Apr 6, 2017
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This post shows you how easy it is to make homemade calzones at home. You can use homemade pizza dough or storebought; zero judgment here.
Whether you call these pepperoni and cheese pizza pockets or calzones, you’ll love this recipe’s simplicity.
What is a Calzone
Calzones use pizza dough spread in a circle shape and call for covering half of the round dough with sauce, topped with cheese and toppings. Then, the plain side is folded over the toppings and cheese side to cover, and the edges are sealed by pressing down the dough together.
When baked, the calzone’s dough cooks on both sides, leaving a golden crust on top.
Once ready, calzones are sliced in half, and inside you’ll find a pizza pocket with the sauce, melted cheese, and the toppings used.
Traditional pizzas call for spreading sauce all over the dough, sprinkling the cheese to cover, and then one loads it up with toppings. Once baked, what you see is what you get.
Pepperoni Pizza Calzone Filling
If you love pepperoni pizza, you will love filling up your calzone with a generous amount of sauce, cheese, and pepperonis. Once baked, everything remains inside the calzone, and every bite is just as good as pizza but better!
Do Calzones Have Sauce Inside?
Most calzone recipes call for spreading the marinara sauce over half of the dough to keep the filling moist and delicious.
Other sauces you can spread on calzones include bbq sauce, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing spread thingly, olive oil, and alfredo sauce.
Does a Calzone Have to Have Ricotta Cheese?
The best part about calzones is that you can customize them with your favorite cheeses. Ricotta cheese is used in many recipes because its creamy texture bulks up the filling quite nicely when combined with a cheese like mozzarella. That said, you do not have to use ricotta cheese in your calzones; the recipe below does not -my kids aren’t fans.
Make Next: Broccoli Cheese Calzones
Using Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza Dough
To make calzones using refrigerated pizza dough from a can, you’ll roll it out on a floured surface and cut the rectangularly shaped dough into 4 pieces. Fill them and fold them over the same as traditional calzones but follow the baking times and temperature settings according to the directions printed in the dough can.
How to Make a Pizza Calzone at Home
Once you have your pizza dough ready, making homemade calzones at home is easy.
Preheat the oven to 375F with the oven racks positioned in the middle sections of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Make the calzone bases
Divide a 16oz dough ball into four. Roll each piece into a ball in your hands, and then place it on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it out into a circle and transfer two calzone bases to each sheet pan.
- Fill the calzones
Spread pizza sauce onto half of each dough circle, keeping a ½-inch rim of dough intact. Top the sauce with grated mozzarella cheese and lots of pepperoni slices.
- Seal the calzones
Fold the topping-free half over the dough, covering all the toppings, matching the dough’s edge. Press down using a fork to seal the edges. Poke a few holes over the tops of the dough to let the steam escape. Brush the calzones with olive oil and sprinkle Italian seasoning over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, swapping the baking sheets halfway through until the crusts are golden brown.
Make sure to print out the step-by-step recipe below.
Can You Make Pepperoni Calzones Ahead
There are several ways you can prep calzones ahead, start-to-finish or partial prep, to save you time.
Make the calzones and refrigerate them before baking. Keep the calzones ready for baking in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
Make the calzones and freeze them before baking. Place the lined sheet pans in the freezer and freeze the calzones before baking. Once frozen, transfer them inside a freezer bag, label it with the baking temperature and time, and when ready to bake another day, remove them from the freezer and add approximately 5 minutes to the baking time. You might want to cover them with foil for the last 5 minutes to ensure they don’t burn.
Partially assemble the calzones by making the dough, roll it out onto the sheet pans, and place them in the fridge for up to 8 hours. When ready to bake the calzones, top the dough with sauce, cheese, and toppings and continue the recipe directions.
How to Store Leftover Calzones
Wrap leftover calzones in foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm up in a 350F preheated oven for 15 minutes, wrapped in foil. You can also reheat leftover calzones in an air fryer at 360F for 6 minutes.
Easy Homemade Pizza Pockets or Calzones
- 16 oz pizza dough ball
- ½ cup pizza sauce
- 4 ounces pepperoni slices
- 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 375F with the oven racks positioned in the middle sections of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Divide a 16oz dough ball into four. Roll each piece into a ball in your hands, and then place it on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it out into a circle and transfer two calzone bases to each sheet pan.
- Spread pizza sauce onto half of each dough circle, keeping a ½-inch rim of dough intact. Top the sauce with grated mozzarella cheese and lots of pepperoni slices.
