Easy Calzone Recipe – Kids Love This School Lunch Idea!

by NaturalDeets
square picture with a picture of a calzone cut in half with gooey cheese

Do you remember the calzones of your younger days?? Those delicious, cheesy, crispy pockets of deliciousness are rarely talked about anymore! Just like this easy calzone recipe (clean eating too)! My guess would be that it faded away when the low carb movement took over…

Pinterest pin of a helathy calzone. Tqo pictures of a cheesy calzone
Pinterest pin of a helathy calzone. Tqo pictures of a cheesy calzone

In this post, I am going to respark your love for these delicious pockets, and share an easy calzone recipe that both you and your kids will love!

The best part is that your kids can help with this one too! Kids love rolling out dough…I mean, if you think about how often they get to do it, it’s easy to see why! 

Even though my kids eat veggies, they still complain about it. But when they make their own calzones, they go heavy on the veggies! They love adding things to their calzone and that includes vegetables. 

If your child is unsure, start with chopped spinach because it will melt down when it cooks and you can’t taste it! 

And did I mention that these are perfect for school lunch? You could make several at once and have lunch for days! 

Is A Calzone Healthier Than Pizza? 

I wouldn’t classify a traditional pizza as a health food…with all the cheese, meats and butter that is typically smothered on the crust, it is far from healthy. 

But when made correctly, a pizza and a calzone can both be a healthy vehicle of getting delicious vegetables into your kids body! 

Also, use a small amount of cheese. Cheese has such a strong flavor that you will be surprised at how little you actually need. 

A picture of a girl eating a calzone and smiling
A picture of a girl eating a calzone and smiling

Another way to make the calzone healthier is to use a pizza dough that is just whole wheat , oil and water. Try THIS ONE

In this easy calzone recipe, we use Trader Joes pizza dough. It is the only premade pizza dough in our area that isn’t full of preservatives and hydrogenated oils. When we are in a pinch, it’s my go to! 

What Is The Difference Between Calzone and Pizza? 

Calzones and pizzas are similar….except for one very important detail. 

Pizzas are a flat piece of dough with a sauce and various toppings. A Calzone is a piece of pizza dough that is folded into a “pocket”. Inside the pocket, you will also find sauce and various pizza toppings.

The word “Calzone” translates to “pant leg” because these were designed to be pizzas that you could eat on the go! Ultimately, the calzone has twice the dough as a pizza!

vertical picture of the inside of a calzone with the cheese and sauce oozing out
vertical picture of the inside of a calzone with the cheese and sauce oozing out

Now as an adult this may scare you off with all the dough, but don’t let it. These pizza pockets can be made into any size, keep that in mind when having the kids help too! 

What Is The Difference Between Calzone and Stromboli?

Calzones and stromboli are very similiar, but there are a few distinct differences. As I mentioned above, a calzone is basically a pizza folded in half. It has pizza sauce and pizza toppings in the middle.

A stromboli is a dough that is rolled out, covered in cheese and meat and then rolled up like a jelly roll. It typically does not have pizza sauce or traditional pizza toppings. 

picture of a calzone cut in half in a school lunch container
picture of a calzone cut in half in a school lunch container

But other than that, the two dished are almost the same!

How Do You Roll Out Pizza Dough?

Pizza dough can be tough to roll out becuase it is stretchy. That’s why you see the master pizza chefs tossing it in the air rather than rolling it out! In fact, if you can toss it, that is better becuase it will keep the air bubbles and help it rise.

I’m not going to lie, I am no master pizza dough maker…but the good think is that a pizza or calzone that isn’t perfectly round still tastes the same! 

picture of kid hands rolling out pizza dough
picture of kid hands rolling out pizza dough

However, if you don’t want to toss the dough, there are a few tips that will make rolling out your dough easier:

  • Roll it out at room temperature. Pizza dough is one of those things that you can make in bulk and then freeze (in dough balls). So when you take them out of the freezer, you need to let it come to room temperature. If you try to roll it out when it is cold, it will keep bouncing back and you won’t be able to stretch it out evenly. 
  • Use either flour or cornmeal on your work surface to keep the dough from sticking. Even if you accidentally add too much flour or cornmeal, it will dust off after it cooks. So you really can’t go wrong here
  • Start with a round ball. Then flatten it, starting at the middle and pushing towards the edges. 
  • Occasionally pick it up off the counter to let it “stretch itself”. Gently pick up one edge and let the rest of the dough slowly pull downward. This will give you an even thickness on the whole pizza. 

