Looking for a meal that everyone will devour? And that you can freeze and pack for school lunches? Whole Wheat Calzones are it!
These Whole Wheat Calzones are kind of a result of Two Peas and Their Pod‘s whole wheat pizza dough recipe making a baby with The Pioneer Woman‘s Easy Calzone recipe…with a few of my own tweaks. My mouth is watering just looking at the pictures again.
Let’s pause here for a public service announcement about homemade pizza dough. Do not…I repeat…do not be scared off by the homemade dough part. It’s really not that hard! And let me tell you, friends, this entirely whole wheat dough comes out perfect–light, delicious and healthy. But, here’s the trick: use white whole wheat flour. It’s so much lighter than the other variety, but still a whole grain.
I always make two batches of the dough because it’s so easy. Plus, you can freeze the extra one if you don’t have time to make calzones or pizza with it right away.
You can see here that after I formed the dough into a big ball, I divided it into 8 equal portions, which resulted in man-sized calzones. On the second batch, I divided it into 16 portions, which were perfect kid-sized calzones.
After that, I formed them into little balls and then used a rolling pin to roll them out very thin.
Now, what’s inside the calzone, you ask? Well, the inside of the calzone is similar to a lasagna filling. Gooey, comforting, and just plain yummy. It’s got three kinds of cheese, seasoning, and whatever cooked meat or veggies you prefer. Then, you seal them and brush on an egg wash, which gives them a nice golden color.
Oops, I may have overfilled my first batch a little too much. It looked like they threw up lasagna filling. But, rest assured, the calzones were still gone minutes after being set on the table.
I served these guys with some warm marinara sauce. We had to put the brakes on my 8-year-old son after he consumed calzone #4. Yes, #4. I’m gonna go broke when the teenage years hit, aren’t I?
I know I sound like a broken record here, but can I say how much I love that you can double and freeze these Whole Wheat Calzones? All you do is bake, cool, and freeze them. They make for an easy lunch box main dish or weeknight dinner, because you can rewarm from frozen in the microwave in minutes. I even warm them in the morning, wrap in foil and an insulated pouch in their lunchbox, and send it with my kids to school.
Whole Wheat Calzones have already become a regular in our dinner routine. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
- 2¼ teaspoons (one ¼ oz packet) Active Dry Yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2½ cups whole wheat flour (Highly recommend using white whole wheat flour!)
- 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 pound Italian sausage, cooked OR 1 package uncured pepperoni, chopped (suggestion: Applegate Turkey Pepperoni)
- 15 ounces, ricotta cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1-1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 whole eggs
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 whole egg, beaten
- Marinara Sauce, for serving
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let sit until the yeast starts to foam and bubble, about 10 minutes.
- Using the dough hook, turn the mixer on low and slowly olive oil, honey, salt and the flour in 1 cup increments until all is added. Once dough starts to form, increase speed to medium. Mix for 5 minutes, until dough is well combined.
- Dust the counter with flour. Remove the dough and knead on counter a few times to form a ball. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, cover loosely with a towel, and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. At this point, dough is ready to use for calzones or to freeze to use later.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper. If using pre-cooked Italian sausage or pepperoni, stir in now. Set aside.
- Grab a pinch of dough and roll into about a 2 inch ball (or desired size of calzone.) Roll out very thin, about ¼ of an inch thick.
- Spoon 3-4 tablespoons (approximately) filling onto half of the dough circle, leaving a little room around the edges. (Do not overfill the calzone or it will split open while baking.) Fold half of the dough over itself, then press edges to seal. Use the back of a fork to make sure it's sealed well. Then, poke a few holes with the fork in the top of each calzone.
- Brush surface of calzone with beaten egg, then bake on a parchment or foiled-lined baking sheet for 10-13 minutes, or until nice and golden brown. Serve with warm marinara sauce.
Cook according to instructions. Let calzones cool. Place in an airtight freezer bag or container. Freeze until ready to eat.
Wrap frozen calzone in moist paper towel. Microwave on defrost setting until warmed through.