These homemade calzones are SO EASY to make any night of the week - make tonight Italian night at your house!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: our family eats out too much. Please tell me I'm not alone in this! Actually, you don't need to tell me because I already know that fact. I can remember when we were first married, and then we just had baby Silas around (MAN that was a LONG time ago) we pretty much ate out most nights of the week.
Looking back at that time though, I do have to give myself some credit. We were both working full time professional jobs with typical 9-5 work week schedules. I was teaching elementary school in Philadelphia and Paul was in banking at the time. I had gone back to work exactly 7 weeks to the day after giving birth to Silas. I was so lucky to have my Grandparents close by to look after him while we were at work, but it was hard.
When we were all together again at night, the absolute LAST thing I wanted to do was spend even more time away from my people slaving away in the kitchen, not even knowing if dinner would turn out right or we'd even WANT to eat it!
So, we'd order out - most nights Italian food. Little did I know how EASY and FAST it is to make our favorite take-out recipes at home, especially these Mini Meatball Calzones!
I have to say though, the quality of the products you buy at the supermarket makes a huge difference in the quality of the flavor in the final dish! Make sure you're using fresh tasting ingredients you know and trust and your homemade copycat favorites, like these AWESOME calzones, will turn out amazing every time!
Mini Meatball CalzonesIngredients
- 14 oz frozen meatballs, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 24 oz jar Classico Riserva Pasta Sauce , divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 (10 oz) tubes refrigerated pizza crust, thin crust
- Slice cooked meatballs in half and place in a large mixing bowl. Add in ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce, basil, garlic, and black pepper. Stir gently until well combined.
- Unroll one package of pizza dough onto a large greased cookie sheet. Gently stretch to the length and width of the cookie sheet and slice into 4 rectangles.
- Place a generous amount of sauce filling onto each slice, leaving a border at the edges.
- Sprinkle with a small amount of additional mozzarella, stretch dough over filling, use a fork to seal the edges, and cut a slit in the top of the dough to allow air to escape while baking. Repeat process for remaining pizza crust tube.
- Place filled calzones onto lined cookie sheets and bake at 425 degrees for 15 - 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Place remaining sauce in a microwavable dish and microwave for 45 second - 1 minute until sauce is warmed. Serve baked calzones with warmed sauce for dipping. Makes 8 mini calzones.
You truly wouldn't have a clue that you're eating a homemade dinner with this recipe - you could totally fool your family! I served this would a fresh side salad with Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese to complete our Italian night at home. If you're tired of the craziness of the work week, but want to try some homemade meals for your family, this is an awesome one to start with - what are you waiting for?!
As I mentioned before, choosing ingredients that you know and trust is important when recreating favorite restaurant dinners at home. In this case, I "opened up a bottle of the good stuff!" The "good stuff" being my favorite Classico Riserva Puttanesca sauce - it's honestly like opening up a bottle of my favorite wine! With exceptional taste, this new line comes in five varieties including Marinara, Eggplant & Artichoke, Roasted Garlic, Arrabbiata, and Puttanesca. Classico Riserva's vine-ripened tomatoes are picked at the peak of sweetness, and with no artificial ingredients or added sugar, I love serving this to my family!
Classico has provided me with coupons for 3 FREE JARS of sauce to giveaway, one each to three lucky Mostly Homemade Mom readers! To enter, tell me in the comment section below what meal idea you have for one of their new varieties of Classico Riserva Pasta Sauce. Giveaway is open to all US residents, 18 and older. Good luck!!