(philly) cheesesteak calzone

our take on the classic, these philly cheesesteak calzones pack meat, cheese & a toasty crust in each tasty bite.  when that cheesesteak craving hits, give these philly cheesesteak calzones a try - you'll be transported to philly after just one taste! 

growing up right outside of philadelphia, i ate my fair share of cheesesteak calzones.  full of rich meat and creamy cheese, they are - in my opinion - better than the real deal.  

cheesesteak calzones are, essentially, a cheesesteak tucked into a blanket of pizza dough.  that's it - just replace the bread with dough, keep the filling the same & bake.  but when it comes to the classic cheesesteak, the bread is one of the most important elements.  it can't be too hard or too soft.  not too dense or too airy.  it is one of the main reasons why it is next to impossible to get a good cheesesteak anywhere outside of the philly area. a calzone, however, solves that problem.  good pizza dough is easy to come by - either make your own (our recipe works perfectly) or buy some at nearly any grocery store or pizza restaurant.  the cheesesteak calzone makes an authentic cheesesteak accessible to everyone.

nearly all of the cheesesteak calzones i've experienced over the years have combined the meat and cheese before it goes into the dough. tasty, but the flavors can be a bit muddled.   we've switched it up by layering the cheese and meat, letting the flavors of each come through. every bite is full of meat and cheese & tender-crisp crust - and the best part?  you can actually taste the flavors of each element.  

give this recipe a try - you'll experience an authentic taste of philly in every bite!

recipe: (philly) cheesesteak calzone

serves: 4

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. good cheesesteak meat - NOT the frozen stuff from the supermarket
  • 1 generous c. ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 lb. deli-style american cheese, thinly sliced - you'll need about 11 slices
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • salt & pepper - to taste
  • garlic powder - 1/2 - 3/4 tsp, divided
  • 1 ball pizza dough - homemade or store bought
  • 1 Tbsp grated parmesan 
  • jarred sweet peppers - optional
  • jarred hot peppers - optional
  • marinara sauce - optional
  • tater tots (or fries) on the side - optional (but highly recommended!)
  • flour - for rolling out
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp cornmeal 
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

method:

  1. preheat the oven to 450
  2. if using a pizza stone, make sure it is in the oven before you preheat
  3. heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  4. when the oil is hot, add the cheesesteak meat and, using a spoon break up into bite-size pieces
  5. add the onion
  6. season with salt, pepper & a sprinkle (about 1/8 - 1/4 tsp) garlic powder
  7. cover and cook for 3 - 5 minutes
  8. remove the lid  and continue cooking until the onion is golden and the meat is beginning to brown but is NOT dried out. about 5 minutes more. remove from heat & set aside
  9. meanwhile, lightly dust a large board (or the counter) with flour
  10. roll the pizza dough into a (roughly) 16" round
  11. in a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 3 slices of the american cheese - broken up, the mozzerella cheese, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a dash of garlic powder (about 1/8 - 1/4 tsp). 
  12. layer 4 slices of the remaining american cheese on 1/2 of the pizza dough
  13. top with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture and top that with the meat/onion mix
  14. top with the remaining ricotta mix, then 4 more slices of  american cheese
  15. gently fold the pizza dough over the toppings, and tightly seal the edges (roll them up)
  16. cut a small slit in the top, to allow steam to escape while cooking
  17. lightly sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese
  18. using a pizza peel or cutting board, carefully transfer the calzone to the preheated baking stone, or onto a sheet pan that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal
  19. bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the calzone is golden brown
  20. remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes
  21. serve with marinara sauce, hot & sweet peppers ( if desired) and some tots!

enjoy!

xoxo,

b, s & h