Thursday, January 20, 2011


If I give my kids a choice on what to have for dinner, they'll generally ask for calzones. And since that's something the whole family will eat, I'm more than happy to oblige. This is another one of those things that is more a method than an actual recipe: and they're super-easy! They involve three basic elements, and you just mix and match your family's favorites. What I love about them is that everybody gets what they want!

You can use any number of options:
Frozen raw bread dough, thawed, i.e. Rhode's. - divide into three or four portions
Refrigerated pizza dough, i.e Pillsbury's. - divide into three portions
The Pioneer Woman's pizza dough. - makes about 6-8
Whole wheat pizza dough. - makes about 6-8

Be creative! Pepperoni, cooked sausage, olives, cooked bacon, cooked beef, peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella, cheddar, feta, onions, spinach, garlic, ham ... you can saute the veggies first or not - I've done it both ways. My kids love turkey-ranch calzones: deli turkey, ranch, cheddar, mozzarella, and spinach.

I pretty much only use marinara sauce (spaghetti sauce). Jarred is fine, but I usually use a batch of what's in my freezer. An alternative, if you like that sort of thing, is to use a white sauce/alfredo sauce. Heat it in a saucepan while you prepare the calzones.

Simply stretch each portion of dough into a circle, not too thin. Beginning with cheese, place your toppings in the middle of the circle. Don't stuff them too full! You'll get the hang of how much works. Then pull the sides up over to meet in the middle. Pinch the edges to seal. You'll have a ball of dough stuffed with delicious. Turn the ball seam side down onto a greased baking sheet.

If you need to, mark each calzone as you make them, according to what's inside. A couple of shreds of cheese, an olive, a bit of pepper, etc. When I would make 15 at a time for our college people, I used cake decorating sugar stars to place on top. I just remembered everyone's favorite color, but you could write it down.

Then, bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Serve with the heated sauce on top or on the side for dipping.

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