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!

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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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