This CHICKEN CALZONE RECIPE is like a folded pizza that has cheeses in it, chicken, vegetables, and pizza sauce all wrapped up and baked to golden perfection. Homemade calzones make a great make-ahead portable meal or party appetizer. No one can resist this classic Italian treat!
Italians really know their way around the kitchen. Oh, bless their hearts! They didn’t just introduce pizza to the whole world but also its equally satisfying cousin – Calzone. Think of calzones as folded pizza versions that are more portable and more party-ready. It’s like pizza 2.0! How does that sound?
You can easily make them in advance, freeze, and just pop it in the oven when ready to serve. And don’t start me with the filling. Coz what you have here is just the tip of the iceberg! Yes! You can pretty much customize this baked goodies here into whatever floats your boat just like these pizza rolls HERE!
Ready to discover this gem? Let’s get it on.
What is a Calzone?
A calzone is a classic Italian turnover made with a folded pizza dough and a cheesy hearty filling. Salami, ham, vegetables, cheeses (usually ricotta, Parmesan or mozzarella) and egg are just among the most common calzone filling. The calzone pizza dough is then folded and edges are sealed then baked until golden. Making them a mess-free food treat when entertaining or as an easy portable meal.
Stromboli vs. Calzone
Calzone is somehow similar to stromboli. Both of them are using pizza dough to enclose their filling and then baked to goodness. What sets them apart though is that a stromboli is more of a log-shaped compared to a calzone and is often sliced after baking. Calzone, on the other hand, is hand-held and for single serving only. But nevertheless, both of them taste mighty great!
What I love about this homemade calzone recipe is that it’s pretty flexible! It’s a fantastic vehicle to use any leftovers you have in your fridge. Perfect dish when you’re cleaning up your fridge or when you don’t want to be stressed out with a long list of ingredients.
For my version, I simply use handy ingredients like…
- homemade Italian seasoning
- ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella cheeses
- all-purpose flour
- homemade pizza dough (RECIPE HERE) or store-bought
As for the calzone filling, I went with…
- cooked chicken (or basically any leftover chicken you have in your fridge)
- pizza sauce (HOMEMADE HERE)
- sliced mushrooms
- green bell pepper
Calzone Recipe Variations
You can follow this recipe to a “T”, or add other ingredients you have on hand. Sometimes, when I feel like switching things up, I add some of these into the filling.
- pepperoni, ham, bacon, prosciutto
- instead of chicken, use ground sausage, turkey, or beef
- for the vegetables, you can also throw in spinach, olives, onions, chickpeas
- fruits like tomatoes and pineapples (coz why not?)
Make sure that your filling is cooked before enclosing them with the pizza dough. The sky is the limit actually! Get your creative juices flowing and make these calzones your own!!
More Italian Recipes
Here on the blog, I love exploring food from around the world, and not just African cuisine. And I happen to have a wide array of Italian favorite recipes in here, too. Perfect for any summer event or dinner date nights at home.
How to Make a Calzone
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, basil, and Italian seasoning. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add pizza dough (see my HOMEMADE HERE) on a floured board, then divide the dough into equal parts (depending on preference ), about 4, if you want the bigger ones as shown above OR 6 or more smaller doughs as shown below.
Roll out each piece using a rolling pin into an 8-inch circle, about ¼” thick. Spoon the ricotta cheese mixture into the filling of the dough followed by pizza sauce and any other additional toppings (like chicken and bell peppers) leaving a ½-inch border. Fold the dough over and pinch to seal the edges of the calzone. If desired, make a slit in the calzone using a sharp knife. Lightly brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg.
Sprinkle each calzones with 2 teaspoons parmesan and herbs (if, desired), then bake until golden brown and cooked through for 18 to 20 minutes. Serve with marinara or pizza sauce.
Chicken Calzone Recipe
- 1 cup (250g) fresh ricotta
- 4 ounces (113.4g) fresh Mozzarella , grated
- 2 ounces (56.7g) Parmesan , grated (½ cup)
- 3 tablespoons (3.9g) chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon (1.8g) Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 8-ounce ball pizza dough , (click the link for homemade ) or store-bought
- all-purpose flour , as needed
- ⅔- 1 cup pizza sauce (homemade here)
- 1 cup cooked chicken
- 1 cup (70g) mushroom sliced
- ½ -1 cup (92.5g-185g) sliced green bell pepper
- 1 cup (100g) parmesan
- 1 egg , beaten
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with baking sheet or aluminum foil.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, basil, and Italian seasoning. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Add pizza dough (see my HOMEMADE HERE) on a floured board, then divide the dough into equal parts (depending on preference ), about 4-6 or more.
- Roll out each piece using a rolling pin into an 8-inch circle, about ¼" thick.
- Spoon the ricotta cheese mixture into the filling of the dough followed by pizza sauce and any other additional toppings (like chicken and bell peppers) leaving a ½-inch border.
- Fold the dough over and pinch to seal the edges of the calzone. If desired, make a slit in the calzone using a sharp knife.
- Lightly brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg.
- Sprinkle each calzones with 2 teaspoons parmesan and herbs (if, desired), then bake until golden brown and cooked through for 18 to 20 minutes. Serve with marinara or pizza sauce.
Tips & Notes:
- Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese? Yes, you can. Although I'd prefer to use them fresh. To freeze a ricotta cheese, place it in a freezer-safe bag, get all the air out before you seal them. Then freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw it when ready to use and stir back any liquid into the cheese.
- Making it Ahead and Storing. Baked calzones can be stored in the fridge for 3 days or 3 months in the freezer. You may also freeze unbaked calzones in a single layer on a baking sheet pan. Once frozen, transfer them to a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- How to Reheat Calzone? To reheat, thaw the calzone in the fridge for a few hours then reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes total (or in 1-minute bursts on high setting) or in the oven at 300 F until heated through.
- When using other combinations for your filling, make sure that they are cooked through and watery ingredients, like spinach, should be wilted or you'll end up with a soggy calzone.
- If desired, make a slit in the calzone using a sharp knife.
- Lightly brush the dough with a beaten egg for that beautiful golden brown crust.
- You may top the filling with the pizza sauce or serve it instead on the side.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.