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October 16th, 2017

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Calzones on the Grill? Let the Magic Happen (3 recipes!)

 Emma Christensen

By Emma Christensen

Published August 15, 2014

Calzones on the Grill? Let the Magic Happen (3 recipes!)
Calzones and grills may not seem like the most likely of friends at first glance. But between laying a calzone on the sizzling hot grill and lifting the lid a few minutes later, something truly magical happens.

The outer crust chars and becomes crispy, while the bread itself quickly bakes into a soft and chewy pocket. The filling warms and bubbles. That first bite, where you get a little bit of each of those things, will make you swoon.

You can fill calzones with all manner of ingredients, from classic spinach and ricotta to leftover steak and grilled vegetables. You want to end up with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of mixed meat, veggies and pareve cheese. There may be some filling left over, depending on how ambitiously you stuff your calzones, but this makes great sandwich fixings during the week.

A note of warning: Grilled calzones have high potential for messiness. In every batch, there always seems to be one calzone that wasn't sealed quite as tightly as the others and burbles a portion of its filling onto the hot grill.

No matter. Even the messy ones are still delicious. And scooped quickly from the grill with a spoon, that bite of castaway filling becomes the cook's special treat.

SPINACH-RICOTTA CALZONES

MAKES: 6 calzones

  • 1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil, plus more for grill
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 2 pounds store-bought pizza dough
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • Flour


Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion with a pinch of salt until it turns soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the spinach. Stir gently until the spinach wilts and any liquid released by the spinach evaporates. Allow to cool.

Combine the spinach mixture with the ricotta and mozzarella in a small bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Divide the dough into six pieces. Roll each piece into a 7- to 8-inch circle roughly 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the rolling pin and work surface with flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. If the dough shrinks back while rolling, let it rest five minutes before trying again.

Spoon two tablespoons of tomato sauce onto the bottom half of each calzone. Leave a half-inch clean border. Spread 1/3 cup of filling on top of the tomato sauce, fold the top of the dough over, and pinch to seal. Sprinkle both sides of the calzone with a little extra flour to prevent sticking. Repeat with the remaining calzones.

Heat a gas grill with two zones: a medium-hot zone and a medium-cool zone. (On a charcoal grill, heap the hot coals to one side to create two zones.) Brush the grill with oil. With the lid on, grill the calzones in the hot zone until the underside has formed a hard crust and shows grill marks, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the calzones and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes. Move the calzones to the cooler zone and bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes until the sides of the calzone are have formed a hard crust and turned golden brown.

Leftover calzones will keep refrigerated for up to a week.

BBQ CHICKEN CALZONES

This recipe makes more filling than needed. The extra can be made into sandwiches or frozen for a later batch of calzones.

MAKES 6 calzones

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded pareve cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup diced green onions
  • 2 pounds store-bought pizza dough
  • Flour
  • Oil for grill
Grill the chicken breast over a medium-hot grill until the interior is cooked through and registers 165-degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Let the meat cool enough to handle.

Shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Toss with the barbecue sauce in a medium bowl.

Shape the calzones and grill them following the method for Spinach-Ricotta Calzones. When shaping, sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese in the lower half of each round of dough. Then top with 1/3 cup of BBQ chicken and a tablespoon of green onions.

ROSEMARY-MUSHROOM CALZONES

MAKES 6 calzones

  • 1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil, plus more for grill
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound cremini or baby bella mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
  • 1 cup shredded percorino romano, lightly packed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds store-bought pizza dough
  • Flour

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion with a pinch of salt until it turns soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rosemary, and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Allow to cool.

Combine the mushroom mixture and the cheese in a medium bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Shape the calzones and grill them following the method for Spinach-Ricotta Calzones. When shaping, spread 1/3 cup of the mushroom mixture in the lower half of each round of dough.

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