Mini Calzones (Pizza Pops)

Sauce, cheese and veggies all folded up in dough and baked in your oven…it’s essentially a big ball of homemade pizza. Life is good.

Pizza pops are one of my guilty pleasures. I could just demolish a box of those no problem, but they aren’t all too good for you. When you make them yourself, you’ve still got the gooey-cheesy goodness, but with far less sodium and you can add in veggies and spices!

This recipe is completely open-ended and customizable. Don’t like tomato sauce? Use only pesto and olive oil instead. Not a vegetarian? Throw in your favourite meaty stuff. But to be honest, this doesn’t need meat; it’s filling and yummy the way it is.

Calzone cut in half

Ingredients

Makes 6 Mini Calzones

Pizza Dough

  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm water (not hot, it will kill the yeast if it’s too hot)
  • Vegetable oil for greasing the bowl

Calzone Filling

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 an orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 large white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 cup frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Chili flakes to taste
  • Dried basil to taste
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Sriracha hot sauce to taste
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1 ball mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

In a large bowl cup 1 1/4 flour, yeast and salt. Stir in warm water with a fork, beating at a high speed. Do this for roughly 3 minutes. Add in the rest of the flour and mix until well combined and the dough is all clumped together. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes on a floured surface. It should be completely smooth when you’re done. Place in a greased bowl and cover with cling wrap or a kitchen towel; leave for 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and let simmer for 3-4 minutes until softened. Turn down heat a little bit, and add in peppers. Stir for another 2 minutes. Add in mushrooms, spinach and spices, stirring so that everything is well mixed. Add in the tomato paste, water and sriracha at the same time; mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until all the vegetables are coated with tomato paste and simmering. Turn heat down to the lowest temperature to keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Take the dough, and divide into 6 parts. On a floured surface, roll out each one into a circle (it doesn’t have to be perfect, but just try to make sure it’s generally even). Spread 2 tbsp. of canned tomato sauce into a circle in the middle of the dough. Evenly distribute the filling and cheese into the centre of each dough circle.

Veggies on dough

Folded calzoneCalzone fork press

Egg brush on dough

Fold the dough in half (like in the photo) and press ends down with a fork to make sure it all stays together. Brush the tops with egg, place on a greased baking sheet and make a small cut on the top of each one so that steam can escape. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before digging in!Up-close vegetarian calzoneCalzone on forkWhole calzone w mushrooms

**Freezing: I know that 6 calzones of this size is quite a bit of food, so if you have leftovers and don’t want them to go to waste, let them cool. Wrap each one individually in cling wrap, then place into a ziplock bag. To re-heat, you can put them in the oven at the same temperature for about 10 minutes.

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7 thoughts on “Mini Calzones (Pizza Pops)

  1. Valerie says:

    Oh, YUM! I am going to have to try these. Yeast and the whole warm water thing has always made me nervous (dumb, I know) but I’ve felt like I’d fail. Your recipe makes me want to try it! 😉

  2. Allison says:

    That melty cheese in your first photo looks sooooo good! And this recipe is a wonderful idea; mini calzones seem way more do-able than full-size calzones, and they’re probably easier and nicer to eat anyway! (Better filling-to-dough ratios and all that 🙂 )

    • Veronica Sheppard says:

      Oh thanks! It was really good..so pleased with how they turned out. I’ve never tried full-sized calzones but these do seem simpler because you have a few chances to make it look good and get the filling right!

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