- Fold the topping-free half over the dough, covering all the toppings, matching the dough’s edge. Press down using a fork to seal the edges.
- Poke a few holes over the tops of the dough to let the steam escape. Brush the calzones with olive oil and sprinkle Italian seasoning over the top.
- Repeat the process with the remaining calzone dough.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, swapping the baking sheets halfway through until the crusts are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow the calzones to cool down for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Broccoli and cheese combination is nice. I love pizza. I also like to make pizza.you gives an amazing recipe for making a healthy pizza.
We love pizza night! The kids love pepperoni and cheese while my husband and I love lots of veggies and chicken!
We love Hawaiian pizza! Ham and pineapple. Delicious!
Pepperoni and black olives!
cheese, cheese, cheese. And maybe some pepperoni!
Chicken and loooots of cheese!
What a fun idea to make dinner with your kids!
YUM! MY kids would love making these. Lots of pepperoni!!
These look amazing. Quick and easy for the kids!
What would be the recommended method to freeze and re-heat these? Thank you!
Geeta, you can do it both ways. Assemble and freeze unbaked. Cook according to directions (in the oven) +3 minutes. Or, cook them, freeze and reheat in the microwave. If you cook them, you can also heat them in the toaster oven or oven wrapped in foil so they don’t brown.
I just made these this week and they were a huge hit with all four kids! Next I’m gong to try them for breakfast!
Our favorite afoot down meal is enchiladas. My mother in law makes her own sauce, Ann’s has taught me how to make her delicious cabbage to put on top along with authentic Spanish rice! My goal is at least 5 meals at the table together each week. We usually make it happen.
stuffed with eggs and cheese would be so good!!
One of our favorite meals together is Curried Chicken and Broccoli with brown rice and a salad. This is one of the few recipes my mom, an expert at creating delicious meals out of whatever is on hand, actually used. We have improved on it over the years by using rotisserie chicken and replacing the canned cream of chicken soup with homemade cream of… mix.
We love homemade chicken quesadillas with fresh corn masa with green salsa yummy!!
Our family favorite is lomo saltado, a Peruvian dish with beef, onions, and rice. I am wondering if you have suggestions for making the hot pockets gluten free? My littlest is newly diagnosed with Celiac disease to complicate her already existing tree nut and peanut allergies. We are trying to learn a lot to help her enjoy food and stay safe!
These can absolutely be made gluten free. The dough you see me use in the video is frozen gluten-free pizza dough (see? you can’t tell). I one person in my film crew with celiac’s so nearly everything we do is gluten-free. Most of the time you’ll find it in the freezer isle. I hope this helps!
Thank you so much! You are amazing, and are helping me simplify meals while keeping everyone happy.
We are major breakfast for dinner fans! Scrambled eggs, bacon, and fruit are always part of it, and we switch it up to either have pancakes, waffles, roasted potatoes, etc. I always have a big scoop of avocado on the side, too!
OMG, our family loves Pizza night too we make ours with lots of cheeses. We will do neese’s sausage, pepperoni, and veggies. We will be having Pizza tonight so I will see if they want to try this.
We love taco night! We all like our tacos a little different, plus a little goes a long way on taco night. You can also get creative with leftovers.
Taco salad is my family’s favorite meal. Romaine cut with scissors over the bowl, shred carrots, add cashew cream or hummus and roasted herbed walnuts on top. Olives for the ones that like them. 🙂
We love Taco Tuesday, only on Friday! 🙂 They love making their own creations!
My favorite sit-down meal with the family is a breakfast dinner. Everyone is then happy and easy to please.
My family loves getting together for taco night! I prep bowls of olives, cheese, Greek yogurt (a sub for sour cream), lettuce, tomatoes and a pan of browned ground turkey mixed with black beans. Everyone gets a tortilla a free range for making their unique taco. Kid approved!
Family favorites are homemade pizza and make your own burrito bowls. I am excited to try these calzones for our pizza night this week!
There are only two of us at home, but we like cheesy potatoes and ham and homemade biscuits.
Our favorite family meal is a taco night with homemade salsa and guacamole that everyone pitches in to make and then eats together.
My family loves pizza night too but our favorite is probably spaghetti and meatballs!
We love having Meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce over a bed of rice and a garden salad on the side.
Our favorite meals are ones that are customizable with toppings, like tacos or gyros, or pizza/calzones! It is a great time to catch up on the day spent mostly apart and to review plans for tomorrow.
