Calzones have to be one of the best foods in the world. Pretty much a gourmet pizza pocket- what’s not to love? Surprisingly, calzones are one of the easiest things we make for dinner, but they taste like a whole lot of work was put into them (shhh-I wont tell if you don’t).
You can use your favorite homemade pizza dough( I make whole wheat. Healthy and still tastes too good to use that word), or buy some at the store. It’s really up to you! Stuff them with whatever good ole’ pizza toppings you’d like (this makes it fun for the kids), and you’re golden.
My favorite part about calzones? You can assemble a bunch of them…and freeze them! Super quick weeknight dinner made from scratch and with love. Toss the store bought frozen pizza pocket ‘surprise’ (those things are too tiny, anyway- and not worth the $!)
I like to make my own marinara (it doesn’t take long- I promise), but of course, you can buy a….jar… of it. (ug there, I said it.) I get it, we all have crazy, hectic, busy days. Nothing a good ole’ jar of marinara can’t fix.
Now, I am not Italian in any way shape or form (could you tell by my translucent, non tanning skin?) but, I’ve heard that it is sinful to put the marinara INSIDE the calzone. NO NO! Leave that for dipping (or pouring on top). Of course, if you feel it’s easier and tastes better, make it the way you like it. ( I won’t tell the Italians).
Easy Cheesy Calzones
Makes 2 to 4 (depending on size)
What You’ll Need:
+ 1 pound pizza dough
+ 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
+ 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
+ 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
+ 1 teaspoon basil (if you have FRESH basil, even better. 1/4 cup chopped)
+ 1 teaspoon oregano
+ 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
+ 1 teaspoon salt
+ 1/2 teaspoon pepper
+ Any other things you’d like to put inside. I used pepperoni, red bell peppers and spinach.
For the Marinara:
+ 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
+ 1/2 cup diced onion
+ 2 cloves garlic
+ 28 ounces tomato puree (or chunky if you prefer)
+ 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
+ 1 teaspoon salt
+ 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (things might get messy). Combine the filling by mixing everything but the dough and marinara in a bowl. Divide the dough into 4 balls. Roll each out into about a 7 inch circle. Add 1/4 of the filling in each dough round on one side, leaving space around the edge. Fold over the other side of dough to cover the filling and seal the edges together with a fork. Make a slit in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake until golden brown and bubbling (it may come out of the slit- hence the mess), about 20 minutes. Allow to cool about 10 minutes (these things are molten lava).
To make the marinara: Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook until the onions become soft, and add the garlic. Stirring for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow to cook for about 30 minutes at a simmer, stirring occasionally. See, that wasn’t so hard, now was it? Plus, you can put extra in tupperware and freeze it for over a month! Nothing better than fresh marinara!
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