It’s easy to make a perfect Italian Calzone at home with fresh, homemade pizza dough and your favorite pizza toppings, like peppers, cheese and pepperoni! This calzone recipe is cheesy, flavorful, baked to a perfect golden brown and served with marinara sauce for dipping.

calzone cut in half on wood cutting board

Ever since we perfected pizza dough at our house for Kurt’s Famous Pan Pizza, I’ve been using the dough to make all kinds of recipes! I used it to make Apple Dessert Pizza and now a homemade calzone.

Once the dough is made, it’s easy to toss this calzone recipe together in just 30 minutes! The dough can be made up to two weeks ahead of time, so you can make this calzone for an easy weeknight meal.

I loaded this calzone with sautéed bell pepper and onion, three cheeses and pepperonis. But feel free to make it your own and add the pizza toppings of your choice to make the calzone filling. That’s the great thing about pizza and calzones, you can load them up with whatever you like!

ingredients for calzone

Ingredients

  • Pizza dough – for this calzone, I used the dough recipe from Kurt’s Famous Pan Pizza. It’s easy to make using a bread machine, stand mixer or hand mixer. You can also purchase store-bought pizza dough. It’s usually found in a refrigerator near the deli section of the grocery store.
  • Olive oil
  • Red bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Italian seasoning – I always prefer to use my homemade seasoning mix (linked above). It’s easy to mix up in just 5 minutes and has such great flavor! You can also purchase pre-made Italian seasoning on the spice aisle at the grocery store.
  • Sliced pepperoni – or salami can be used in this recipe. You can also leave out the pepperoni to make a vegetarian calzone.
  • Low moisture mozzarella cheese – I recommend low moisture cheese to keep the calzone from getting soggy.
  • Egg
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Marinara sauce – for dipping. A traditional Italian calzone will never have sauce on the inside. The sauce is served on the side for dipping. Feel free to use my easy homemade sauce recipe, linked above, or a jar of your favorite marinara or pizza sauce.
collage of images showing how to make a calzone
collage of images showing how to make a calzone

Step by step instructions

  1. Combine ricotta cheese with Italian seasoning in a small bowl.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Add diced bell pepper and onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute for another minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  3. Sprinkle flour onto a large cutting board. Use your hands to stretch the dough into a large circle about 1/4 inch thick. If it comes out more like a rectangle, like mine did, that’s fine too! Arrange the pepperonis on the bottom half of the dough.
  4. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly on top of the pepperonis.
  5. Add the bell pepper and onion mixture on top of the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Spoon the ricotta cheese mixture on top of the onions and peppers.
  7. Fold the other half of the dough over the fillings. Pinch the dough together, then fold the edge of the dough over in the opposite direction. Crimp the edges again to create a double seal.
  8. Brush the top of the calzone with a whisked egg. Cut three 2 inch slits in the top of the dough.
  9. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning evenly over the top of the calzone. Transfer to a pizza stone and bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and slice into 4-6 pieces. Serve with marinara sauce or ranch dressing on the side for dipping.

baked calzone on wood serving board

Other filling options

I love this calzone just the way it’s made in the recipe! But I want you to feel free to make it your own and add your favorite pizza toppings to create the filling. Try any of the following options in your homemade calzone.

  • Cooked Italian sausage
  • Canadian bacon
  • Cooked, diced chicken
  • Meatballs
  • Vegan Meatballsif you’re making a vegetarian calzone!
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives

Tips and tricks

  • Always bring the pizza dough to room temperature before starting the recipe. Whether you make your own pizza dough, or purchase pre-made dough at the grocery store, you always want to leave it out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before making the recipe. This will warm the dough up and make it much easier to work with.
  • Never use a rolling pin to roll out the dough! You always want to use your hands to stretch the dough vs. rolling it with a rolling pin. Rolling the dough will push out all of the air in the dough, resulting in a tough texture vs. a light and airy texture.
  • If you have a pizza stone, I recommend using it to cook the calzone. If using a stone, place it in the oven before you start the recipe. As the oven heats up, so will the stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone, no worries, a large baking sheet will also work. I recommend lining it with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
  • To make this calzone vegetarian, omit the pepperoni and use a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese. Feel free to add vegan meatballs or vegetables, like spinach and mushrooms, in place of the pepperoni.
  • Leftover calzone will stay good in the refrigerator for 5 days, stored in a sealed container.
  • To reheat the calzone, preheat the oven to 350°F, wrap the calzone in foil and place it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Frequently asked questions

