There’s nothing quite like taking the first bite of a calzone, fresh from the oven. This recipe for spinach and mushroom calzones is the result of about a month and a half of fiddling. I’m so excited to share it with you!

Spinach and mushroom calzone

Sixteen years ago (or thereabouts), I lived on calzones. I was working 80+ hour weeks in film school and generally had no time to cook. It was my first time living away from home, and I was lonely, though that wasn’t the true source of my misery. I was in the midst of realizing that while I loved filmmaking, I didn’t want a career in the film industry. I had never quit anything in my life, and I didn’t know what to do with this new information.

So for months, I just ignored it. Any time I had a morning off, I would whip up a batch of pizza dough, fill it with whatever fixins’ I had around, and par-bake a bunch of calzones to freeze for the days when I needed a pick-me-up, when I needed to feel like MYSELF.

Eventually I dropped out of film school. It was a tough decision, but the absolute right one. For some reason, though, I stopped making homemade calzones at the same time. I don’t know why.

When I started Savour, I decided I wanted to start making them at home again, but I’ve gotten pickier with age. I wanted a more flavorful crust. For my first creation, I wanted lots of veggies. I wanted a non-traditional filling that did not include (gasp!) ricotta.

So I fiddled. It was the third try when I nailed the filling. The fourth or fifth when I worked out the right combination of dough recipes and techniques to get one that suited me.

These spinach and mushroom calzones can be made start to finish in two hours, although you’re really only working for about 15-20 minutes of that time, and not all at once.

They are also perfect for making ahead. Just par-bake them and freeze them. You can have homemade calzones in 20 minutes any time you want!

Now that I have homemade calzones in my life again, I can’t imagine how I gave them up for over 15 – yes, FIFTEEN! – years.

Don’t make my mistake, friends. Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Spinach and Mushroom Calzones
These spinach and mushroom calzones can be made start to finish in two hours, although you’re really only working for about 15-20 minutes of that time, and not all at once.
Spinach and mushroom calzone
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 75 minutes
Servings
calzones
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 75 minutes
Servings
calzones
Ingredients
Spinach and mushroom calzone
Instructions
To make the dough
  1. In a small bowl, stir 1 tsp. active dry yeast into 1 cup warm water and let sit for five to ten minutes to allow the yeast to dissolve.
  2. Measure out 3 cups all-purpose flour into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder, 1 tsp. dried basil, 1 tsp. dried oregano, and 1/2 tsp. fenugreek. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the yeast-water mixture along with 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil to the flour and mix with dough hook on low until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Knead dough in mixer for about five minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup of additional flour if needed to ensure a dough that is smooth and workable. It may still be sticky – that’s okay.
  5. Brush the exterior of the dough with a light coating of olive oil, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until doubled – about an hour.
To make the filling
  1. While the dough is rising, wash and slice the mushrooms into pieces about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Mince 2 cloves of garlic.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add garlic to pan and sauté until golden.
  5. Add sliced mushrooms to pan along with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until mushrooms have shrunken, darkened, and released their water.
  6. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and place on a plate on top of a couple paper towels.
  7. The goal is to remove as much of the moisture from them as possible before they go in the calzones.
  8. Return skillet to heat and drizzle in an additional 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Add the spinach to the pan a little at a time until it has all wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Sauté until the spinach has released its moisture before transferring to the plate with the mushrooms to cool and continue to drain.
To assemble the calzones
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Get out a large baking sheet and either top it with parchment paper or spray it lightly with cooking spray.
  3. With lightly floured hands, remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into four sections.
  4. Cover and allow to rest an additional 20 minutes.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, lightly beat one egg.
  6. Transfer the spinach and mushrooms to the bowl with the beaten egg, squeezing the veggies between your hands over the sink to release as much moisture as possible before adding them to the egg.
  7. Add 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese to the spinach-mushroom-egg mixture and use your hands to toss and thoroughly combine the ingredients.
  8. Working with one section of dough at a time on a lightly floured surface, roll or stretch the dough into a circle 6 to 8 inches in diameter. If you stretch the dough, you may have a more uneven circle than if you roll it, but either method is fine.
  9. Gently transfer the dough circle to the prepared baking sheet and place one quarter of the filling on one half of the dough circle, leaving 1/2-inch border free. Fold the plain half over the filled half and gently crimp the edges with your fingers to seal them together.
  10. When all four calzones are on the baking sheet, crack the second egg into a small bowl and beat it lightly with a fork. Lightly brush the egg over the surface of the calzones.
  11. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake approximately 20 minutes, or until the top has begun to turn golden brown in places.
Recipe Notes

par-baked spinach and mushroom calzones

NOTE: Fully cooked calzones are best eaten immediately. To make ahead, par-bake the calzones for 5-7 minutes and remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool thoroughly on a cooling rack before placing in the freezer (still on the cooling rack). Freeze 1-2 hours before wrapping in plastic wrap and foil for longer term storage. To heat from frozen, preheat oven to 450 degrees and bake calzones for 20-25 minutes. Par-baked calzones are best eaten within 1 month.

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Spinach and Mushroom Calzones
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