I signed my older two boys up for swim team for eight weeks this summer for the very first time. They’ve taken lessons before, and they are in the pool every day they can be, but swimming competitively is definitely a new endeavor. I felt like a mean mom when I signed them up, thinking of all the laps they’d have to endure day in and day out. But I knew we’d need an outing each day, they love to swim, and doing “hard things” is good for us.
I anticipated that my boys would look at me longingly from the edge of the pool, pleading with those goggle covered eyes for me to come and rescue them. But to my surprise, we made it through the first week without any tears at all. They actually like it! They surely aren’t the fastest swimmers out there, but I’m super proud of them for having good attitudes and giving it all they’ve got. I know I’d be crying if I had to swim all those laps!
So with my boys doing all that swimming, their appetites are through the roof! We went to In-N-Out for dinner tonight (sorry all you non-Westcoasters) and Little Boy #1 demolished his very first Double Double with fries. And then asked if we could buy him another one because he was still hungry!
These Homemade Calzones filled with Italian Sausage and Mozzarella are so filling they will satisfy even the hungriest of eaters. You can go about making them a couple of ways… If you have time to try making the dough from scratch, that’s great. But if not, feel free to use ready made pizza dough. I love the one you can buy from Trader Joe’s in the refrigerated section.
You can also fill them with your favorite pizza toppings. Just be careful not to overfill them or they will leak in the oven. If you use Italian sausage or ground beef for the filling, you will mix in some jarred marinara sauce with the meat. Then use the extra sauce to serve with the calzones for dipping.
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Homemade Calzones With Italian Sausage and Mozzarella
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
Warm, soft pockets of pizza dough stuffed with Italian sausage, marinara, and mozzarella cheese. These will satisfy your hungriest eaters!
- 3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage (I used three Johnsonville links with casing removed)
- 1/2 cup jarred marinara sauce (reserve extra marinara for dipping)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
For the Dough
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
- 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water beaten together (egg wash)
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (the kind you shake is ok)
For the Filling
- Brown sausage in a medium pan over high heat until it is cooked through. Drain excess oil. Stir in marinara sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Dough
- Place warm water and yeast into the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment, and let it sit for a few minutes to activate the yeast.
- Then add salt, sugar, and oil and mix on low speed. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups of flour and turn speed up to medium.
- If dough is still very sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more flour so that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Continue to knead with the dough hook for a few minutes. The dough will form a ball around the hook. If you do not have a dough hook attachment, knead by hand on your floured work surface for a few minutes.
- Remove the dough from the hook and roll it out to 1/2 inch thick on a well floured surface. Using a biscuit cutter or the rim of a 3 inch glass, cut out six circles in the dough.
- Roll out each circle to about 8 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as needed so you dough won’t stick to the rolling pin or work surface.
- Divide the prepared sausage filling onto one half of each of the circles of dough. Top the sausage filling with mozzarella cheese. Fold the empty half of the dough over the filling, pinching the edges closed. I like to use the tines of a fork, or the rim of a spoon to create a “scalloped” edge.
- Transfer them from your work surface to a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Cover the uncooked calzones with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise while the oven preheats to 400 degrees.
- When the oven is ready, brush each calzone with the egg wash and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. The top of the calzones should be golden brown.
- Serve with warmed marinara.
- Serving Size: 1 Calzone
- Calories: 772
- Sugar: 2.6g
- Sodium: 744mg
- Fat: 15g
- Saturated Fat: 4.7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 8.8g
- Trans Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 125g
- Fiber: 4.8g
- Protein: 31g
- Cholesterol: 59mg
Keywords: homemade calzones with Italian sausage and mozzarella, homemade calzones, calzones, pizza dough
Wow! Looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you! 2 lil’ swimmers? These calzones look amazing! I can’t wait to make this for my husband who thinks he’s still growing.
That’s so cute, don’t burst his bubble! Thanks Min!
Sonnie Shay says
I made these tonight with the Trader Joe’s pizza dough and we put some different toppings in them too. SOOO good. Thanks Julie 🙂
That’s awesome! Yay for you for getting dinner on the table… totally remember how hard that was when you have tiny kids and a bun in the oven too! Now go take a nap!
I made these last week, and the family is already asking for them again! They are what’s for dinner tonight! Mine didn’t get as brown as yours did on top though…I used the egg wash too.
That’s so great! Thanks Courtney.
Saguer One says
What kind of flour do you use? Is it all purpose or bread flour? And thank you for the recipe 🙂
Hi, I just used all purpose
Sounds great! Can I use biscuit dough instead of pizza dough, you think?
I’m loving that idea Jennifer! Should work out just fine!
These are very good. I just ate 2 1/2 of them. We didn’t add as much mozzarella as I would have liked.We used pizza sauce to dip them in.
Nice dough texture. Taste was great. I will make this again and double the recipe. I did use bread flour.
Reba Khatun says
Lovely recipe. Turned out great. Will certainly be making these again & again!
So glad to hear that, Reba. Thanks!
Reba Khatun says
I had extra so I froze them but when I cooked them from frozen the dough didn’t rise like when I cooked them the 1st time. Any suggestions pls? (But still everyone liked them!)
Generally, when freezing a homemade bread product, you need to cook it before freezing. Most advice is to undercook your bread by 10-15 minutes, before the top browns, let cool and then freeze. You can then cook it without thawing. Alternatively, you could bring the calzones to room temperature before cooking, but you run into food satefy issues then.
Thanks Kristi, good tip!
This dough doesn’t need time to rise? Also marinara sauce doesn’t go inside its for dipping?
I want to make these!!!
No need to let it rise, and you can put marinara inside, but if the filling is too “wet” it can be hard to contain inside the dough. Hope you enjoy!
I made these with homemade Italian rabbit sausage. They were awesome — And the dough was amazing!! I loved how fast it took me in my Ninja dough mixer. Thank you very much for sharing! 🙂
That’s so great, Marie! You are very welcome.
Made these tonight and they were delicious!!
Thanks Donna, so happy to hear that!
I love the creativity you have shown especially that you chose to make home made dough. I would alter your delicious recipe a little to match my homemade pizza dough and maybe sneak in som mushrooms in the hand pie. What do I do different? I switch out the white sugar for a tablespoon of honey to feed the yeast. I add 1 tsp-1tbs italian herbs. And 1tsp powdered garlic. I have a kitchen aid mixer so I spoil myself- I’m older than dirt what can I say. I sauteed fresh sliced mushrooms to go inside the hand pie with the other ingredients. Like your pies they are yummy. Please share more of your favorites. Thank you.
do I not let the dough proof?
Tammy Penner says
do I not let the dough proof?
Kristina L Page says
Can I make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate? I am cooking for a crowd and like the first mess cleaned up before we start creating our calzones.
Yes, just make sure it’s sealed well so it won’t dry out.
Jamie DePauw-Hamilton says
Looking to make these tonight. Will it make a difference if I use the recipe and only make 2 big ones instead of 6 smaller ? Any suggestions on change in baking time etc.?
These were terrific! Like another reviewer, mine took longer to brown. Closer to 19 minutes. I used an Italian five cheese blend for the middle and the tops of the calzones. Added a pinch of garlic salt on top as well. I bought a 1 pound package of Italian sausage. I browned the whole thing and set aside 1/4 of the sausage for the marinara sauce. Finely chopped and added to the warm sauce. Delish! Also – this is wonderful dough. One of the best I’ve tried. Thank you for the great recipe!
These were very good! I used a similar pizza dough recipe from the Bread Machine Magic book. I added onion and peppers to the Italian sausage and also added ricotta cheese (in addition to the mozzarella) in some of them.