Vegan Calzones

vegan Calzoni, fresh from the oven

Growing up, my mom always made us pizza on Friday nights. She’d make the dough and sauce, and we’d pick our toppings for homemade pizza.

They were fun nights—I liked sauce-stuffed crust, and my little brother liked cheese-stuffed. He liked pepperoni, and I think that I mostly liked just cheese, but once I became vegetarian, I’d throw a lot more veges on there. By the time I was vegan, the tradition had mostly stopped, but when we did have pizza, I’d have a ton of veges with some vegan cheese (read: gooey plastic) sliced on there.

If you’re planning for pizza night this evening and are like me, then you’ll end up with some extra dough. I found myself with some the other weekend when I was home alone, and I decided to make calzoni (for my thoughts on the Italian plural in English, see here).

This recipe, using the full pizza dough recipe, make four large or eight small calzoni. Halve the recipe below to make two large or four small calzoni.

One final note: I wish that I had more time to cook while it’s light out. Since I was cooking on the weekend, the lighting was just beautiful—not the kitchen lights and flash photography that I’m usually stuck with. I’m so looking forward to the summer and photo ops.

Serves: 4-8, depending on your serving sizes

Ingredients: vegan pizza dough

vegan red sauce

8 oz. (1 package) Daiya mozzarella style shreds

pizza toppings/calzone fillings—I used the following:

1 small yellow onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly slices

handful cherry tomatoes, halved

few handfuls baby spinach

Prepare the pizza dough and red sauce according to their recipes. The dough will take a little over 2 hours, or overnight if you let it rise in the fridge.

When ready, preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF).

Cut the risen pizza dough in half. Cut each half into halves or quarters, depending on whether you want 2 large or 4 small calzoni.

On a lightly floured surface, pat/roll/stretch each half or quarter into a disc about 10″ across for a large calzone, 6-7″ across for a small.

Spread a few spoonfuls red sauce on one half of the disc. Sprinkle Daiya, onions, red peppers, and cherry tomatoes over this. Place spinach leaves on top. (Otherwise assemble ingredients if your choice on there.)

vegan calzone filling

Drizzle olive oil around the edges, then brush lightly with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with salt.

With one hand, press the filling down. With the other, quickly lift the opposite edge of the calzone over the filling and pinch to close. Pinch lightly along the edge until closed.

a vegan calzone, sealed and ready for the oven

Don’t worry if a little sauce or fillings leak out—the earth will still rotate.

Repeat for the remaining ingredients.

Place on a well-cornmealed pizza peel. Brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and slide onto a preheated ceramic baking sheet in the oven.

Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Whenever I have homemade pizza or calzoni, I still hear my mother’s voice (we had pizza night, complete with homemade dough and sauce, each Friday in my childhood) saying, ‘Now, it’s hot! It just came out of a 425º oven! Let it cool before taking a bite!’

I still burn the roof of my mouth.

a vegan calzone, sliced and slightly nibbled

Garnishes: a drizzle of red sauce or a few drops of balsamic vinegar
Goes well with: lambrizzle (Lambrusco…), or any other sparkling or frizzante red; a little pesto dip; or a fresh, green, arugula salad

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