Our favorite family meal is my homemade chicken enchiladas. I use raw tortillas you have to cook in a pan, they taste so much better than others. We always talk about our day and sometimes use a game that I bought to ask funny and different questions to each other. Electronics are definitely not allowed! I love dinner time when we all gather and talk.
Family favorites we all sit down together with…Homemade taco night & grilled steak/vegetable fajitas
We love homemade baked chicken nuggets with honey mustard sauce along with sweet potato fries and good conversation about our day.
Our favorite meal is homemade pizza with all the toppings.
One of the few meals everyone in my family will eat is pasta bolognese 🙂 Thank you for the giveaway!
My family just loves to eat! Favorites are probably taco salad (so the kids can customize) or enchiladas.
Lately, our family favorite is “grown up” grill cheese sandwiches. For such a simple meal we start getting excited the day before. We have it at least once a month, if not twice!
My family’s favorite meal is salmon with Greek rice and broccoli. It is a good for you and tastes great meal this is ready in an hour with very little active prep time. We have this almost every Sunday with almost no complaints.
Our favorite sit down dinner is taco night. My kids love when the taco ingredients are set out buffet-style and they can make their own!
I am pretty dure that my family’s favorite meal is when my husband makes french toast on some Saturday mornings!
As far as eating together around the table, we do this EVERY night and Every Saturday morning with the only exceptions being someon gone at a sleepover (maybe 3x a year) or sick. In thst case, they still sit with ys unless too weak, even if they are eating only dry toast!
Our favorite family meal is anything pasta with a big salad full of veggies! We have family dinner every Sunday!
Chicken pot pie
My family loves taco Tuesday’s. I am sure we will sit together and everyone will eat!
Our favorite family sit-down meal is chicken taco bar with chicken and brown rice and beans and corn and tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, Tapatio, tortillas and chips.. We try to eat as a as a family at least 5 nights a week.
My family’s favorite is Taco night. They love to pick their own toppings and they are so messy so they are forced to sit at the table! 🙂
My favorite family meal is chicken curry. All of my kiddos love it!
My family’s favorite meal enchiladas and beans!
Our favorite sit down meal is ribs on the grill with sweet potato fries! But we are totally a cheesey family lol! We even add cheese to our scrambled eggs : )
Our family’s favorite meal is pizza and not just because of this post. I fight the urge to make pizza in varying forms multiple times a week for dinner. Probably has something to do with the fact that we too are cheese-aholics. Thanks for all you do!
We love any meal together. Current favorite is anything that my 9 year old, Beckam, is willing to cook for us!
As a family, we like to cook breakfast foods together! The girls, 4 and 7, love to crack the eggs, add cheese, and whisk away!!
Our favorite meal is grilled lemon and oregano chicken with some homemade mashed potatoes and salad.
Can’t wait to try your pizza pockets although my son does not like cheese so will have to change them up a bit.
Our favorite family dinner is quiche. It is so nice to have go to meals that everyone in the family likes. I think the hot pockets would be a hit, we’ll have to try them.
Our favorite stand by is tacos 🙂
I’d eat tacos every day if I could!
Our favorite sit down meal usually includes fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. I sprinkle a bread crumb topping on my Mac and cheese that the kids really love!
Our favorite dinner is a casserole recipe a friend shared with me years ago along with veggies and bread sticks. There’s nothing like cheesy comfort food to bring a family together around the table!
We usually eat dinner at home, if ballgame schedules allow! My kids eat most everything, THANKFULLY, but chili-type dishes are one of their faves. Black bean, white bean – chicken, etc…. We also try to do our family devotion at the dinner table.
Yum!!! We’re a big fan of rotisserie chicken. My family especially loves chicken taco night with TONS of cheese, sour cream and olives!
We do a make your own alfredo. We have one gluten free, one who doesn’t eat vegetables, and one who doesn’t tolerate sauce.
I cook the two pastas and Johnsonville frozen sausage slices. I steam the broccoli or spinach and microwave alfredo sauce. Then it is assemble your own and we all enjoy dinner together!
It’s homemade mac and cheese for my kids!
One of our favorite meals is bob evans biscuits and gravy. Easy comfort food for a cold night.
These definitely sound like something my 3 young kids would enjoy. We will probably stuff with the traditional pepperoni and mozzarella and dip them in homemade slow-cooker veggie-tomato sauce (I use Laura’s recipe from her first book!) We would also enjoy some fresh veggies on the side or a nice salad. My kids are good at eating fresh veggies but picky about so much else! Thanks for sharing!
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Because of everyone’s school and work schedule, the only time we all sit down to a meal together is when my parents come over for dinner or we go to their house. I usually cook something in the crockpot with rice, vegetables and homemade bread.