  • What’s the difference between a calzone and a stromboli? The difference lies in how the two are sealed. A calzone is sealed by folding the dough over the toppings, whereas a stromboli is sealed by rolling the dough up into a spiral over the toppings.
  • Do calzones have sauce inside? No, a traditional calzone will never have sauce inside. Instead, the sauce is served on the side for dipping or spooning over the baked calzone.
  • Can I make two different calzones with this recipe? Sure thing! If you want to try out two different fillings inside the calzone, simply separate the dough in half and make two smaller calzones with the fillings of your choice.
  • Can you use pizza dough for calzones? Yes! A calzone is basically a pizza folded in half with sauce on the side. Pizza dough is always used to make calzones. For this recipe I used my go-to pizza dough from this pan pizza recipe.
calzone cut in half on wood cutting board

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Calzone

It's easy to make a perfect Italian Calzone at home with fresh, homemade pizza dough and your favorite pizza toppings, like peppers, cheese and pepperoni! This calzone recipe is cheesy, flavorful, baked to a perfect golden brown and served with marinara sauce for dipping.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pizza dough, click the link for our homemade pizza dough recipe, or use store-bought pizza dough
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided
  • ½ cup sliced pepperoni, or salami
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg, whisked – for egg wash
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup marinara sauce, for dipping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat now.
  • If your pizza dough is in the refrigerator, remove it now and place it on the counter to bring it up to room temperature.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
  • Add the bell pepper and onion, saute for 4-5 minutes, add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning.
  • Use your hands to stretch the pizza dough out into a large circle, approximately 1/4 inch thick, on a floured surface.
  • On one half of the pizza dough, arrange the pepperonis in a single layer. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese, sautéed bell peppers and Italian seasoned ricotta cheese.
  • Fold the other half of the dough over the fillings. Pinch the dough together, then fold the edge of the dough over in the opposite direction. Crimp the edges again to create a double seal.
  • Brush the egg wash over the dough.
  • Cut three 2 inch slits in the top of the pizza dough.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and the remaining ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning.
  • Place in the oven on a pizza stone, or large baking sheet, and bake for 12-14 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and slice into 4-6 pieces. Serve with marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Notes

  • For this calzone, I used the pizza dough recipe from Kurt’s Famous Pan Pizza. It’s easy to make using a bread machine, stand mixer or hand mixer. You can also purchase store-bought pizza dough. It’s usually found in a refrigerator near the deli section of the grocery store.
  • Always bring the pizza dough to room temperature before starting the recipe. Whether you make your own pizza dough, or purchase pre-made dough at the grocery store, you always want to leave it out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before making the recipe. This will warm the dough up and make it much easier to work with.
  • Never use a rolling pin to roll out the dough! You always want to use your hands to stretch the dough vs. rolling it with a rolling pin. Rolling the dough will push out all of the air in the dough, resulting in a tough texture vs. a light and airy texture.
  • If you have a pizza stone, I recommend using it to cook the calzone. If using a stone, place it in the oven before you start the recipe. As the oven heats up, so will the stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone, no worries, a large baking sheet will also work. I recommend lining it with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
  • To make this calzone vegetarian, omit the pepperoni and use a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese. Feel free to add vegan meatballs or vegetables, like spinach and mushrooms, in place of the pepperoni.
  • Leftover calzone will stay good in the refrigerator for 5 days, stored in a sealed container.
  • To reheat the calzone, preheat the oven to 350°F, wrap the calzone in foil and place it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Serving 6gCalories 623kcal (31%)Carbohydrates 63g (21%)Protein 30g (60%)Fat 29g (45%)Saturated Fat 13g (65%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gCholesterol 113mg (38%)Sodium 1574mg (66%)Potassium 341mg (10%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 11g (12%)Vitamin A 1309mg (26%)Vitamin C 28mg (34%)Calcium 386mg (39%)Iron 5mg (28%)
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