Homemade Vegan Calzone Stuffed with Meatballs – If you are looking for quick weeknight dinner recipe, these vegan calzones are going to be a huge hit. They take very little effort and taste amazing
Have you seen calzones being made at Italian restaurants?
The whole process is so mesmerizing, isn’t it?
Years ago, when I worked at an Italian restaurant, my favorite thing was to watch the pizza chef make calzones. He was so talented and his fingers would just fly when he was making them.
Every shift, I would wait for customers to order them. Then, I would watch him effortlessly make those delicious calzones and place them in the brick oven.
If a kid was crying, the chef would ask them to come sit across him while he made them. He gave them a small dough and asked them to follow along. They would squeal with delight when the chef pulled out their calzones from the brick oven. Those kids absolutely loved being a part of the meal making process.
When he removed them from the oven, they would be piping hot with tomato sauce and cheese oozing out of them. It was a totally drool-worthy site! No one could resist biting into them.
I don’t know why it has taken me this long to make calzones (AKA folded pizza) for the blog! I don’t have his talent, but, I still love eating and making them.
Why is it called a calzone?
I have been reading on the history of calzones and htere are so many theories out there. The most common explanation I have heard is that Calzone translates to “stockings” or “pant legs”. I take it to mean that it pizza that you can eat while on the go or even put it in your handbag to take to work.
Ok, maybe not the second one. But, the idea behind it is that its folded over pizza so that it can be mobile.
Can you freeze calzones?
I have tried freezing calzones before and learned a few tips and tricks.
– If possible, freeze it before cooking it. Make the dough, roll it and place the meatballs in the middle. Seal it and wrap in aluminium foil and then put it into a ziploc before freezing them. Be sure to wrap them individually and use them up in a month
– You can also make them and freeze them in the same way. The only difference is that you should use it within a week or 2 weeks at the most
– When ready to use them, DO NOT thaw. Place them in a 400° oven and let them thaw out that way. I don’t like the idea of microwaving the cooked one, so, I highly recommend using the oven to cook them
What is the difference between a stromboli and a calzone?
This was often a question we were asked at the Italian restaurant. “Aren’t stromboli and calzone the same thing?”
I often wondered why there wasn’t a lighting bolt striking when people asked that question, lol. The two are so different in look and taste that no one could think of them as similar in any way.
The calzone is a half-moon shaped and stromboli are long, log shaped meal. The calzone can be stuffed with almost anything (like meatballs) where as the stromboli has limitations (no meatballs).
Stromboli is rolled in which is about 2 layers and it kind of makes it hard to stuff some ingredients. It tastes just as delicious as calzones but harder to stuff.
I like them both, but, I am biased towards calzones.
Gardein’s Meatless Meatballs
These meatballs by Gardein are all vegan, have non-GMO ingredients and a good source of protein! You know how much I love vegan food that has built in protein.
My favorite way to cook them is in the oven. In there, they cook evenly and all through. They can be cooked in the microwave, but, I wasn’t fan of the texture after microwaving them.
After cooking them in a pan with peppers, zoodles and tomato sauce, they were ready to eat just like that. If you don’t feel like stuffing them in a calzone, just eat them right out of the pan like I did.
They can be perfect with pasta or even rice. For the pizza sauce, you can use my homemade pizza sauce recipe made from scratch, if you have time (takes about 30 minutes to make my pizza sauce recipe)
What’s your favorite way to stuff calzones?
How to make vegan calzones stuffed with meatballs?
Vegan Calzone with Meatballs
Stuff calzones with vegan meatballs and pizza sauce
For the pizza dough
Preheat oven to 450
Place the meatballs on a oiled baking tray and put it in the oven
Bake for 15 minutes or until they are browned
Cut the dough into 4 pieces and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside
Heat a stainless steel pan on medium heat for 30 seconds
Add the oil and garlic
Add the onions and bell peppers
Cook until they are soft (about 4-5 minutes)
Add the zucchini zoodles and cook for about 3 minutes
Mix well and set aside
Set the oven heater to 400°
Roll the dough in a long shape (like a flatbread)
Place the meatballs stuffings on one side, keeping the edges clean (about 3 meatballs per dough)
Fold over the bottom part of the dough
Using a fork, seal the top and bottom of the calzone
Place the calzone on an oiled baking tray
Generously brush the top of the calzone with almond milk
Repeat the process for the remaining 3 dough pieces
Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes until the top is browned
Remove from the oven and let it cool to touch before serving
Serve with pizza sauce
- My local grocery store sells 16oz pizza dough which is about 1Lb per bag. So, I used 2 bags. Each bag makes 2 calzones, so, you will have 4 calzones in total
- I put about 3 meatballs per calzone. If you don't want to make all 4 at once, refrigerate the remaining meatballs stuffing and use it in the future.