Skip the restaurant and make these fun, homemade Calzones right at home! Not only are these calzones so delicious, but they are so fun to make and are a great activity for the whole family to join in on. Make them your own by adding more fillings and dip them in your favorite sauce!
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The Absolute BEST Calzones
The reason that these are actually the best calzones out there is because every component is homemade which makes a real difference in the flavor. All of the ingredients are flavor packed and fresh, making these one of my favorite meals to make. While these calzones do take a bit of effort, trust me when I say that the effort is totally worth it! This recipe also make 6 really large calzones. We had leftovers for days and it was amazing!
My homemade calzones have a few different components: the homemade dough, fillings which include an herb ricotta cheese, and a garlic butter to brush on top right after they come out of the oven! If you follow the recipe, you will end up with delicious homemade calzones that everyone (even the picky eaters) will love!
To ensure a super crispy pizza crust we bake them at a high heat for a shorter period of time. We tested multiple different oven temperatures and found 500 degrees to be the perfect temperature for a golden brown exterior. I used the same pizza dough recipe I used for making my pepperoni bread!
- Homemade Pizza Dough: You will need water, dry active yeast, honey, olive oil, salt and flour for the homemade pizza dough. This is a simple pizza dough recipe that will result in a crispy and fluffy calzone.
- Herb Ricotta: Part of the filling includes an herb ricotta which includes ricotta cheese, parsley, granulated onion, garlic powder, salt & pepper, and parmesan cheese. The herb ricotta sets these calzones apart and adds so much flavor and cheesy goodness! If you don’t have granulated onion, you can substitute with onion powder.
- Calzone Ingredients: For the actual calzone, you will need shredded mozzarella, tomato sauce, pepperoni (if desired), egg (for the egg wash), water, and cornmeal for sprinkling!
- Garlic Butter: Finally, after the calzones come out of the oven you can brush them with a savory garlic butter made of butter, garlic, parsley, and grated parmesan.
- Homemade Tomato Sauce for dipping!
How to Make Homemade Calzones
- Activate the Yeast: Add warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add the yeast and honey. Stir and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
- Mix with Other Ingredients: Add 2 cups of flour, salt and oil. Mix to combine, 3-4 minutes on low speed. Slowly add the remaining 1/2-1 cup of flour until a smooth ball forms that pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.
- Cover & Let Rest: Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 1 hour.
- Transfer & Divide: After 1 hour, transfer the dough to a well floured work surface and divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each piece into a ball and cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the herb ricotta.
- Mix: Add all of the herb ricotta ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine, set aside.
- Preheat & Roll Dough: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Roll out each ball of dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
- Assemble: Top with marinara, dollops of herb ricotta, mozzarella and pepperoni, making sure to leave room along the edges to fold the calzone over (see picture). Repeat with remaining calzones.
- Fold the Dough: Fold the dough to cover the ingredients and using your fingertips, press the dough to seal it shut. Cut three slits on top of the dough to allow steam to vent.
- Egg Wash: Combine egg and 1 tbsp of water in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Brush the egg wash on top of the calzones. Sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom of a rimmed sheet tray and place the calzones on top.
- Bake: Bake for 12 minutes or until the calzones are golden brown and crisp on the outside. While they bake, make the garlic butter.
- Make Garlic Butter: Heat butter in a saucepan until melted. Add in garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Brush with Garlic Butter & Enjoy: After taking the calzones out of the oven, immediately brush with garlic butter and sprinkle with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- Make sure you allow the dough to rise and rest! Don’t skip to resting the dough before and after being divided. This will make rolling out the dough easier and will also develop the flavor!
- Customize the fillings! You can make these calzones your own by stuffing them with all of your favorite pizza toppings. If you prefer a vegetarian calzone, skip the pepperoni and add olives, mushrooms and bell peppers! You could also add some Italian meatballs instead!
- Pinched for time? You can skip making your own homemade dough and buy pre-made pizza dough at the store!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are calzones baked at such a high temperature?
Calzones are similar to pizza in the fact that the dough is best cooked at pretty high temperatures. This ensures that the outside of the dough is crispy and the inside is tender and fluffy. If you cook at a lower temperature, the dough will never get quite as crispy as it should be!
Can I freeze leftover calzones?
Definitely! You can freeze them both raw and baked, totally up to you! To freeze, place them on a baking sheet and let them freeze individually. Once frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. If baking a raw calzone, follow the same baking instructions. If reheated an already baked (but frozen) calzone, bake for about half of the time or until heated through. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure they are hot on the inside!
More Italian-Inspired Recipes to Try
- Vegetarian Lasagna
- Toasted Ravioli
- Homemade Italian Meatballs
- Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells
- One Hour Focaccia Bread
Homemade Pizza Dough
- 10 ounces shredded whole milk mozzarella
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, plus more for serving
- 48 slices pepperoni
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
- cornmeal for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- chopped parsley, for serving
- grated Parmesan Cheese for serving
Homemade Pizza Dough
- Add warm water to the bowl of the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add in yeast and honey. Stir and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of flour, salt, and oil. Mix to combine, 3-4 minutes on low speed. Slowly add remaining 1/2-1 cup of flour or until a smooth ball forms that pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 1 hour.
- Transfer the dough to a well floured work surface.Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Cover and rest for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile make the herb ricotta.
- Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine, set aside.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roll out each ball of dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness.Top with marinara, dollops of herbed ricotta, mozzarella and pepperoni making sure to leave room along the edges the fold the calzone over (see picture) Repeat with the remaining calzones.
- Fold the dough to cover the ingredients and using your fingertips press the dough to seal it shut.Cut three slits in the top of the dough to allow steam to vent.
- Combine egg and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl and whisk to combine.Brush the egg wash on top of the calzones.Sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom of a rimmed sheet tray. Place the calzones on top.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until they are golden brown and crisp on the outside.Brush immediately with the garlic butter and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- Heat butter in a saucepan or pot until melted. Add in garlic and cook for 2 minutes then remove from the heat, set aside.