If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I make this vegan calzone recipe almost every week. This is Friday night dinner in my house, the perfect meal to look forward to after a long week of work!
I’ve posted pizza recipes before, but in my house, it’s all about the vegan calzone! We love calzones because you can add so many toppings and there’s nothing better than a pile of cheesy vegetables!
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Panzerotti vs Calzone
A panzerotti is typically deep-fried whereas calzones are baked! That’s the main difference as far as I can tell.
Another potential difference between panzerottis and calzones is their size. Where I live, panzerottis are generally quite large. I’ve seen panzerottis that are the size of a medium or large pizza! However, calzones are usually a smaller size, more like a sandwich or small pizza.
At home, you can make your calzone however large you like. This recipe is designed to make 4 calzones which are big enough for an average portion.
I’ve also made this recipe into 2 large calzones, but in that case, I often only eat half for dinner (although I’ve certainly finished off a whole large calzone before!).
How to Make a Vegan Calzone from Scratch
To make calzones from scratch, start with pizza dough! I’ve listed the full recipe for pizza dough below, using about half whole wheat and half white flour. If you aren’t into whole wheat dough, I also have an all-white-flour pizza dough recipe.
Pizza dough can seem intimidating to make for the first time, but it’s not too hard. My husband, who had never made dough before, has successfully completed this recipe countless times now! He even makes it better than I do these days (because he follows the recipe, and I don’t always. When it comes to baking, measurements are important!).
After the dough is made, the rest of the vegan calzone preparation is a free for all! You can fill them with any sauce, toppings or spices you like.
Classic and Pesto Calzone Variations
Classic calzones are filled with tomato/ pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese. This can be made vegan if you buy vegan pepperoni and vegan cheese!
I’m a huge fan of pesto and make it whenever I can find large bunches of basil at the grocery store. Pesto calzones are amazingly flavourful. If you have the time to make pesto, I highly recommend it!
Vegan Calzone Filling Options
As noted above, you can fill your vegan calzone with anything you like. Making calzones at home is ideal for feeding a group of people, especially if there are different dietary preferences. Each person can fill their own calzone with whatever they like.
Some of my favourite vegan calzone fillings are:
- Vegan pepperoni
- Vegan cheese shreds
- Bell peppers
- Roasted red peppers (from a jar)*
- Banana peppers (from a jar)*
- Smoked tofu (great protein option)
- Sliced vegan sausage
- Vegan bacon bits
- Spinach (cooked)*
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Caramelized onions
- BBQ sauce
- Artichoke hearts*
- BBQ jackfruit “pulled pork”
*pat these ingredients dry (with a towel/ paper towel) before using.
How to Reheat a Calzone
Calzones are best reheated in the oven. Microwaving is an option, but the dough may become soggy.
To reheat in the oven, place the calzones back onto a baking tray (with parchment paper or silicone mat to prevent sticking) and bake at 350 F for about 10 – 15 minutes.
It’s also best to store the calzones on a cooling rack, otherwise the bottom crust may become soggy. Place the cooling rack into a container then store leftover calzones in the fridge.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. I’m not kidding when I say we make these almost every Friday night! If you make them, take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lettucevegout because I’d love to see your creations!
Vegan Calzone with Classic or Pesto Filling
- Cutting Board
- Baking tray
- Silicone baking mat
- Rolling Pin
- 1 C lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ C all purpose flour (may need up to 1 ½ C plus extra for rolling)
- Pesto (1/2 batch, link in recipe description above)
- Pizza sauce (about 2 tbsp per calzone)
- Green peppers
- Vegan pepperoni
- Vegan cheese shreds
- Anything else you want!
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Pour 1 C lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl and dissolve in 1 tbsp of sugar. Sprinkle 1 tbsp yeast over the surface and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy and covering the water surface. This is a good time to start preparing the calzone filling ingredients.
- Stir ¼ tsp salt, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 C whole wheat flour and 1 C all-purpose flour into the water. Once the flour is incorporated sprinkle ¼ C of all-purpose flour onto the counter, place the dough onto this flour, and knead the dough. You may need to add up to another ¼ C of all-purpose flour. The dough should become smooth and be a bit sticky but not sticking to the counter significantly. Do not knead for more than 2 minutes as the dough becomes tough.
- Press the dough into a ball and place back into the mixing bowl. Cover with a damp towel (or paper towel) and let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes. This is a good time to continue preparing the calzone filling ingredients.
- Now the dough is ready to roll. Cut into 4 even pieces. Roll each of the 4 pieces on a floured surface until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick.
- Transfer the rolled-out dough onto a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper, silicone baking mat or corn meal (to prevent sticking). If you use corn meal, note that the top of the calzone will be covered in corn meal as well.
Filling the Calzone
- Once the dough is on a baking tray, cover half of each circle with toppings. Start with pizza sauce or pesto then layer on additional toppings.
- Try not to stack the toppings higher than 1 ½ inches, otherwise it’s difficult to fold the top over.
- Once the calzones are filled, carefully pick up the top half and fold it over the toppings, bringing the edges together. If the top doesn’t reach the bottom edge, either remove some toppings or carefully try to stretch the dough out so it will reach.
- Press the dough edges together firmly, around the half circle.
- Please note: in the photos I’ve prepared the calzones on cutting boards. This is not recommended as they are very difficult to transfer to a baking sheet once filled. Assemble your vegan calzone directly on a baking sheet for best results.
- You should fit 2 calzones onto each baking tray and have 2 trays in the oven. Keep the oven racks as close to the middle as possible.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the trays (the tray on the top rack moves to the bottom and vice versa). This rotation ensures the tops and bottoms of the calzones become evenly cooked.
- Once baked, take out of the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into.
- Serve with extra pizza sauce and/or pesto for dipping!