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Spinach, Ricotta and Tomato Calzones

Breads, Italian, Main Dish, Pizza, Yeast Breads | 31 comments

I recently made these Spinach Calzones with Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and was surprised with how simple they actually were to make. I made the full batch which makes 8 individual sized calzones (meaning you only need 1 per person) and froze most of them for use another time, either lunches or dinner.

Now, I’m not really into the “freezer cooking” thing. I’ve tried, but it’s never been my style to make a month’s worth of meals in a day or two and stash them in the freezer, but I do like to have a few things on hand for busier days. I’m thinking that a calzone or two might make an appearance.

Besides the usual suspects of meat, frozen fruits and vegetables, we have breakfast items like whole wheat waffles and muffins stored in our freezer, plus our pancake mix (it stores better that way) and sometimes frozen cookie dough.

This spinach calzone recipe is perfect for to add to the freezer list – whether you make enough for the whole month or just want a few things stashed away for busier days. It was nice to have a few that purposed as lunches during the month. On one particularly busy night I looked in the freezer to find 2 calzones left – a perfect, simple dinner from the freezer!

5 Tips for Freezing Food

Organizing your Freezer and Reducing Freezer Burn

  1. Cool the food completely before freezing. If you freeze something that is still warm, even just slightly, you’ll add condensation to the bag which can mess with your food’s texture.
  2. Label the container with the recipe name, reheating instructions, and date. Use a permanent marker. Hint: It’s easier if you label the bag before you fill it with food.
  3. Use freezer safe packaging for freezing. I like gallon sized freezer ziplock bags. They’re inexpensive at Costco and you can freeze the items in flat, uniform shaped and sized containers. It makes stacking easier.
  4. Remove as much air as possible. Air = freezer burn. That’s why I like to use the ziplock bags. You can insert a straw and suck out the air. Check out Jessica’s video here: Packing Items in Freezer Bags
  5. Keep the items organized. Don’t ruin your hard work by letting the frozen items get lost in the abyss of the freezer. Store like items on the same shelves.

One thing I love about a good calzone now that I’ve made them is how easily customizable they are. I’m all about those kind of recipes. It’s great to be able to use whatever I have on hand to stuff inside the crust.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention – This calzone crust is made with Fleischmann’s new Pizza Crust Yeast and didn’t have to rise at all! Check to see if your grocery store carries it.

It’s great to have on hand when you need to make something like this for dinner and don’t really want to wait for the dough to rise. I’ve used it for this calzone recipe and when I made a flatbread pizza recently.

What are some of your favorite recipes to stash in the freezer?

Spinach Calzones with Ricotta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

makes 8 calzones - serves 8

Print Save Recipe

Ingredients:

No Rise Calzone or Pizza Crust
1 1/3 cup warm water
2 packets Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour (I grind mind fresh)
2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour

Spinach Calzones
1 recipe no-rise calzone or crust
1 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
2 - 2 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, optional
3/4 - 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
48 slices pepperoni (6 per calzone), cut into quarters

Directions:

For the Calzone Crust:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm water and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, whisk in the olive oil.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, whole wheat, and 2 cups of all purpose flour in a bowl. Reserve the remaining 1 cup all-purpose in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the water 1 cup at a time while mixing with the stand mixer's dough hook until a soft dough is formed.

If dough is still sticky, add the reserved flour 1/4 cup at a time (while still mixing) until desired consistency is reached. Dough should be soft and moist, but not sticky.

Dough does not need to rise, but keep it covered while you mix up the filling.

For the Calzones:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, pepper, salt, garlic powder, and beaten egg. Stir well. Fold in the spinach, basil (optional), and sun-dried tomatoes.

Divide dough into 8 equal portions and roll them into balls. It helps if you have a kitchen scale.

Roll each ball into an 8 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Top each circle with approximately 1/2 cup of ricotta mixture. Then add 6 slices pepperoni (cut into quarters) to each calzone. Pull edge of lower crust over top to form a half circle. Press the layers together to seal.

Transfer calzones to a greased baking sheet or a parchment lined pizza stone. If desired, brush with olive oil or an egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, beaten). Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-20 minutes, until browned and puffy. Transfer to cooling rack to keep bottom crust crisp to sit until cool enough to handle. Serve with marinara sauce or other sauce for dipping.

Note: To freeze - cool completely, then store in a freezer safe ziploc bag in the freezer for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven or toaster oven at 300 degrees F.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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31
RESPONSES - LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW
  • 1
    Charles - April 13, 2011 @ 6:05 am

    This looks great! Never tried a calzone before, but I keep seeing them in pizza places around here – must give this a shot! What do you use to grind the flour freshly? Sounds like a lot of fun.

    [Reply]

  • 2
    Aimee @ Simple Bites - April 13, 2011 @ 6:29 am

    Great looking calzone, Katie. I’ve actually got homemade ricotta on my to-do list today. I’ll have to set some aside for these.

