Easy Calzone Recipe


Calzones are a delightful and convenient way to enjoy the flavors of pizza in a neat, hand-held package. This easy calzone recipe is perfect for a quick dinner or a tasty snack, offering a delicious combination of marinara sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, and pepperoni, all encased in a crispy, golden crust. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen novice, you’ll find this recipe straightforward and satisfying.

Overview of the Recipe

This calzone recipe uses store-bought pizza dough to save time, but you can also use homemade dough if you prefer. The filling is a classic mix of marinara sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, and pepperoni, enhanced with Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, and garlic powder for extra flavor. The calzones are brushed with beaten egg before baking to give them a beautiful, golden-brown finish. Fresh basil adds a touch of freshness to the final dish.

History and Origin

The calzone, originating from Italy, specifically Naples, is essentially a folded pizza. The name “calzone” means “trouser” in Italian, a nod to its shape resembling a folded pant leg. Traditionally, calzones were a way to use up leftover pizza dough and fillings, making them a practical and economical dish. Over time, calzones have become popular worldwide, with numerous variations to suit different tastes and preferences.


  • 1 lb pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Fresh basil for garnish


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Prepare the Dough: Divide the pizza dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each part into an 8-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.
  3. Add the Sauce: Spread 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce on half of each dough circle, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.
  4. Add the Cheese and Pepperoni: Top the marinara sauce with 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella, 2 tablespoons of ricotta, and 2 tablespoons of pepperoni slices.
  5. Season: Sprinkle each calzone with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, a pinch of dried oregano, and a pinch of garlic powder.
  6. Fold and Seal: Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges together to seal, then crimp with a fork.
  7. Brush with Egg: Brush the tops of the calzones with the beaten egg to give them a shiny, golden appearance once baked.
  8. Bake: Place the calzones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the calzones are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  9. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with fresh basil before serving.


These calzones are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, but they can also be reheated later. They make a great meal on their own or can be paired with a simple side salad for a more complete dinner. Serve with additional marinara sauce for dipping.

Pairing and Serving Suggestions

Calzones pair wonderfully with a variety of sides and beverages. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Salads: A fresh garden salad or Caesar salad complements the rich flavors of the calzone.
  • Dips: Additional marinara sauce, ranch dressing, or garlic butter for dipping.
  • Beverages: Sparkling water with lemon, iced tea, or a cold glass of milk.

Variations of the Recipe

Calzones are highly versatile, and you can easily adapt this recipe to suit your taste. Here are a few variations:

  • Vegetarian Calzone: Replace the pepperoni with a mix of your favorite vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach.
  • Meat Lover’s Calzone: Add slices of chicken ham or turkey bacon along with the pepperoni.
  • Cheese Calzone: For cheese lovers, add extra varieties of cheese like cheddar or provolone.
  • Spicy Calzone: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or use spicy pepperoni for a bit of heat.

Health Benefits

While calzones are often seen as indulgent, they can be part of a balanced diet:

  • Protein: The cheese and pepperoni provide a good amount of protein.
  • Calcium: Cheese is a good source of calcium, essential for bone health.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: The marinara sauce adds vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene, an antioxidant.

For a healthier version, consider using whole wheat dough and adding more vegetables to the filling.


  • Dough: If using store-bought dough, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling to make it easier to work with.
  • Sealing: Ensure the edges are well-sealed to prevent the filling from leaking out during baking.
  • Cooling: Let the calzones cool for a few minutes before serving to avoid burning your mouth with the hot filling.


Q: Can I freeze calzones? A: Yes, you can freeze baked calzones. Let them cool completely, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag. Reheat in the oven when ready to eat.

Q: Can I make calzones in advance? A: Yes, you can assemble the calzones a few hours ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Q: What can I use instead of pepperoni? A: You can use turkey bacon, chicken ham, or even a vegetarian alternative like mushrooms or spinach.

Q: How do I prevent the calzones from becoming soggy? A: Ensure you don’t overfill the calzones, and make sure the edges are well-sealed. Brushing the tops with egg also helps to create a barrier that keeps moisture out.

Q: Can I use homemade pizza dough? A: Absolutely! Homemade dough works great and can add extra flavor and texture to your calzones.


This easy calzone recipe is a fantastic way to enjoy the flavors of pizza in a convenient, portable form. Whether you’re making them for a family dinner, a party, or just a snack, these calzones are sure to be a hit. With endless possibilities for fillings and variations, you can tailor them to your personal taste and dietary preferences. Enjoy the crispy crust, gooey cheese, and flavorful fillings that make calzones a beloved dish worldwide.

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