Crazy-Good Baby Calzones: Final Red Gold Recipe Contest Entry

Calzones are so much more fun to eat if they fit in your hand.

Downsizing the standard size helps with dunking them into a ramekin filled with “Meaty Marinara” AND, by making multiple calzones you can try multiple varieties of stuffing.


To create this recipe, you’ll need to a) make the dough; b) cook your marinara sauce; c)  set up your building area;  then, d) bake off the calzones.

Make your dough first so you can work on the rest of the process while the dough is doing its thing.  I make mine in our bread maker on the “dough” setting.

This recipe is from the 1987 (don’t laugh) West Bend bread maker book and is our family standard.

  1. Add 1.5 cups water (warm but not hot) and 4 T. olive oil to the bread pan.
  2. Add 4 cups flour, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tsp salt to the pan. Make a slight well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 4 tsp yeast.
  3. Place bread pan into oven chamber, lock into place, and press the “dough” setting.  Most bread makers complete the dough process in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  4. Notes:  We usually add 2 tsps of Italian Seasoning and 1 tsp of ground black pepper to the dough to give the crust a great flavor. It’s also appealing because of the green flecks that show throughout the crust.

If you don’t have a bread maker, it’s not a problem.  Simply mix all the ingredients listed above together, knead until you achieve a nice elasticity in your dough, cover and let raise for one hour or until doubled in size.

Next, it’s time to make the meaty marinara sauce.  You’ll need these ingredients:

1 can Red Gold tomato sauce and 1 can of Red Gold crushed tomatoes

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

Freshly grated Parmesan (1/3rd cup; set aside some extra for garnish for later)

Approximately 30 leaves of fresh basil, slivered

15 slices of pepperoni, diced

2 T. fresh, minced oregano

Baby organic fresh spinach (1.5 cups)

Just put all the meaty marinara sauce ingredients into a sauce pan, bring to a simmer, stir well, cover and cook on low heat for approximately 30 minutes.

With your remaining time, set up your area to build the calzones.

Brown some Italian sausage.  I usually brown the whole package, but will only use about 1/3 for this recipe.  Freeze the rest or store to make pizza or something else lovely in the next few days.

Prep some prosciutto ham.  Usually there is a fat layer on the edge that is better removed.

Crumble some feta, and dump some shredded mozzarella into a bowl.  Set up all these ingredients in a way where you can reach them easily.

When your marinara has simmered for about 30 minutes, remove it from the heat and set it up beside the “calzone building area.”

By now, your dough should be ready to roll out.

On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough thinly, then use a biscuit cutter to create as many circles as you have dough to complete.  Build each mini-calzone by placing whatever fillings you would like in the center of the circle.  Wet the edges of the top and bottom dough circles, press them together, then crimp with a fork.

Examples of fillings:

1)      Prosciutto, feta and mozzarella (sauce optional)

2)      Italian sausage, sauce and mozzarella

3)      Sauce, mozzarella, feta and Parmesan,

4)      Or…any other combination you’d like.

While building your calzones, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.   Once your calzones are built, brush the tops with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, dust with freshly grated Parmesan, then bake another 5-7 minutes until done.

Set up your calzones, buffet style, with marinara sauce for your guests to use as dipping sauce.  These mini-calzones are crazy-good, and are the perfect size for a perfect Super Bowl party. Enjoy!



2 thoughts on “Crazy-Good Baby Calzones: Final Red Gold Recipe Contest Entry”

    1. Angelia – they WERE good. My hubby is on a low-carb diet and had already lost 50 pounds…so, it was tough to have them around. Take care, RDK

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