How to Make Homemade Calzones
Homemade calzones could not be easier to make! Featuring a from-scratch dough, calzones are a fun alternative to pizza night. Customize each calzone with your favorite sauces and toppings!
HOMEMADE CALZONE RECIPE OVERVIEW
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Components Used: Lean Dough Master Recipe
- Techniques Used: Straight Dough Method for Yeast Bread
Calzones are such a fun and easy way to eat pizza! They’re essentially handheld pizza pockets made with simple components like homemade dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and any of your favorite toppings.
I love making customizable recipes whenever we have people over, and calzones are often my go-to. They’re a great way to get everyone involved in making dinner! Set up a toppings bar and let everyone personalize their own individual calzones.
Calzone Topping Ideas & More
The options for calzone toppings are virtually endless! In the chart below, I include a few options for calzone sauces, toppings, and “extras,” but this is by no means a comprehensive list. I hope this inspires some incredibly delicious calzone flavor combinations!
- Italian Sausage
- Beef or Pork Meatballs
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Red or Sweet Onion
- Fresh or Pickled Jalapeño
- Bell Pepper
- Banana Pepper
- Green or Black Olive
- Fresh Basil
- Artichoke Heart
Sauces & Miscellaneous
- Drizzle of Hot Honey
- Alfredo Sauce
- Barbecue Sauce
- Crushed Red Pepper
Classic Pizza Flavors:
Mix and match calzone ingredients to create your own flavor combination. Often, thinking about what’s typically on your favorite kind of pizza is a good place to start. Here are 3 of my favorite pizzas and what’s needed for each calzone:
Supreme Pizza Calzone: A traditional supreme pizza includes pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, mushrooms, green bell peppers, and onions.
White Pizza Calzone: Skip the tomato sauce and drizzle olive oil and fresh minced garlic over the dough. Fill with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and (optional) fresh baby spinach.
BBQ Chicken Pizza Calzone: Skip the tomato sauce and spoon barbecue sauce over the top of the dough. Fill with cooked chicken, red onion slices, and mozzarella cheese.
How to Make Homemade Calzones
This easy calzone recipe consists of 4 components: homemade pizza dough, tomato marinara sauce, your choice of fillings, and an optional ricotta mixture. Let’s get started!
Prepare the Fillings and Preheat the Oven
Meats: Cook any raw meats, like Italian sausage or meatballs, that you are using in your calzone filling. Cured meats like pepperoni do not need to be prepped.
Veggies: Chop the vegetables you are using and pre-cook any that release a lot of liquid (like mushrooms).
Preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C with a pizza stone or sheet pan turned upside down inside of the oven. This will give the bottom of the calzones a crispy pizza crust.
Make the Calzone Dough
We use the straight dough method. for this dough which means that all of the ingredients are mixed together in one step.
In a large bowl, combine all of the dough ingredients with a spoon or rubber spatula. Once the ingredients are mixed in, switch to using your hands to pinch the dough all over to ensure all of the flour is hydrated.
Move the dough to a clean work surface and knead it. Knead it by hand for 3-4 minutes until it is smooth and elastic (here’s a short video showing exactly how I knead dough). Divide the dough in half and round each piece into a ball. Cover the doughs with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
To save time, you are welcome to use store-bought pizza dough.
Make the Tomato Sauce
Finely mince the fresh garlic and add it to a bowl with the rest of the tomato sauce ingredients. Give it a taste and if it tastes sour, add a pinch more sugar to balance it out.
Make the Ricotta Mixture
Combine all ingredients for the ricotta mixture in a small bowl. Add enough salt and pepper to your liking.
Assemble the Homemade Calzones
Stretch one piece of dough into a 10 inch (25 cm) circle and place it onto a piece of parchment paper. I like to use a rolling pin, but you can also use your hands to pat it out. If the dough shrinks back and does not stay in place, let it sit for about 5 minutes and come back to it. Once the dough has relaxed, it will roll more easily for you.
Spoon about ½ cup of the tomato sauce onto one half of each calzone. Leave a ½ inch (1.25 cm) border free from fillings.
On top of the sauce, add 1-1 ½ cups of total fillings to each calzone. Add ½ cup of shredded mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture (dotted on the top). Sprinkle on any desired extras like crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, or basil.
Fold the untopped side of the dough over the side with the toppings. Dip your fingers in a bit of water (this helps the dough stick together) and crimp the edges to seal. Cut slits into the top of the dough to vent. For a shiny top, brush an egg wash over the top of the dough.