We are all crazy for different kinds of dumplings and pizza 🙂
Monica Jordan Hays
My family loves it when I make homemade chicken nuggets. It’s a sure winner even for the picky eater
My family loves Friday night pizza and a movie. My oldest two 9 and 6 have been working on knife skills so peppers, pineapple, or chicken are some of their favorite toppings. My son who is 4 has been helping make the dough with me. Friday nights have become family cooking nights!
Pepperoni and lots of Cheese is our favorite flavor(Mom and Dad like to add Spinach). This recipe will get the kids in the kitchen and around our dinner table. Our favorite sit down meal is Roast, Potatoes, and Veggies! Thanks for the recipe.
Our favorite dinner as a family is when we have Taco Tuesdays. I bet a taco pocket would be a good way to change it up!
Our favorite family finger night meal is chicken parmensian topped in Borden mozzarella cheese in a French bread topped with melted butter garlic and parsley then baked and sided with Mariana sauce !
Our absolute favorite family meal is an easy pan-seared Chicken fettuccini alfredo with broccoli! It’s a flexible dish and comes together quick. Thanks for all the family-friendly tips and tricks!!
We love taco night! We put out all the ingredients and pass them around the table so everyone can customize their tacos!
Thanks for sharing this. Always gives me great ideas and reminds me to be creative with pizza dough cheese combos. We love eating pizza as a family and doing a movie with it.
Anything we can wrap in a tortilla or pile on chips! We top with tomato, cheese, avocado, sour cream–whatever we can find. It’s messy and fun and super easy.
I’d make these with pulled pork and mozzarella. We also love taco night.
Our family loves grilling out. Grilled Pork chops, roasted potatoes and steamed veggies is our idea of a good weekend dinner to get the family together.
Kyla M Charles
Our favorite dinner is pizza and Mac n cheese! Haha! Super healthy!
Our favorite dinner is taco night – everyone makes what they want – mini tacos on tortilla scoops, burrito, taco salad. Easy and so good!
Our favorite family meal is Alfredo noodles and stir fried veggies
We enjoy spaghetti and meatballs. We try to eat dinner at the table every night.
Our favorite family meal is pot pie. I take whatever meat I happen to have around (chicken and pork are our favorites) with whatever veggies I have on hand and put them in a homemade white sauce. Season however I’m feeling, but I love to add a bit of sour cream and cheese. Then I top it with drop biscuits and bake it all together. Great to use up leftovers and a satisfying meal for us to all enjoy.
We love to gather around the table and enjoy homemade spaghetti and meatballs with
a loaf of crusty French bread.
Chicken jambalaya is our favorite sit down meal. We enjoy sharing our day’s experiences and happenings with each other at the dinner table.
Our favorite dinner is a Japanese dish called Shabu-shabu.
Pizza night is also a favorite at our house! The kids love making their own individual pizzas with their favorite toppings. We will definitely have to try these pizza pockets!
Daddy chile dip that as us eating right out of pan around the coffe table.
Our favorite family dinner night is taco night they love to put their own ingredients on the tacos. We purchased a large lazy Susan and we put all the ingredients on it and it spins so they love that as well. No one has to stretch to reach for anything. ❤️❤️❤️
Our family loves homemade chicken pot pie! The leftovers are great for lunches too.
Great idea! Imagine with goat cheese, roasted red peppers and caramélisés onions!
Sausage and peppers would be a great combo in these!
we like to have homemade stew with nadels
Everyone always enjoys pot roast & veggies!
We have lots of favorite home-cooked meals. For example, tonight we had a Greek salad with chicken with tons of vegetables and cheese. Everyone can have just the veggies they want. This is a great recipe to use left-over chicken, as I did. When you’re going to roast a chicken, it pays to buy a big one.
Our favorite sit down meal is enchiladas! These hot pockets look like something to add to our rotation 🙂
After a long day between school and work my family loves pizza night which is inspired by your DIY gluten free pizza night. Were able to add all of our favorite veggies and toppings #bordendinnernight
Our favorite meals are homemade rice bowls
Our favorite sit-down meal is Cheeseburger Rice with Vegetables on the side. Dinner is a time to sit and talk.
Our favorite dinner to enjoy as a family is taco night. We get to make our tacos and add ingredients we each like.
Broccoli and cheese sounds delicious! I would probably load them up with veggies and some chicken!
These are awesome. My kids would love these with pepperoni and lots of cheese!
Our favorite dinner to have as a family at home is potato skins!