basil
  • Once the spinach cools, place onto a thick paper towel and squeeze out moisture, then add to filling and stir.
  • Cut dough into three equal pieces, each about the size of a baseball. If you are making 6 smaller calzones, make six pieces instead. Flour surface well, and roll dough into about a 10 inch circle.
  • Scoop one-third of the filling onto the bottom third of one circle. Drape the top two thirds of the dough over the filling, and tuck the dough into itself to seal.
  • Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  • Liberally sprinkle cornmeal onto pizza peel. Gently pick up and place each calzone onto the pizza peel. Add a tablespoon of water to egg white and whisk. Brush the egg wash atop calzones, then place into 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.
    1 egg white, cornmeal
  • Remove from oven and serve immediately with tomato sauce.
    1 cup tomato sauce

Notes

  • While this recipe shares a spinach and tomato calzone, feel free to start with the cheese base and add your favorite pizza toppings from pepperoni to sauteed mushrooms and more. These can be cooled, then refrigerated and reheated in the oven at 200 degrees for 5-10 minutes and enjoyed the next day, but they're truly best fresh.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 944mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Are you ready to enjoy your own homemade calzones?

More favorite pizza alternatives

Delicious and easy homemade calzones recipes. Use a homemade pizza dough or store bought. This is a perfect twist on pizza night and so easy to make. Customize it with your favorite pizza toppings in the filling and enjoy! #calzones #easyrecipes #pizza #dinnerideas

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  1. […] classic Italian meatballs are perfect for spaghetti and meatballs, inside a calzone, or on a sub. Just make them. Trust […]

  2. Jeanne says:

    My dough was fine my sauce was fine my mozzarella was good but my ricotta just melted away to nothing. How do I stop that from happening. Please help

    • Michelle says:

      To be honest, I’ve never had that happen before. BUT I always get the ricotta from the deli that has more… substance to it than the containers in the dairy section. I would try the good deli ricotta or set your ricotta over a cheesecloth in a colander to drain for an hour or so before you use it then gently squeeze out the liquid. Let me know if that helps!

  3. I don’t know about Calzones but it has a similar food here in our country named Empanada – Italian inspired bread as well. The fillings are made of pork, chicken or beef.

    • Michelle says:

      Yes! Pretty much every culture has some sort of stuffed pocket. I love empanadas, but they’re much smaller than calzones and (no surprise!) a totally different flavor. You should try the calzones to change things out some time 🙂

  4. These look amazing. I recently had a calzone that was called “Garden Vegetable Calzone” at a local eatery. It had brussle sprouts , cauliflower and just a whole lot of vegetables I would of never thought to put inside a calzone. It was so yummmmm! Stopping by from Tickle my Tastebuds, but I would love for you to link up on my party, The Yuck Stops Here if you like. : http://yumeating.com/yuck-stops-13-stoptheyuck/

    • Michelle says:

      Yes yes yes! That’s it exactly. Calzones are a blank canvas and open to so many ideas. I actually had Brussels sprouts in my fridge and almost put them in my calzone, but ultimately decided against it because my son was going to share them with me. They would be SO good. With a little bacon.

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