Alright. Let’s address the elephant in the room.
Yes, there is meat in this calzone. Yes, I am a vegetarian. No, I did not eat it.
But darn, I wanted to. That’s how good it smelled and looked when I pulled it out of the oven. I made it the same night I made the Spinach Artichoke Calzone from yesterday’s post. As you might’ve guessed, the Spinach Artichoke Calzone was my dinner, and this Super-Sized Sausage and Pepper Calzone was for my parents.
It’s a calzone party this week, and this recipe is your invitation to join in. I’ve got a special place in my heart for calzones that developed from buying fresh calzones from Wegmans when I was younger. Those babies were good, but I knew I could make one even better.
I am willing to bet this Super-Sized Sausage & Pepper Calzone is ten times better than anything you could get at a Wegmans or local pizza joint. Not to mention, putting it together is practically just as easy as picking up the phone and ordering delivery, so why not choose the tastier option?
This golden brown beauty is oozing with marvelous mounds of creamy 3-cheese filling then stuffed with meaty sausage and sweet, robust peppers. Fresh herbs and garlic give it those beautiful Italian flavors you’d get from any Italian restaurant, but the sheer size of this behemoth and its generous amount of filling make it even better. You won’t believe how flavorful, cheesy, and filling this baby is. It’s a meal made for the hungriest calzone lovers.
Think you know calzones? Not until you try this superhero-sized pocket of goodness. There’s so much good stuff packed into that shell that you’ll be overwhelmed with excitement. Just take it one bite at a time.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Don’t like sausage and/or peppers? This is a very versatile recipe, so switch them out with whatever you like: pepperoni, broccoli, bacon, you name it. Or leave out the sausage and pepper and enjoy a three-cheese calzone.
- Watch this baby when it’s baking. The crust goes from done to burnt quickly.
- Fresh ingredients are a must. Don’t expect this to compare to restaurant-quality if you use dried herbs.
- This giant calzone easily feeds two, but double the recipe to make two behemoths and feed more mouths, if you like.
Super-Sized Sausage & Pepper Calzones
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- Store-bought pizza dough or your favorite recipe
- 5 tbsp. butter
- Marinara sauce, for dipping
For the filling
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large red pepper, sliced into thin strips
- ½ a yellow onion, chopped
- 1 32-oz. container whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
- 2 tbsp. fresh chopped basil
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray OR place a pizza stone in the oven to preheat.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until browned. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up excess grease. Meanwhile, in a small pan, bring olive oil to medium heat and cook peppers until tender and slightly browned.
- Place all the filling ingredients, including the sausage and peppers, in a large mixing bowl and stir together until thoroughly combined. Make sure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Flour a working surface and roll out dough into a circle as thin as you can make it without it tearing. Carefully transfer to baking sheet or preheated pizza stone and spread filling out on the top, leaving about 1 -2 inches around the edges plain. Use more or less filling depending on your preference, but you will want more than you think you do; it’s deceiving.
- Wrap the edges in aluminum foil, leaving only the center uncovered, and bake 20 – 30 minutes, or until set and starting to brown. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown all around.
- Slice and enjoy. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.