Oh, how I love a calzone! There is something about how the fresh baked dough meets the cheese and meat that makes me hungry.
I avoided calzones for a while because they can be a bit heavy for a meal, and they sure aren’t healthy! When I was living on my own, pre-family, I found a delicious alternative that isn’t half bad for you. I would make up a batch of calzones and eat it for days, guilt free. Dressed up with veggies of course.
Now I make this recipe for my family!
This recipe is adapted from my favorite cookbook from that time: Cooking Light Superfast Suppers (which I think is out of print now). This calzone is built on three basic ingredients: pizza dough, meat and cheese. Super simple, right?
Because I have less free time than I used to, Pillsbury makes our pizza dough but you can certainly make your own or buy it fresh. I keep it “lighter” by using ground turkey and not going overboard with the cheese.
Recently I’ve adapted this recipe slightly so that these calzones are kid friendy. That’s code for “smaller portions.”
This is how I make this ridiculously easy recipe:
Kid-friendly, super easy mini calzones
Makes 8 mini calzones
- Pizza dough in a roll (like Pillsbury)
- Ground meat (beef, turkey or chicken)
- 1 cup of spaghetti sauce
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of olive or grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup diced onions (other vegetables, like bell peppers, can be substituted)
- 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
Preheat: Set your oven to 350
Cook the meat: Brown your ground meat in a frying pan. First add the oil, garlic and onion. When the onions are softened, add the ground meat. Cook until done and set aside.
Prepare the calzone: Unroll the rectangular pizza dough flat on a cutting board. First, using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut the dough into 4 squares. Then slice each of these pieces in half with a total of 8 calzones.
Just add the meat filling to each piece of dough — not too much or it will be difficult to close. Sprinkle a little cheese on top. Fold the dough in half to form a triangle. Press along the edges to seal each calzone.
Time to cook: Place the mini calzones on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-18 minutes (depending on your oven).
Garnish time: Heat up spaghetti sauce and drizzle on top. Add cheese to suit your taste!
If you want to make a full-size calzone, just cut the dough in four squares instead of eight. We also often switch out the onion (which my husband is not so keen on) and replace it with diced bell pepper.
Our family loves this recipe and it’s super easy to make!
Looking for more quick and easy meals? Check out these Ridiculously Easy Recipes!