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Pepperoni Calzones

Pepperoni and ricotta calzones are jam-packed with filling. For this recipe I use an easy No-Knead pizza dough! It bakes up golden brown and delicious. Don’t forget extra sauce for dipping!

Calzone with Pepperoni and ricotta on a plate

Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

Homemade calzones are a special easy-to-make dinner (even or a weeknight). Sometimes, I even crave them over the best pizza.

This recipe uses a no knead pizza dough that can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and kept in the fridge or up to 3 months in advance and frozen. Calzones are also great way to use up that leftover jar of pasta sauce sitting in the back of your fridge because you only need about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of sauce.

For this version, I start with an easy and simple no-knead pizza dough then stuff it with pepperoni, creamy ricotta, and gooey mozzarella. In the end, you have crackling golden brown crust and a handheld dinner perfect for dipping in extra marinara sauce!

Be sure to follow along to learn the tricks of making good calzones at home!

Calzones on a plate

Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

How to Make Calzones

Calzones are easy to make a home and a fun way to get the whole family involved. Just keep these simple steps in mind. 

  • Start with your favorite pizza dough. Personally, I use this no knead pizza dough, which makes a perfect batch of dough for four to six calzones depending on how large you like your calzones. You will need 2 hours to make it and let it rise, but you can also make it up to 48 hours in advance and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready. 
  • Fill the calzones the way you like them. I prefer a thin layer of marinara sauce and ricotta topped with sliced pepperoni and mozzarella cheese, but really any order will do.
  • Don’t fill the calzone all the way to the edge of the dough. You need room to seal the edges together.
  • To help the calzone seal, rub the edges of the calzone dough with a little water. 
  • Crimp it closed with your fingers. (You can also use a fork to crimp the calzones, but I think fingers work better). 
  • Once the calzones are sealed, brush them with egg wash and cut some slits in the each calzone to allow steam to escape as they bake. 
Baked Pepperoni Calzones

Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

Difference between Calzones and Stromboli

These are very close and sometimes get confused. Generally, a Stromboli is rolled up like a cinnamon roll and a calzone is folded. Both generally include cheese like ricotta or mozzarella and a mix of meat and vegetables. Stromboli tends to feature layers of ingredients similar to a sandwich while calzones have more of a chopped filling. 

I’ve always found calzones to be a bit easier to make and generally that’s what I make at home. 

Filling suggestions and substitutions

You can go absolutely crazy with calzone filling. Pretty much anything you could put on a pizza you can put in a calzone! 

Here are a few ideas to get you started!

  • Mushrooms, sausage, and ricotta
  • Chicken, BBQ sauce, and smoked gouda
  • Spinach, garlic, ricotta, and mozzarella

How to Freeze and Reheat Calzones

If you are going to freeze these, I recommend baking them first, cooling them completely, and then freezing them. Freeze them flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once they are frozen you can wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container for up to three months! 

Reheat the calzones in a 325˚F oven until they are warmed through (unwrap them from the plastic wrap, of course). 

Leftovers! If you have leftover calzones, they will keep fine in the fridge for 3-4 days or you can freeze them.

Calzone dipped in pizza sauce

Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

More Perfect Pizza Recipes

Pepperoni Calzones

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Inactive Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 55 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Yields 4 to 6 calzones
The pizza dough used in this recipe can be made up to 48 hours in advance. If you’re making it the day of, you’ll need to budget about 2 hours of time to make it and let it rise.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds prepared pizza dough
  • 4-6 tablespoons marinara sauce, plus more for dipping
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces pepperoni, sliced
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • For the egg wash:
  • 1 large egg wash
  • 1 tablespoon water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat the oven to 375°F

  2. Divide the dough:

    Using the prepared pizza dough, split the dough into 4 evenly sized balls for large calzones or 6 for smaller ones. Work with one dough ball at a time and keep the remaining dough balls covered so they don’t dry out.

  3. Roll out the dough:

    Transfer dough ball to a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin roll it out until you have a circle that is 6-8 inches in diameter, again depending on size you are looking for. If you are making four larger calzones, I would shoot for around 8 inches in diameter. If making the smaller version go for 6-inches.

    Roll out all the dough balls, so you can have an assembly line when it comes to time to fill the calzones. In the end you should have what looks like 4 to 6 mini pizza crusts waiting to be filled.

  4. Fill the calzones:

    Leave a 1/2-inch boarder around the edge the dough so you can seal it later. Add about a tablespoon of marinara sauce on one half of the dough circle. Top the sauce with about two tablespoons of ricotta and spread it out over half of the dough, remembering to leave the boarder. Repeat with all remaining dough circles. Divide the diced pepperoni, mozzarella, and fresh oregano evenly among the calzones.

    Pizza Dough spread with sauce to make a Pepperoni Calzone

    Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

    Pepperoni Calzone topped with sauce and pepperoni

    Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

    Calzone topped with cheese

    Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

  5. Seal the calzones:

    Once you have added the filling, dip your finger in some water and run it lightly around the edge of the calzone. Then take the unfilled side of the dough and fold it over the filling. Pinch the edges closed.

    Folding the dough over toppings

    Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

    Sealing a Pepperoni Calzone

    Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

  6. Create steam vents:

    Use a serrated knife to cut three slits in the top of each calzone to allow for steam to escape as it bakes.

    Calzones on a baking sheet with slits in the top.

    Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

  7. Brush with egg wash:

    Once your calzones are sealed, make the egg wash. Add the egg and 1 tablespoon of water in small bowl and beat with a fork until combined. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the top of the calzones.

  8. Bake the calzones:

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the calzones in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the calzones are a deep golden brown all around.

    Baked Calzones

    Simply Recipes/Nick Evans

  9. To Serve:

    Serve the calzones while warm with extra marinara for dipping.