Trim the edges of the parchment paper pieces so that both calzones will fit in the oven. Place both calzones (on the parchment paper) directly onto the preheated pizza stone or sheet pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
Make-Ahead Homemade Calzones
Calzones are a wonderful make-ahead recipe – all of the components can be made a few days before you plan to assemble and serve the calzones.
Dough: After kneading the dough, place the dough ball in a bowl, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 4 days. When ready to assemble, remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into 2 portions. Shape each portion into a ball and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let them sit out at room temperature for at least an hour, then continue with the recipe as written.
Sauce: Make the tomato sauce and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you have any leftover sauce, it’s a great dipping sauce for the calzones.
Fillings: Pre-cook the meats and vegetables for the filling and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Ricotta Mixture: Make the ricotta mixture and store it in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
BAKING SCIENCE & TECHNIQUES RELATED TO THIS RECIPE
For the Homemade Dough *or use a store-bought dough
- 7 grams (1 package, 2 ¼ teaspoons) instant or quick rise yeast
- 180 grams (¾ cup) warm water, not hot
- large pinch granulated sugar
- 320 grams (2 ⅔ cups) bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 8 grams (1 ½ teaspoons) kosher salt
- 20 grams (1 ½ tablespoons) olive oil
For the Tomato Sauce
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 235 grams (1 cup) crushed tomatoes
- 14 grams (1 tablespoon) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
For the Ricotta Mixture (*optional)
- 60 grams (¼ cup) whole milk ricotta
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
Fillings of Choice
- 113 grams (1 cup) shredded mozzarella
- 2-3 cups your choice additional fillings like cooked meats and chopped vegetables (pre-cook any vegetables that release a lot of liquid, like mushrooms, before adding to the calzone)
- Prepare the fillings (cook the meats and chop/cook the veggies). Set aside.
Make the dough
- In a medium bowl, combine the yeast (7 grams/ 1 package), warm water (180 grams/ ¾ cup), and sugar (large pinch). Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes until you see some bubbles and foam.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients for the dough including the yeast/water mixture, bread flour or all-purpose flour (320 grams/ 2 ⅔ cups), kosher salt (8 grams/ 1 ½ teaspoons), and olive oil (20 grams/ 1 ½ tablespoons). Stir together and then use your hands to squeeze and pinch the dough all over to make sure all of the flour is hydrated.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean countertop and knead it by hand for 3-4 minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough in half and round each piece into a ball.
- Cover both rounds of dough with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C with a pizza stone or sheet pan turned upside down inside the oven.
Make the tomato sauce
- Finely mince the fresh garlic (2 cloves).
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the tomato sauce ingredients together including the minced garlic, crushed tomatoes (235 grams/ 1 cup), olive oil (14 grams/ 1 tablespoon), Italian seasoning (1 teaspoon), granulated sugar (¼ teaspoon), salt (1 teaspoon), and black pepper (⅛ teaspoon).
- Taste the sauce. If it tastes acidic, add a pinch more sugar to balance it out. Set aside.
Make the ricotta mixture: (*this filling is optional and can be skipped if desired)
- In a small bowl, combine the whole milk ricotta (60 grams, ¼ cup) and granulated garlic or garlic powder (¼ teaspoon).
- Add enough salt and pepper to your liking. Set aside.
Assemble the calzones and bake:
- Place 2 pieces of parchment paper onto the countertop. Use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch one piece of dough into a 10 inch (25 cm) circle. Place it onto one of the pieces of parchment paper and repeat with the second portion of dough.
- Because the calzone dough will be folded, top only one half of each circle of dough. Spoon the tomato sauce (about ½ cup per calzone) onto one half of the dough and leave a ½ inch (1.25 cm) border free from fillings.
- On top of the sauce, add the fillings - 1-1 ½ cups of any meats and vegetables, ½ cup of shredded mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture (dotted on the top), if using. Sprinkle on any desired spices like crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, or basil.
- Fold the untopped side of the dough over the side with toppings. Dip your fingers in a bit of water (this helps the dough stick together) and crimp the edges to seal. Cut slits into the top of the dough to vent. For a shiny top, brush an egg wash over the top of the dough.
- Repeat with the 2nd piece of dough. Trim the edges of the parchment paper so that both calzones will fit in the oven.
- Place both calzones (on the parchment paper) directly onto the preheated pizza stone or sheet pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
For smaller calzones: Instead of 2 large calzones, divide the dough into quarters to make 4 smaller calzones.
How to Reheat Leftovers:
Wrap any leftover calzone in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To refresh, bake at 400°F/205°C for about 10 minutes until heated through.