For Christmas my brother-in-law got me a calzone “maker”. I put parenthesis around maker because it’s not a panini maker where it actually cooks it, but this is more of a contraption to form the calzone and then it’s baked. This is a perfect tool for me because whenever I end up making calzones I use one whole pizza crust and fold it in half, so it’s one giant calzone. This tool allows me to make single serving sized calzones which is perfect for Jesse and I.
This is a great idea for having people over for dinner, making a sort of calzone bar so everyone can create their own individualized calzone. Since they are somewhat small, the ingredients can’t get too complex so I kept it to my favorites: sausage, mushrooms, olives, cheese and sauce.
Normally I would have used a jar of marinara sauce but I had this jar of pesto pizza sauce in my pantry for awhile now so I decided to open it up and use it instead of buying marinara. This is my year of using up what I have in my pantry/fridge and being less wasteful in the kitchen!
I used the ingredients that I love in pizza, but you can use whatever you normally would add on your pizza. Again, this is a great idea for a make your own calzone dinner because you can make them with meat or vegetarian with no meat, or just basic cheese and pepperoni, etc.
In a skillet or dutch oven, cook up the sausage, breaking it up as you go to make smaller chunks.
When the sausage is totally browned, add in chopped mushrooms. I diced my mushrooms because I didn’t want large slices in a small calzone. Stir the mushrooms and sausage together and the let cook over low heat until the sausage is cooked through and the mushrooms are browned and cooked.
Meanwhile, finely chop up some black olives. Again, I kept all the ingredients smaller since the calzone is small and I didn’t want large chunks of ingredients but rather a nice mixture.
I will always encourage you to make your own pizza crust because no store bought crust beats a homemade one. This crust made six calzones with even a little leftover. You can find my pizza recipe here: Homemade Pizza Dough
Most, if not all, of you won’t have a calzone press but that’s okay, you can still make a perfect calzone! The press I used is a 6-inch diameter so you just have to do your best to make a six inch circle, or if making as appetizers or more bite sized calzones, make smaller 3-4 inch circles.
Spread pizza sauce across the whole surface of one side of the pizza dough circle and cover in mozzarella cheese.
Add a scoop of sausage and mushrooms and then sprinkle on olives.
Bring the dough over the mixture to form a half circle shape, press the edges with a fork to make sure it’s sealed.
Beat an egg and brush it over the tops of the calzones, this will help make the dough golden brown without having to overcook it. Make a one inch slit across the top so that the steam can be released.
The calzones cook in about 12-15 minutes, and they were delicious! They had just the right amount of each filling with a freshness from the pesto sauce. These held up great in the fridge for a few days and provided tasty leftovers for lunch!
I even took a bite because it was looking too delicious and smelled amazing! Next time, I’d love to try a fancier version, or a chicken calzone with a cream sauce. Yum!
- Pizza dough (not cooked - it has to be the dough)
- 3/4 lb. ground sausage
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 can diced olives
- 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Marinara sauce or other pizza sauce - only about a cup or so
- Heat the sausage over medium heat until browned, crumbling as you go
- Once browned, add in the mushrooms to the sausage and cover. Cook over low heat until the sausage is cooked through and the mushrooms are nice and browned.
- Meanwhile, roll out your pizza dough and create 6" circles.
- Take a circle of dough and spread a thin layer of sauce over it, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over that. Take about 1/2 cup of sausage filling and pour onto one side of the circle. Add on olives.
- Take the empty half of the dough circle and pull it over the filling, using a fork pinch the edges together to seal it.
- Beat an egg and brush a little over the tops of each calzone. Make a 1 inch slit on the top of each calzone.
- Bake at 400* for about 12-15 minutes or until dough is golden brown and the filling it hot and bubbly.