Does A Calzone Have Sauce In It? 

Heck yes! If it didn’t have sauce, it would just be a piece of bread with toppings in it. I suppose you could dip it in sauce after it cooks, but that just isn’t the same. 

However, I am imagining a garlic butter dipping sauce and I think that would be delicious! 

How To Make A Calzone

This easy calzone recipe will quickly become a favorite!

Step 1: Start with a good pizza dough. I linked to one of my favorite recipes above, but when we are really in a time crunch, I will use the Trader Joe’s pizza crust. Just find one that doesn’t have any additives or preservatives. Let it sit out for 30 minutes to come to room temperature

A picture of a ball of pizza dough
A picture of a ball of pizza dough

Step #2: Cut the dough into 4 pieces using a pastry cutter. If you would like smaller calzones, cut the dough into 8 pieces. 

picture of a pastry cutter cutting pizza dough into 4 pieces
picture of a pastry cutter cutting pizza dough into 4 pieces

Step 3: Toss, or roll out each pizza dough piece into a round circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Start with the rolling pin in the center of the dough and gently roll it towards the edges. Be careful not to push too hard!

Step 4: Evenly spread pizza sauce over each piece, leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges free of sauce. 

Vertical picture of pizza dough rolled out in a circle with pizza sauce spread over it
Vertical picture of pizza dough rolled out in a circle with pizza sauce spread over it

Step 5: Add any toppings to the sauce. Only place the toppings on half of the dough. Think vegetables, leftover meat, cheese, fresh ferbs and red pepper flakes! Then gently fold the side that does not have toppings, over the side with the toppings. 

Pinch the edges of the dough and gently turn it upwards to keep the toppings from dripping out.

picture of the calzone cut in half so you can see the inside of the calzone
picture of the calzone cut in half so you can see the inside of the calzone

this dairy free calzone used dairy free cheese and is still delicious!

Cooking Classes For Kids – Clean EAting and Kid Friendly Too:

As always, grab the kids and get them involved! Here are just a few things they could learn from making this recipe with you! 

  • How to roll out pizza dough and fold the dough into a pocket
  • Trying new vegetables – let them pick which veggies go inside the calzone
  • How to chop vegetables
  • How to repurpose leftovers
  • How to bake in the Oven

Looking for an online cooking class designed to teach kids real kitchen techniques? Check out our Apricot Kids course. Click HERE for the Deets!

Looking For More Dishes to Make With The Kids? 

Try some of these!:

Low Carb Waffles Recipe (aka Keto Chaffles) – Just 2 Ingredients!

How To Make Popcorn On The Stove

Healthy School Lunch Ideas for Kids

How to Make Potato Cakes

Peanut Butter Toast with Honey and Cocoa Nibs

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7 comments

Colleen | Bakes & Blunders September 5, 2019 - 4:24 pm

This looks delicious!! I love cramming extra veggies into homemade pizza or calzones. Great recipe ?

Reply
NaturalDeets September 5, 2019 - 5:00 pm

Thanks! My ultimate goal in life is to sneak veggies into my kids, haha!!

Reply
Tamara J. September 6, 2019 - 12:17 am

This is an awesome recipe and idea for school lunches! Much healthier option than hot pockets!

Reply
NaturalDeets September 6, 2019 - 6:35 pm

I grew up eating Hot Pockets too…these real ones taste much better πŸ™‚

Reply
Phi @ SweetPhi.com September 6, 2019 - 1:54 pm

Thank you so much for linking to my fail proof whole wheat pizza dough, so glad you enjoyed the recipe, and these calzones look awesome

Reply
NaturalDeets September 6, 2019 - 6:34 pm

Sure! I’m glad you found it πŸ™‚ Your recipe really is one of my favorites!

Reply
Morgan September 7, 2019 - 5:43 pm

Calzones were always a favorite of mine. These look delicious and I love how easy they are to make!

Reply

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