Real Italian Calzones

Let me preface this by saying that I am not Italian, and I do not really know if this is the "real" way that Italians do their calzones. That is just what my recipe said - and I am a trusting person, so naturally, I believed the recipe. It states that a true calzone does not have the marinara sauce in the calzone, but instead it is served alongside the calzone for dipping. If anyone out there reading this blog is a true Italian and knows if this is true, I would really like to know!!

Authentic or not, this was a great way to serve a calzone. This came as a request from my husband, and he rarely requests things to eat - he usually just goes along with what I make (or pours a bowl of cereal if he doesn't want what I make!!) The dough was very straightforward and simple to make. I basically followed the fillings, except I did part pepperoni and part sausage. I just used mozzarella and some sharp cheddar that I had in the fridge instead of using all cheddar. The original recipe says that it makes 2 larg
e calzones - feeding 8, but I made 4 smaller calzones, and one calzone a person seemed just about perfect. The one thing I would do differently next time would be to saute the mushrooms first. I filled the calzones full, but once they baked and the mushrooms cooked down, there wasn't a whole lot of filling in each. If I would have sauteed the mushrooms first, I think they would have stayed full - like a calzone should be!! I had a lot of extra filling, but I just put it in the freezer for next time we want to do calzones or pizza. This would be a good recipe to have fun with - the fillings could be endless!

Real Italian Calzones

adapted from


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup sausage
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Marinara or spaghetti sauce


  1. To Make Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the oil, sugar and salt; mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, until dough is smooth and workable. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it is elastic. Lay dough in a bowl containing 1 teaspoon olive oil, then flip the dough, cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until almost doubled.
  2. To Make Filling: While dough is rising, combine the ricotta cheese, cheese, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and basil leaves in a large bowl. Mix well, cover bowl and refrigerate to chill.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. When dough is ready, punch it down and separate it into 4 equal parts. Roll parts out into thin circles on a lightly floured surface. Fill each circle with 1/4 of the cheese/meat filling and fold over, securing edges by folding in and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with egg and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

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