broccoli & cheese calzones

fresh broccoli and gooey cheese tucked into a crisp crust.  the perfect decadent - yet surprisingly healthy - family-friendly meal for any night of the week! 

these broccoli & cheese calzones are, believe it or not,  a sister recipe to our cheesesteak calzones. ben (and the rest of my family) eats meat, but helena and i do not, and so whenever the family comes over for a meal i always have a meaty option as well as a veggie option. when cheesesteak calzones were on the menu, this broccoli-cheese version was just crying out to be made.

fresh broccoli & melted, creamy cheese encased in a golden crust.  so simple, so delicious. this calzone, like all calzones, is basically just a folded-over pizza.  the base is pizza dough - store bought or homemade - with the fillings laid out on one side.  the other side is then folded onto the fillings, the edges sealed and the whole thing is baked.  that's all - there's nothing fussy or complicated about it!

just like pizza, the filling options for calzones are practically limitless.  meats, veggies, cheeses... you name it.  we happen to love the broccoli-cheese combo, but spinach, sauteed onions & peppers, mushrooms... the list goes on. anything goes.  

one of the benefits to making calzones (and most dishes) at home is that you can control the quality and quantity of the ingredients. these broccoli & cheese calzones are rich and gooey - but actually have a fraction of the cheese you'd find in a restaurant version. the crisp-tender broccoli adds a healthy pop of color and flavor, and pairs perfectly with the cheese. this calzone is a decadent-tasting dish that you can feel good about eating. 

give these broccoli - cheese calzones a try.  easy enough for a busy weeknight meal, but impressive and tasty enough for entertaining.  andiamo a mangiare - let's eat! 

recipe: broccoli & cheese calzones

serves: 4 - 6

ingredients:

  • 1 ball of pizza dough - homemade or store-bought 
  • 1 c small broccoli florets, steamed & patted dry
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c + 1 Tbsp grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper - tp taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • flour - for rolling the dough

method:

  1. preheat the oven to 450 - if using a baking stone, make sure it is in the oven before you preheat
  2. on a lightly floured board, roll the dough into a (roughly) 16" round
  3. in a small bowl, mix the ricotta, mozzerella, 1/4 c parm, garlic powder and a sprinkle of salt & pepper
  4. layer 1/2 of the cheese mix on 1/2 of the dough
  5. top the cheese with the broccoli, and top the broccoli with the remaining cheese mix
  6. carefully fold the other 1/2 of the dough onto the side with the toppings & roll the edges
  7. cut a small slit in the top of the calzone (to let steam escape) and sprinkle the 1 Tbsp parm on top
  8. transfer to the preheated baking stone, or a baking sheet lined with parchment (or lightly greased) and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown
  9. remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes or so
  10. slice & enjoy!

xoxo,

s & h