In Other Important Questions, What’s the Difference Between a Calzone and a Stromboli?
You may be confusing these two pizza-like creations.
By Layla Khoury-Hanold for Food Network Kitchen
Layla Khoury-Hanold is a contributor at Food Network.
Calzones and stromboli are variations on a pizza theme: both are made with pizza or bread dough and stuffed with cheese. And both lend themselves to creative customization with fillings made up of different cheeses and toppings. But the similarities end there. Here, we break down the calzone versus stromboli and share our favorite recipes.
What Is Stromboli?
A stromboli is an Italian-American dish that features a rectangle of pizza dough or yeasted bread dough that’s topped with mozzarella (sometimes Parmesan or other cheeses) and add-ons such as cured meats and veggies, and sometimes tomato sauce too. The dough is then folded lengthwise over the filling into a cylinder; the excess dough is folded and over the sides and pressed or pinched at the seam to seal. Slits are cut into the top to allow steam to escape while baking. The stromboli is brushed with an egg wash or olive oil, baked until golden, then sliced into portions to yield multiple servings.
What Is a Calzone?
A calzone is an Italian dish that features a circular piece of pizza or yeasted bread dough that’s folded in half over a filling that includes ricotta, and often mozzarella and Parmesan, too, cured meats, vegetables and herbs, then sealed shut using a crimping technique. It’s brushed with an egg wash, then baked until golden. It’s typically cut in half to serve one or two people and is accompanied by marinara sauce for dipping. Mini calzones can also be deep-fried and are called panzerotti.
Difference Between Calzone and Stromboli
Dough, Shape and Sealing Technique
The main difference between a calzone and stromboli lies in the shape of the dough and how they are sealed. A calzone features a circle of dough that’s folded in half over the filling and sealed by crimping, like a pasty or empanada. A stromboli starts with a rectangular piece of dough that’s then topped with add-ins and cheese, rolled up lengthwise and sealed by folding and pressing the extra dough over the edges.
Calzones hail from Naples, Italy, while stromboli are an Italian-American creation that originated in South Philadelphia.
Calzones and stromboli share several the same fillings, including cured meats and veggies. And while both have Italian cheese, calzones are made with ricotta (often alongside mozzarella and/or Parmesan) while stromboli are typically only made with mozzarella. Calzones’ fillings do not include sauce; marinara is served on the side for dipping. Stromboli portions can also be dipped, but they can also be baked with the sauce inside.
A calzone is typically cut in half and meant to serve one or two people. A stromboli is sliced into multiple servings.
Starting with refrigerated pizza dough makes this stromboli a cinch. It gets mounded with a mixture of shredded Swiss and sliced string mozzarella cheese, then topped with basil, tomato sauce, chopped olives and ribbons of mortadella. It all adds up to a salty, cheesy bite that eats like an Italian deli sub meets a Sicilian slice.
Teaming up antipasto and deli staples make for classic stromboli fillings. Here, artichoke hearts and salami are layered with shredded Parmesan, thinly sliced Provolone and handfuls of baby spinach. A lemony spinach side salad with toasted walnuts is the perfect foil to the savory stromboli slices.
For her vegetarian stromboli, Ree Drummond dresses up broccoli florets with sun dried tomato pesto, mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and fresh basil, which pulls double duty as a garnish too. Don’t forget to serve slices with warm marinara sauce for dipping.
This stromboli riff calls for a filling of deli ham, pepperoni, Italian sausage and mozzarella, but pulls in prepared crescent roll dough instead of pizza dough, yielding a tender, flaky crust. It’s perfect for serving a crowd, whether it’s game day or movie night: just slice, dip and eat.
This fan-favorite combo calls for a filling of mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan seasoned with fresh basil and sliced scallions. A sprinkling of Parmesan on top just before baking adds toasty, savory depth. Serve with marinara sauce and round out the plate with sliced salami and giardiniera, tangy Italian pickled vegetables.
For her streamlined take, Ree Drummond thaws frozen, unrisen dinner rolls, allows the portioned dough to rise, then rolls each into a circle. She heaps one half with three-cheese-and-sausage filling, folds the dough over and crimps it shut, then bakes it until golden brown.
Giada De Laurentiis rolls out mini pizza dough rounds then seals them shut around a filling of mozzarella and shrimp cooked with chopped tomatoes. The diminutive calzones bake up golden and are just the kind of crowd-pleasing appetizer to serve at your next get together. Even kids love ‘em!
This riff on calzones pairs shredded mozzarella with a filling of sauteed ground pork and red bell peppers. It comes together in 40 minutes, making calzones a weeknight dinner reality.