Sausage and Pepper Calzones

April 29, 2010

I’ve had this recipe in my stash for quite a while and have been meaning to give it a try. Every time I got up the motivation to give it a whirl, I would be missing one or two of the ingredients, ie. Cottage Cheese. You only need a little, but it would definitely be missed if you didn’t have it.

Anyways, it was 3 o’clock, and I had the rest of the afternoon free, plus I had specifically purchased cottage cheese, so I was without excuse.

I have been using my KitchenAid quite a bit lately to make my own doughs for bread, buns, and pizza. I have a bread machine, but sometimes this just seems easier, and so much more domestic. So far, my results have been very positive, even more so than my bread machine creations.

I started out with the dough, which was super easy and straight forward. While my trustee sidekick kept on eye on the KitchenAid ‘achine (says Lucas), I started chopping the sausage and veggies. Within 5 minutes or so, I had the pan sizzling away.

While the dough was rising, I finished up sauteing the sausage, peppers and onions, and mixed up the last of the ingredients. Within 15 minutes I had the filling complete. Now I just had to wait for the dough to rise.

One of my favorite things about recipes like this, is you get a break! The dough typically needs to rise for an hour, so I can entertain Lucas, and not be tied to the stove for an hour and half straight trying to get dinner on the table. It’s broken up in 20 minute segments, perfect for his attention span!

I must admit that rolling the 8 portions, filling, and crimping the edges was a bit of an art, but by #8 they were looking prettier and prettier. I might even dare serve them to company next time.

Definitely give this one a try, for a small family, you score 2 meals out of the deal. (For Harold, Lucas and I, we ate 4 for dinner with a side salad), and 4 more are sitting in the freezer for a lazy day. Love it!

Sausage and Pepper Calzones


  • 2 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1  package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • Dash of sugar (about a tsp)
  • 1  tablespoon  extravirgin olive oil
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking sprayFilling
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 1  thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1  medium chopped onion
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound  mild Italian Sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3/4  cup  shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2  cup  no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1/4  cup  2% low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2  tablespoons  grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  red pepper flakes

To prepare dough: Combine 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup warm water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl; mix thoroughly and let stand 15 minutes. Gradually add 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon oil, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; stir until a soft dough forms. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). Add more flour if dough is too sticky.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

To prepare filling, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, and sausage; sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Spoon mixture into a bowl; cool slightly. Add mozzarella and remaining ingredients to sausage mixture; stir well.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 6-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Spoon about 1/2 cup sausage mixture onto half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold dough over filling; crimp edges of dough with fingers to seal. Place calzones on a large baking sheet lined with foil and coated with cooking spray. Pierce the tops of the dough once with a fork. Lightly coat the calzones with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 14 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Freezer instructions: Coat a sheet of foil with cooking spray. Place 1 calzone on coated side of foil; seal. Repeat procedure with remaining calzones and cooking spray. Place calzones in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; freeze.
To reheat, place foil-wrapped, frozen calzones on a large baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Recipe from:

I can’t wait to try out a few different fillings. I also hope to make a triple batch for when Baby #2 arrives.



4 Responses to “Sausage and Pepper Calzones”

  1. Jessica Says:

    totally excited for this blog 🙂 I love using things that have already been tried by you!!

  2. Taylor Says:

    This is so awesome! Cool recipe. Maybe you should add a picture.

  3. Lindsay Says:

    Yummy!! So good, and really not all that hard.
    Question though…did yours take a bit longer than 14 minutes to brown? (I think it took over 20 mins for mine.)

    • It’s been a few weeks since I made them, so I don’t totally remember, and my oven is quite hot. From memory, I do recall cooking them for a bit longer. Glad you liked them, I can’t wait to try out some different fillings 🙂

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