Make a restaurant worthy calzone whenever you want by using our quick pizza dough and tasty fillings like chicken and spinach. Easy to customize with the variations and wow your family and friends with this real food calzone recipe.
Have I got a treat for you! You know how calzone only seems like something you get at a restaurant because it's too time consuming or complicated to make at home?
Well, using my super easy and quick pizza dough, you can actually make calzones for your family and friends in only an hour - start to finish! Really.
And they'll ooh and aah and feel totally special, because, well - it isn't something we usually make. Oh, but now you can. Make pizza night a bit more upscale every now and then with calzone. Invite friends over for Italian night. Even take them with you camping!
Once you see how easy they are, you'll be figuring out ways to make them more often I'm sure.
This recipe includes a delicious filling of precooked chicken and spinach - one of my favorites - but it could easily made with sausage and tomatoes, or just vegetables and cheese, or whatever. Use the variations in the recipe or feel free to make these your own.
Before we get to the recipe, though, lets answer the question I always wonder about:
How do you pronounce "calzone?"
Is it cal-zone or calzon-ay?
Well, in the US you will hear both pronounciations, so you're probably not wrong with either. However, if you want to pronounce it the way Italians do, you should say calzon-ay (though not a hard 'zoni'). It's one of 7 Italian words many Americans mispronounce according to this article.
Easy Chicken Spinach Calzone Recipe
Ingredients Needed For Chicken Spinach Calzones:
- 1 batch of quick pizza dough
- cooked chicken (from a rotisserie chicken or slow cooked rotisserie chicken)
- mozzarella and parmesan cheeses
- tomato sauce for topping (this canned pizza sauce works great, as does this freezer roasted tomato sauce)
How easy is it to make calzones?
Simply mix up the pizza dough and sauté onions and garlic and mix with the filling ingredients while dough is resting.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll/flatten each piece (remember, perfection is never required here!)
Scoop filling onto half of a dough piece, bring up the other half and seal by rolling the bottom up over the top edge of dough. Repeat for remaining five pieces and bake.
Other Fillings To Try:
- Italian Sausage and Cheese - I like to use a combo of fontina and mozzarella or provolone - have fun with the options.
- Ground Turkey and Kale - make just like chicken and spinach.
- Ground Beef, Tomato, and Cheese - parmesan is wonderful with this combo.
- Pepperoni, Onion and Mushroom - use both parmesan and mozzarella.
See? I'm not kidding - calzone in just about an hour.
Can you freeze calzones?
Yes, these are great for meal prep! You can freeze them unbaked and thaw in the fridge overnight before baking or you can freeze them fully baked, thawing and reheating in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.
Can calzones be made ahead of time?
Yes - You can keep the unbaked calzones in a refrigerator for a couple of days until you want to bake them, making them a great recipe for entertaining.
Easy Chicken-Spinach Calzone
- 1 batch pizza dough use this quick recipe or use your favorite
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion about 1/2 of a large onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups spinach chopped (or 10-oz. frozen spinach)
- 1½ cups cooked chopped chicken from a whole slow-cooked chicken or rotisserie
- 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste (optional)
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- tomato sauce for topping: pizza sauce, roasted tomato sauce, or your favorite
- Make pizza dough according to recipe and let rest 15-20 minutes. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Meanwhile, make filling: heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add spinach (if using fresh, stir & cook for about a minute until it wilts; just stir thawed frozen spinach in), remove from heat and add all the remaining ingredients (except the sauce used for topping). Stir well.
- Make Calzones: Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a slightly flattened circle. Evenly divide the dough into 6 cut triangles. Use a rolling pin and your hands to roll out each piece of dough into a 6-8" circle-ish shape.
- Scoop 1/6 of the filling (about 3/4 to 1 cup) onto one half of a dough circle and bring the other half over the filling, gently stretching as needed. Seal the edges by bringing the bottom dough up over the top edge and rolling with your fingers to seal. (You can cut slits in the tops of the calzones if you want, but I don't bother and haven't had any leaking problems.)
- Transfer each calzone as you make it to a lined or greased large baking sheet. When all are ready, bake in the preheated 450 oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake until nicely browned, 5-8 minutes more.
- To serve, spoon some of the tomato sauce over the top and pass the rest at the table.
- Italian Sausage or Pepperoni: mix seasoned tomato sauce with cooked bulk Italian sausage or pepperoni and spread about 1/2 - 3/4 cup onto calzone - top with shredded mozzarella and close.
- Vegetarian Three Cheese: mix tomato sauce with three different cheeses, mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan. Fill as usual.
- Pesto Cheese & Vegetable: mix 6 ounces of prepared pesto with chopped artichoke hearts, olives, and dried tomatoes. Add to calzone dough and top with mozzarella or parmesan cheese before closing. Also good with chicken added.
Other Easy Real Food Dinners To Try:
- 20 Minute Mediterranean Chicken Pesto Pasta Recipe
- Chicken Pesto Greek Style Pizza Recipe
- 23 Quick & Easy Rotisserie Cooked Chicken Recipes (+ Printable 5-Day Menu Plan!)
- Roasted Sausages with Peppers and Onions Sheet Pan Dinner
This recipe has been updated - it was first published in January of 2014.
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