Got leftover chicken? Let’s make this one quick and easy. Head on over to your favorite pizzeria or Italian bakery and purchase some fresh pizza dough. In less than an hour, get ready to impress your family and friends.
I love this. The calzone filling ingredients are quickly gathered then it all comes together in one large bowl. So easy. With a super quick cleanup.
When the filling is ready, set it aside while you prepare the dough. It should be divided into two equal parts. Even though most often the dough is sold in one-pound portions, it may be a bit over or under. This is where your food scale comes in handy. Give the halves of dough a quick weigh-in just to be sure they are pretty close to equal. That will help ensure that the calzones cook evenly.
Each half-pound of dough is rolled out into an 8×10-inch oval. It doesn’t have to be exact. It’s just a guideline to follow. And if the dough doesn’t roll out easily and keeps pulling back, give it a rest on the counter and try again in a few minutes. For added flavor and moisture, a light coating of mayonnaise is brushed onto the surface before adding the filling.
The short end of each dough oval is folded over its filling to form a half-moon shape. Roll the bottom edge up and over as I did here, twisting and pressing with your thumb to seal as you go. Don’t be tempted to simply use a fork to seal and crimp the edges. When you roll the dough up and over, the edges are more substantial. If the edges are too thin they tend to be done and overly browned before the calzone itself is done.
Before they go in the oven, prick the top of each calzone with the tines of a fork so that the steam can escape during the baking process. Transfer them to your prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 2-inches apart. You’ll then brush the tops with beaten egg and apply a sprinkling of Italian seasoning.
Before serving, garnish the still warm calzones with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.
Each calzone is cut into four wedges …the perfect size to accompany a bowl of soup. Or as a perfect companion to your tossed green salad.
They are especially yummy when served with a bowl of your favorite marinara on the side for dipping.
chicken & mushroom calzones
Use purchased pizza dough and leftover chicken to make this yummy treat.
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (6 ounces)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup diced cooked chicken breast (about 3 ounces)
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (about 2 ounces)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (16-ounce) ball of pizza dough (brought to room temperature)
- flour (for rolling out dough)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 egg, beaten
- fresh chopped basil, for garnish
- grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
In a large bowl, combine the shredded cheese, ricotta cheese, chicken, mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning and the salt. Mix well. Cover and chill until ready to fill the calzones.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Punch the dough down and divide it into two equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into an 8x10-inch oval. Lightly coat each oval with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise. Spoon half of the chicken mixture onto one-half of each oval.
Fold a short end of each dough oval over its filling, forming 2 half-moon shaped calzones. Roll the bottom edge up and over, twisting and pressing with your thumb to seal as you go. (The decorative rolled edge will be substantial so that it doesn't become overly browned during the baking process.) Prick the top of each calzone in a few places with a fork to vent.
Transfer the calzones to your prepared baking sheet, spacing at least 2-inches apart. Brush the tops with egg wash and apply a sprinkling of Italian seasoning, using the remaining 1/2 teaspoon.
Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool until not-too-hot to handle. Cut each calzone into four wedges. If desired, garnish with chopped fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have personally experienced all of these products, and I recommend them because I have found them to be helpful and useful.