“ Calzone” is literally translated from Italian as Stocking or Trouser, but when it comes to food it is actually a savory turnover originated in Napoli, Italy.
A pizza pocket of sorts, made with pizza dough, stuffed with cheese (plant-based of course), vegetables or meats (vegan cruelty-free of course) and then oven-baked and served with a thick marinara sauce on the side. If you asked me the spinach and cashew ricotta Calzones are the real deal too.
Calzones can be made without the oven (like yours truly does often), using a hot cast iron griddle/skillet instead. It’s definitely faster this way plus it gets those nice grill marks and adds a little hint of smokiness.
I stuffed mine with mini sweet peppers and scallions today but you can be a rebel and go for any assortment of vegetables. Steamed broccoli, mushrooms, eggplant, capers, tomatoes all are delicious especially when combined with some vegan Italian sausage, meatballs or vegan buffalo chicken.
It’s the holidays after all, so really, you can have whatever you like!
Q: What is a Calzone vs a Panzerotti or Panzarotti ?
A: A Panzerotti or Calzoni Fritti is usually a small Calzone that is fried instead of baked that originated in Southern Italy. So the unhealthy version of a calzone really 😉
Q: What is Stromboli vs Calzone ?
A: Stromboli was actually invented in the United States in the 1950s and named after the movie Stromboli. Similar to a calzone, a stromboli is actually a rolled up pizza, and then baked. So imagine preparing a thin crust pizza with toppings, then rolling it like a newspaper and baking it.
Q: What is the best way to heat up a vegan Calzone and Stromboli ?
A: In a preheated oven on a hot pizza stone, so just like baking pizza.
P.S. If you make this recipe please remember to come back here to rate it, snap a photo and tag me with #VeggieSociety on Instagram!
How to Make Vegan Calzone:
- Make sure to prepare the pizza dough in advance according to directions in the recipe. You will only use half of it ( 4 dough balls) and you can freeze the rest for later. (If freezing it you can do this right after kneading it, no need to proof it first).
- Rinse and slice the peppers into thin slices, discard the core and the seeds. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and toss to coat.
- Heat up a cast iron skillet on medium low flame and quickly saute the pepper and scallions together until nice little char marks start to form, a few minutes. Transfer them to a bowl and mix with the sliced spinach. Set aside until ready to use.
- (If using any store bought vegan meatballs, sausages or chicken make sure to cook it first before adding it to the calzone)
- Sprinkle some flour on a board board or kitchen counter and place the pizza dough on top. Sprinkle more flour on top and using the palm of your hand gently press each dough ball down to form a circle. Sprinkle more flour if needed so the dough doesn’t stick. (do not knead the dough at this point)
- Use a fork to gently poke the dough in a few spots so it won’t puff up while cooking.
- Spoon some of the tomato sauce over half of the dough, sprinkle with some of the vegan cheese and some of the pepper scallion mixture or your favorite fillings. Sprinkle with more cheese and gently fold over the dough to create a pocket.
- Gently pull the bottom of the dough to fold over the top as in creating a nice seal of the pocket all around.
- Preheat a large cast iron griddle or grill pan on medium heat and gently transfer the calzone to the hot grill. ( you should be able to slide them right off of the board you were working on or using a large spatula).
- Cook for a few minutes on each side until nice grill marks form. Use a spatula to flip the calzone and repeat the above process until all calzone pockets are done. Allow them to cool off for a few minutes for the cheese to set before cutting into them.
- Preheat your oven with a pizza stone inside to the highest temperature for a good 45 minutes and up to 1 hour. You want it blasting hot.
- Place the calzone on a lightly floured pizza peel or cardboard box and carefully slide it on top of the pizza stone. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown to your liking. Transfer to a wooden board and allow the calzone to cool for 5 minutes or so for the cheese and all ingredients to set. Serve warm with the remaining tomato sauce on the side.