What Are Calzones? A Guide to This Delicious Italian Dish

A traditional Italian food that has been eaten for centuries is a calzone. They are frequently compared to folded pizzas or turnovers that are prepared in an oven from leavened dough.

Calzone pizza with chicken and cheese

The word “calzones” is an Italian word that means “stocking” or “trouser,” and the dish got its name from the way it was folded up.

A traditional calzone is formed from salted bread dough and loaded with a range of ingredients, including cheese, tomato sauce, veggies, ham, salami, and a variety of cheeses.

One half of the dough is used for the filling, and the other half is folded over and sealed to form a pocket. Calzones can be fried or baked, and tomato sauce or marinara is frequently given on the side as a dipping sauce.

Calzones are a tasty and practical supper that can be eaten at home or while traveling. They are simple to manufacture and may be tailored to your preferences and tastes.

There is a calzone recipe out there for everyone, whether you prefer a traditional calzone stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella or a vegetarian version with spinach and feta cheese.

What are Calzones?


Calzones are a type of Italian oven-baked folded pizza, often described as a turnover, made with leavened dough.

Calzone pizza folded in half with meat

They are typically stuffed with a variety of ingredients such as cheese, meat, vegetables, and herbs. The dough is then folded over to create a half-moon shape, and the edges are sealed to prevent the filling from leaking out during baking.

Calzones are similar to pizza, but their shape and preparation method set them apart. While pizza is typically baked flat, calzones are folded and baked, resulting in a pocket of filling that is perfect for on-the-go eating.


The origins of calzones can be traced back to Naples, Italy, where they were first created in the 18th century. The word “calzone” comes from the Italian word for “trouser” or “stocking,” which refers to the shape of the folded dough.

Calzones were originally created as a portable meal for workers who needed a quick and easy lunch. They were often filled with leftover ingredients from the previous day’s dinner, making them a versatile and economical option.

Today, calzones are enjoyed all over the world and can be found in a variety of flavors and styles. They are a popular option for takeout and delivery, as well as a fun and delicious meal to make at home with friends and family.

In summary, calzones are a type of Italian folded pizza that are stuffed with a variety of ingredients and baked to perfection. They originated in Naples, Italy, and are enjoyed all over the world today.


When it comes to calzones, there are a few key ingredients that you’ll need to make this delicious Italian dish. In this section, we’ll break down the ingredients into four sub-sections: Dough, Cheese, Filling, and Sauce.

Delicious pizza calzone


The dough is the foundation of any calzone, and it’s what gives this dish its signature crispy exterior and soft, chewy interior.

To make the dough, you’ll need flour, yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil, and warm water. Mix all these ingredients together until you get a smooth, elastic dough. You can also use pre-made pizza dough if you’re short on time.


Cheese is an essential ingredient in any calzone, and most recipes call for a combination of mozzarella and ricotta cheese.

The mozzarella cheese gives the calzone its gooey, stretchy texture, while the ricotta cheese adds a creamy, tangy flavor. You can also add parmesan cheese for extra flavor.


The filling is where you can get creative and add your favorite ingredients. Some popular fillings include onions, peppers, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, and spinach.

You can also add cooked chicken or ham for a meatier filling. Just make sure to chop your ingredients into small pieces so they cook evenly.


The sauce is what ties everything together in a calzone. You can use marinara sauce, pizza sauce, or even a garlic and olive oil sauce.

Spread a thin layer of sauce over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. This will help prevent the filling from leaking out while the calzone bakes.

Making a calzone is a fun and easy way to enjoy all the flavors of pizza in a handheld form. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

How to Make Calzones

Making calzones is a fun and easy way to enjoy a delicious Italian dish. In this section, we will go over the steps to prepare, assemble, and bake calzones.

Traditional closed italian pizza calzone


Before we start assembling our calzones, we need to prepare the ingredients. You can use a variety of toppings, such as sausage, pepperoni, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, and more.

You can also use different types of cheese, such as mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta.

To make the dough, we will need bread flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil. Mix the flours, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl.

Add water and olive oil and mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Let it rest for about an hour.


Once the dough is ready, we can start assembling our calzones. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into equal parts and roll each one into a circle. Add pizza or marinara sauce, cheese, and toppings on one half of the circle, leaving some space around the edges.

Fold the other half of the circle over the toppings and press the edges together to seal the calzone. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle some spices, such as nutmeg and basil leaves.


Place the calzones on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

Calzones are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed for lunch, dinner, or as a snack. They can also be frozen and reheated later. Here are some nutrition facts for a typical calzone:

  • Calories: 600-800
  • Fat: 20-30 grams
  • Protein: 30-40 grams
  • Calcium: 20-30% of daily value
  • Iron: 20-30% of daily value
  • Potassium: 10-20% of daily value
  • Vitamin C: 10-20% of daily value

Calzones originated in Naples, Italy, and are similar to panzerotti from Apulia and fried versions from Basilicata.

They can be filled with meats, vegetables, and cheeses, such as goat meat, anchovies, olives, mortadella, and parmesan cheese.

In Sicily, calzones are sometimes sweetened with honey and served at lunch counters. They are a popular street food in Italy and around the world.


Calzones are a versatile dish that can be customized in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most popular variations:

Regional Variations

Calzones are a popular dish in Italy, and each region has its own unique take on the classic recipe. For example, in Naples, the birthplace of the calzone, the dish is traditionally stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, and salami.

In Rome, calzones are often filled with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and ham. In Sicily, seafood is a popular filling, with ingredients like shrimp, clams, and squid.

Vegetarian Options

Vegetarians can also enjoy calzones by using meat substitutes or opting for vegetable fillings. Some popular vegetarian fillings include:

  • Spinach and ricotta
  • Mushroom and onion
  • Roasted red peppers and feta cheese
  • Broccoli and cheddar

Sweet Calzones

Calzones don’t have to be savory! Sweet calzones are a popular dessert option and can be filled with a variety of ingredients. Some popular sweet fillings include:

  • Nutella and banana
  • Apple and cinnamon
  • Cherry and cream cheese
  • Ricotta and chocolate chips

When making sweet calzones, it’s important to adjust the amount of sugar in the dough to suit the filling. For example, if you’re using a sweet filling, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar in the dough to avoid an overly sweet result.

Calzones are a delicious and versatile dish that can be customized to suit a variety of tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer a classic meat-filled calzone or a sweet dessert version, there’s a calzone out there for everyone.


In conclusion, calzones are a delicious Italian dish that is similar to pizza but with a unique twist. They are made with pizza dough that is folded over and filled with a variety of ingredients such as cheese, meats, vegetables, and sauces.

Calzones can be enjoyed as a snack or a meal and are perfect for those who love pizza but want something a little different.

One of the great things about calzones is that they are versatile and can be filled with a wide range of ingredients. From classic fillings like pepperoni and sausage to more unique combinations like goat cheese and figs, there is a calzone to suit every taste.

Additionally, calzones can be made with different types of dough, such as whole wheat or gluten-free, to accommodate dietary restrictions.

When it comes to serving calzones, they are typically cut into slices or served as a whole pie. They can be enjoyed hot or cold, making them a great option for leftovers or packed lunches.

Calzones can also be customized to suit different occasions, such as adding heart-shaped pepperoni for Valentine’s Day or making mini calzones for a party.

Calzones are a delicious and versatile Italian dish that is sure to satisfy any pizza lover. Whether you prefer classic fillings or something more unique, there is a calzone out there for everyone.

So next time you’re in the mood for pizza, why not switch things up and try a calzone instead?


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