Recipe: Pizza Pocket (a.k.a. Calzone)
Pizza is one of my all-time favorite foods. Because I typically eat way too much when I do eat it, I try to limit eating pizza to only on occasion. This recipe helps me practice self-control, by eating just one pizza pocket. You can also fill the pizza pocket with most or all vegetables. Basically you are in control of how much and which ingredients to add, so the ball is in your court.
This is a fast weeknight meal too. I whipped these up in about 5 minutes and then baked them for about 35 minutes. So you could quickly make them when you get home from work and while they are baking, it’s wind down time (or maybe it’s “wine down” time).
Some people call these calzones and others pizza pockets. It really doesn’t matter what you call them, just so you make them. They’re fast, easy, and delicious. Let me show you how to make these Pizza Pockets (or Calzones).
<Scroll all the way to the bottom for a standard printable recipe>
Here are the ingredients: pizza dough (I used Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough), pizza sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, desired cooked meat or veggies (I used Italian sausage and pepperoni), and desired shredded cheese (I used mozzarella, white cheddar, but you can also add parmesan.)
Preheat your oven to 425° F (215°C).
Take out the pizza dough of your choice. I used refrigerated pizza dough (Pillsbury), however you can definitely buy other dough (like the fresh pizza dough at Trader Joes) or even make your own. It’s all up to you.
Place the prepared pizza dough on a lightly floured surface.
Divide the pizza dough into 4 pieces.
Lightly flour your hands and begin to work the dough. Your goal is to stretch it out to a flattened state.
Using a rolling pin, roll to flatten. Roll in all directions to help get to a rectangle shape of sorts (rough is totally fine). Make sure there is a light amount of flour on the surface to avoid sticking. Don’t use too much flour though, or you will get a tough crust.
Add about a tablespoon (more if desired) to the center of the dough rectangle (in a stripe).
Sprinkle a touch of Italian seasoning and garlic salt on each piece of dough.
If you’re using meat or veggies, make sure to cook them prior to stuffing into uncooked pizza dough. They won’t be in the oven long enough to cook them.
For pepperoni, make sure to cut each piece into at least 4 pieces. This makes eating more pleasing and you don’t get a molten hot giant piece of pepperoni scalding your lip.
Add desired amount of meat or veggies (about 1-2 tablespoons). Don’t over-fill or it will be too difficult to close the pizza pocket. I learned that the hard way. It was still tasty, just not as pretty.
Now the cheese…mmmm! I used white cheddar and mozzarella, but you can choose pretty much any shredded cheese. Again, keep to around 1-2 tablespoons to avoid over-filling.
Slowly fold the back of the dough over the filling to close.
Gently seal pizza dough shut so filling doesn’t sneak out.
To seal further, either seal with a fork…or better yet, twist pizza crust starting at one side and twisting all the way to the other. It’s pretty simple and it looks a bit nicer.
Place each pocket on a rimmed baking sheet.
Make 2-3 slits with a sharp knife, careful not to cut all the way through. Make the slits about 1 1/2 inches apart. Lightly brush the tops of each pocket with melted butter.
Bake at 425° F (215°C) for 25-35 minutes…
…or until golden brown. The time you bake depends on the size of your pockets and the strength of your oven.
Rest pizza pockets 5 minutes before eating. You will love these! What a great meal everyone can get involved with and customize their own dinner.
Enjoy the comfort of food!
PS: If you see mistakes (i.e., spelling errors or inconsistencies in the recipe), please tell me right away. I appreciate any help I can get!