{Broccoli & Cheese} or {Turkey, Spinach and Cheese} Calzones

June 22, 2016

image

I can’t believe this is the first time I am posting the recipe for freeze & bake calzones on THO! It might be my longest running favorite in real life, and the recipe I get asked for the most.

This is my go-to dish whenever anyone has a baby, surgery, or funeral and you want to send a meal. I love this tradition so much, and I know how it feels to get them. You feel so loved!

image
image

Because you use store bought pizza dough, it is so easy to make and easy to re-freeze. You just wrap them up in little cling-wrap pockets, freeze on a cookie sheet, and then once frozen you can throw them into zip lock bags. I write the cooking directions (bake 35-40 at 400) on the bag to make is super easy for the family to cook. I love how this dish gives them zero clean up or the need to add sides since it is a meal in itself.

image

image

image

I found the broccoli & cheese calzone recipe in an old Martha Stewart Everyday Magazine, and it gave me the idea to make them ahead and freeze them. Back then I only had one baby who wasn’t eating real food. I made it with the red pepper flakes so there is a kick! But ever since my kids have been at the table I leave it out or just sprinkle it on my own.

The only problem with this recipe is my meat loving husband wasn’t crazy about them. So I started to just make a turkey, spinach and cheese one along side it. He looovvves them. I usually make them with turkey sausage and spinach, but you could also use ground turkey or ground beef as well.  I use whatever veggies I have on hand – zucchini, summer squash, or peppers.  It was delicious with orange peppers and the color makes it pop too.

image

The veggies get mixed with creamy ricotta, salty parmesan and gooey mozzarella. No wonder everyone loves them. And I always send this calzones with a jar of Rao’s Tomato Sauce – it is so good, I rarely make my own sauce anymore because it is amazing. It is just the cutest to see kids eagerly dipping it into a ramekin of sauce like eager beavers.

image

IMG_9180

Broccoli & 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 (SO good but I leave out for kids)
  • 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.

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.

IMG_9200

Turkey, Spinach and Cheese Calzones (printer version here):

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped (can substitute yellow onion)
  • 1 lb. turkey sausage or ground turkey
  • 1 orange or red pepper, chopped (can substitute zucchini or summer squash)
  • 1 10 oz. container of spinach
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 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)

Directions:

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion; cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, peppers or squash, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add spinach, 1 t. salt and ½ t. pepper and stir to combine. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside to cool.
  2. If freezing, see note at the end. If cooking immediately 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 and veggie mixture; season generously with salt and pepper (about another 1 t. salt and ½ t. pepper.) Assemble calzones: Spread a rounded 1/2 cup 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.

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.

1 Comment

  1. kiki says:

    mmmm I’m going to make these!!!

Leave a Reply