homemade calzones

$13.69 recipe / $1.71 each

I wanted to try to make calzones because they seemed like the perfect little portion controlled item to grab and go for lunch. The cool thing about calzones is that you can pack just about any ingredient in there that you want. Make it meaty, vegetarian or even vegan if you’d like! I’ve been trying to add a few more veggies back into my diet so I decided to go with my favorite: spinach and mushroom (and a few turkey pepperoni for flavor). Overall they turned out pretty good and they will surely keep me full all week long.

Homemade Calzones

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Total Recipe cost: $13.69
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Cost per serving: $1.71 each
Compare to: $5.99 each
Prep time: 20 min. Cook time: 30 min. Total: 50 min.

2 large pizza doughs (16-18 oz. each) $5.58
16 oz. part skim ricotta $1.83
8 oz. sliced button mushrooms $1.99
4 oz. baby spinach $1.32
4 oz. whole milk mozzarella $0.81
2 Tbsp olive oil $0.38
1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
to taste salt ‘n peppa $0.05
TOTAL $13.69
Compare to 8 calzones, $5.99ea $47.92

STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil. When the skillet and oil are hot, add the sliced mushrooms along with a dash of salt and pepper.

STEP 2: While the mushrooms are cooking (stir occasionally), prep your work area by sprinkling with a generous amount of flour. Using a sharp knife, cut each ball of dough into 4 pieces.

quarted pizza dough
STEP 3: Stretch each piece of dough into a small circle approximately 5 inches in width. This may seem small but when you add the fillings and close them up they will stretch further. The idea here is to not stretch the dough too thin or else you will be left with a thin, flat calzone after baking. Your mushrooms should be done cooking at this point. Set them aside until you are ready to use them.

cooked mushrooms
STEP 4: In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, basil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place about 1/4 cup of the ricotta mix in the center of each dough circle. Then, layer in the rest of your toppings. I layered in the following order: ricotta, pepperoni (3), fresh spinach, mushrooms, 1/2 oz. mozzarella, pepperoni (3). I made sure to have some “wet” ingredients on top of the fresh spinach to aid in its cooking.

filled calzones
STEP 5: To close the calzones, gently lift and “roll” the back side toward the front until the edges of the calzones are touching. If you simply lift the dough up and over without rolling it, there is a good chance it will just stretch to meet the other side and get way too thin. So, try to close it up without stretching the dough.

closed calzones
STEP 6: To make a fancy crimped edge, start on one side and roll the edges up and over itself. Moving from one side of the calzone to the other, a few centimeters at a time, continue to roll the edge up and over itself. If this technique is too difficult, take a fork and press the edges down with the tines.

crimped calzones
STEP 7: Place the calzones on a baking sheet or pizza tray. Spray the calzones liberally with non-stick spray. This will keep the dough supple as it expands and rises. Using a very sharp knife, cut three slits in the top of each. The slits allow for steam and moisture to escape instead of blowing a large hole out the back of the calzone (yes, this has happened to me). Bake the calzones for about 30 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown.

Homemade Calzones
NOTE: Calzones traditionally don’t have sauce in them but rather are served with sauce on the size for dipping. Since it wasn’t actually part of the “recipe”, I forgot to include the cost of sauce. BUT, you can get a can of pizza sauce for less than $2.

Next time I think I will do a Mediterranean version with artichoke hearts, spinach, black olive, feta and tomato… yum! If you have any good ideas for calzone fillings, post a comment and share them with us!


  1. Beth, had a little of your pizza dough recipe leftover, whipped this up for lunch, with a little ricotta, mushroom, pepperoni, Italian blend cheese just thrown together. Planned to eat only half, but was so good I ate the whole thing. :) Made a dipping sauce with a small can of tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic, onion, salt. Yummy lunch.

  2. We have made these twice now…delicious! Thanks for the great recipe.

  3. Thanks for the recipe. After the pizza, it is the my favorite dish. It has everything that the pizza has but in a convenient size and shape.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You can save additional money (if you have the time) by making the pizza dough from scratch – this is a favourite at my house and by making the dough myself, I save about $3 off the calculations above.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget pie filling “calzones” or just fruit calzones. Yum

  6. This is great- plus since I make my own homemade pizza dough (ingredients, flour, a little sugar, yeast, and if I have it cornmeal), this is a great way to make leftovers disapear.

  7. I’m going to guess that you can freeze them, although I have never tried. I have frozen homemade pizza dough all the time and the dough that I used for this recipe actually came frozen. The trick is that you need to freeze it before it has a chance to rise at all. Any proofing (rising) that it does will collapse if it freezes. All of the other ingredients freeze well too so I would definitely try it. Sometimes food tends to “seep” liquid when it thaws so it might yield a slightly more “wet” calzone.

    your other option would be to cut the dough into the calzone size portions and freeze them. When you want a calzone, thaw one piece of dough and build a calzone out of it with whatever you have available in your fridge. you can put ANYTHING in a calzone! that would be a great way to use up leftovers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Can you freeze these before you bake them? I’m only one person, but I would love to be able to make a bunch of these on a weekend and then just pull one out at a time.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what the cost breakdown is if you make the dough at home as well. That’s a significant part of the cost.

  10. I make homemade pizzas all the time but never calzones. Yours look so good! I will give it a try.

  11. I love the cost breakdown! It’s always nice to see how much you save by cooking at home.

  12. casey – i never thought about the calzone customization for different family members, what a great idea!! also, I LOVE the concept for your blog and i definitely have a few to submit there hahha… i will surely be adding your site to my list of blogs that i love ;D

  13. I love homemade calzones- your filling looks so so yummy! Cool budget break down too.


  14. This is such a great idea. I’m thinking that for my family, I can tailor each calzone to each person’s tastes and run into fewer complaints at dinner time! Plus, you’ve pointed out how economical they are (and still filling and healthy). I also prefer the sauce for dipping, so that the inside of the calzone doesn’t stay so blooming hot for so long after they’ve been pulled from the oven! (Kids don’t tend to be very patient when they’re hungry.)

    Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  15. Hmmmmmm!

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