Calzones: Broccoli and Cheese, Turkey and Summer Squash

April 28, 2013

Baby is only a few days away, and I am done packing the freezer.  I filled it with my Broccoli and Cheese and Turkey and Squash calzones today.  These are actually one of the most requested recipes I have – no doubt because I always give out these beauties when my mom friends have babies.  I am ready for the crazy summer nights when I pop these in the oven while cuddling baby, pouring a glass of white wine and hanging with the kiddos.

I first found the recipe for the Broccoli and Cheese calzones in an Everyday Food magazine. And somewhere along the way, whenever  I made them, I also made a Turkey and Squash version I came up with for my meat-loving husband. What makes these such great freezer food is that 1 hour in the kitchen makes 16 calzones that handle the freezer so well.  You can throw these from the freezer to the oven and in no time have a warm, healthy but comfort-food dinner.

The ingredients are easy to have on hand (you can get your dough frozen or fresh).  It is amazing that this simple cast of characters makes such a yummy meal! It is warm, gooey, cheesy broccoli heaven out of the oven, and I stocked up on my favorite marinara sauce for dipping: Rao’s Marinara.  All their varieties of sauce are good (Vodka and Arribbiata are favorites in our house too). I wait for it to go on sale for $6/jar, which somehow makes it feel even more luxurious since it is often $8-10. I think I started using it because it is the kind Ina Garten always uses too, FYI.

First you saute the red onion and garlic, then add the broccoli and stir.  You can add red pepper flakes but I leave them out for the kids. After you stir this together, you let it cool.

Then you add the cheese mixture: ricotta, parm and mozzarella. (Hence why you let it cool first, so they don’t melt.)

Then you divy up your 2 lbs. of dough into eight pieces.

Stretch them out, then spoon the broccoli mixture on each:

Then you seal them up and put 2 slits in each one.  Then wrap each in Glad Press N Seal (no, this is not a sponsored post, I wish!).

Then lay them on a cookie sheet to freeze flat, and after they are frozen solid you can toss them all in a zip lock bag. When you pull them out of the freezer, cook them on parchment paper for 35-40 min at 400 degrees.  Don’t forget the marinara!!

SO easy and good. My kids love broccoli, so they are a big hit too, making all the work worth it, of course. The turkey calzones are similar, though I add Fontina cheese for a grown up, gooey  delicious factor. And I used whole wheat pizza dough for the grown ups, to make it slightly healthier then the pizza we will no doubt be ordering twice a week.

Here are the recipes, turn on some Pandora, and set your self up for the week/month!

Broccoli and Cheese Calzones (printer version here.)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Flour, for rolling dough
  • 2 packages (1 pound each) balls fresh or frozen pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded (6 ounces) part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Prepared tomato sauce (optional)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped

Directions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion; cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Form calzones: Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, stretch each piece out, first to a 3-by-4-inch oval, then stretch again, this time to a 6-by-8-inch oval. (Let dough rest a few minutes if too elastic to work with.)
  3. Stir cheeses into cooled broccoli mixture; season generously with salt and pepper. Assemble calzones: Spread a rounded 1/2 cup broccoli mixture over half of each piece of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border; fold over to form a half-moon. Press edges to seal. With a paring knife, cut 2 slits in the top of each calzone.
  4. Using a wide metal spatula with a thin blade, transfer calzones to 2 baking sheets lined with parchment or waxed paper; reshape if needed.
  5. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce, if desired.

Cook’s Note

To freeze: Prepare recipe through step 3. Tightly wrap each calzone in plastic; freeze until firm. Transfer calzones to resealable plastic bags; label and date. Freeze up to 2 months. To serve, unwrap calzones, and place on parchment-lined baking sheets; bake without thawing until golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

 

Turkey and Summer Squash Calzones (printer version here.)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 4 shallots or 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 lb. ground turkey

  • 1 zucchini, chopped

  • 1 summer squash, chopped

  • 1 t. onion powder

  • 1 t. garlic powder

  • Flour, for rolling dough

  • 2 packages (1 pound each) balls fresh or frozen pizza dough, thawed if frozen

  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 cups shredded (6 ounces) part-skim mozzarella cheese

  • 1/2 cup cubed Fontina cheese

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • Prepared tomato sauce (optional)

  • Directions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add ground turkey. Cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink,, 5 to 7 minutes. Add zucchini and summer squash, cook for 5 min. more until they are soft. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, 1 t. salt, and 1/2 pepper. Stir and cook 1 min. more. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside to cool.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Form calzones: Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, stretch each piece out, first to a 3-by-4-inch oval, then stretch again, this time to a 6-by-8-inch oval. (Let dough rest a few minutes if too elastic to work with.)

  3. Stir cheeses into cooled turkey mixture; season generously with salt and pepper. Assemble calzones: Spread a rounded 1/2 cup turkey mixture over half of each piece of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border; fold over to form a half-moon. Press edges to seal. With a paring knife, cut 2 slits in the top of each calzone.

  4. Using a wide metal spatula with a thin blade, transfer calzones to 2 baking sheets lined with parchment or waxed paper; reshape if needed.

  5. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce, if desired.

Cook’s Note

To freeze: Prepare recipe through step 3. Tightly wrap each calzone in plastic; freeze until firm. Transfer calzones to resealable plastic bags; label and date. Freeze up to 2 months. To serve, unwrap calzones, and place on parchment-lined baking sheets; bake without thawing until golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

 

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