    [Reply]

  • 3
    Brooke (Baking with Basil) - April 13, 2011 @ 6:46 am

    I haven’t had a calzone in years! These look and sound delish and I love that you can freeze them for when you need a quick weeknight meal.

    I don’t tend to keep much in the freezer either, mostly fruits, veggies, meat and bread items. I can never seem to eat up bread quick enough so we usually freeze 1/2 of the package.

    [Reply]

  • 4
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black - April 13, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    Love calzones- this one looks great!

    [Reply]

  • 5
    Cherry - April 13, 2011 @ 7:48 am

    This looks so good! I have never made a calzone before … I think I will try making this. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • 6
    EatLiveRun - April 13, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    I love calzones but have never made my own. Thanks for the great recipe!

    [Reply]

  • 7
    Suzi - April 13, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    My favorite freezer stashes are Turkey a la King (great for pot pie, soup or as is) and broth stored in reseal bags (freeze flat to maximize space).

    On question – I know in my RV’s freezer the left rear is the coldest. Do you know if this is true for my home freezer?

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — April 13th, 2011 @ 12:37 PM

      I have no idea. The door is usually the warmest place because it’s farthest away from the cooling element and the door opens regularly, thus exposing it to warm air. I don’t know about the coldest though. I suppose it depends on where the cooling comes from inside the freezer.

  • 8
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - April 13, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    These look fantastic! I love to make large batches of calzones and freeze them.

    [Reply]

  • 9
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - April 13, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    I love calzones! I don’t make them nearly often enough. Thanks for the reminder, Katie!

    [Reply]

  • 10
    naomi - April 13, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    I still have never made Calzones, but I’m so going to try this recipe! They look and sound delish!

    [Reply]

  • 11
    Kristen - April 13, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    We love calzones – especially a barbecue chicken one that I freeze often. So good for quick nights!

    [Reply]

  • 12
    April W. - April 13, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    Just a helpful note on freezing food: If you freeze in Tupperware or similar containers, you can easily label the container with a wet or dry erase marker. It will wash off clean and be ready for the next use when you’re finished.

    [Reply]

  • 13
    Amber Hinckley - April 13, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    Great tips and a delicious recipe! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • 14
    Tracy - April 13, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    I love the idea of making these ahead of time for dinner in the future. They look lovely!

    [Reply]

  • 15
    Katie - April 13, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    These look soooo good, I have some leftover ricotta and these look perfect!

    [Reply]

  • 16
    Jill Anderson - April 13, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

    Thanks for the Great freezer tips. I love using the freezer to save leftovers for later or freezing make ahead meals. I never had thought of using a straw to suck out the excess air. That’s Great!

    [Reply]

  • 17
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - April 14, 2011 @ 3:47 am

    Great freezer tips Katie, I also like to keep sauces like pesto and tomato sauce in the freezer to toss together with cooked pasta for an easy dinner.

    [Reply]

  • 18
    Tickled Red - April 14, 2011 @ 7:26 am

    Oh yeah! This will be finding their way into my freezer. YUM!

    [Reply]

  • 19
    Kathryn - April 14, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    Great tips and a great-looking recipe! I had no idea you could freeze calzones!

    [Reply]

  • 20
    MC - April 14, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    These calzones look amazing. I can’t wait to impress with these, thanks.

    [Reply]

  • 21
    Candace - April 14, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

    I love to freeze cooked beans sometimes with or without rice, soups, jambalaya and muffins. I will, also, freeze fruit for smoothies and for snacking. I love frozen grapes straight from the bag in the freezer. Great healthy option for a hot day! I’ve never made calzones but we love to order them at the neighborhood pizza restaurant. I can’t wait to give your recipe a try. Thanks for the opportunity to win your giveaway. What a nice prize!

    [Reply]

  • 22
    Memoria - April 14, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    Those calzoni are so yummy-looking. I love calzoni but have never made them with spinach. YUM! Thanks for the freezer tips.

    [Reply]

  • 23
    Happy When Not Hungry - April 14, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    Wow these calzones look amazing! I am definitely going to try your pizza crust recipe as well. Yum!

    [Reply]

  • 24
    Nama - April 14, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

    My husband & I just made and consumed these puppies, and oh man, they were delicious! I can’t wait to make them again.

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — April 14th, 2011 @ 8:23 PM

      So glad you liked them!

  • 25
    Amanda - April 15, 2011 @ 6:21 am

    I made these hours after they were posted. They came out amazing! My husband has already told me that they will be a frequent addition to our weekly meals.

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — April 15th, 2011 @ 8:21 AM

      Love hearing this – so glad you enjoyed them!

  • 26
    Debra - March 05, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

    Wish you had a recipe for the dipping sauce. It looks so good!!!

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — March 5th, 2012 @ 4:13 PM

      It is just spaghetti sauce ;)

  • 27
    Med School Mom - September 18, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    These look delicious. I love that they have spinach in them. Sneaking it in to something like this is the only way I can get my kids to eat it.

    [Reply]

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