{real} Italian Calzones with Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

I love looking back and seeing how my cooking has evolved over the years. For calzones I used to thaw out some Rhodes dough rolls then open a can of Spaghetti sauce, spoon it on, add some cheese, fold it over and pop it in the oven. They were good, but they weren’t great. These are more than great. The perfect golden crust with a creamy cheesy filling, dipped in the most delicious marinara sauce (which I learned is the legit Italian way to do a calzone, no sauce on the inside). It will make ’em drool down their chinny chin chin (any One Direction fans out there…anyone?)

Dough: (makes 3-4, can double)
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 egg (to brush on top)

1 ½ C ricotta
3-4 C shredded
mozzarella cheese
Optional: olives, pepperoni, mushrooms, Canadian bacon, pineapple, ham, peppers, etc.
Marinara sauce (for dipping)

To Make Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the oil, sugar and salt; mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, until dough is smooth and workable. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it is elastic. Lay dough in a bowl containing 1 teaspoon olive oil, then flip the dough, cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 375. When dough is ready, punch it down and separate it into 3-4 equal parts. Roll parts out into thin circles on a lightly floured surface. Mix filling ingredients then spoon onto dough, fold over, securing edges by folding in and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with egg and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 30 min. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce:
1 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 Tbs minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1/2 C water
2 Tbs chopped basil (or 1 Tbs dried)
2 Tbs chopped oregano (or 1 Tbs dried)
2 Tbs chopped parsley (or 1 Tbs dried)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Add all ingredients to the crock pot and simmer on low for 3-4 hrs. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Source | Calzones- allrecipes, Marinara sauce-adapted from budgetbytes

Also shared at

Fiesta Friday


9 thoughts on “{real} Italian Calzones with Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

  1. Amanda @ The Chunky Chef says:

    Calzones are just about one of my favorite things to order from a pizza/Italian place! Yours look so amazing 😀 Can’t wait to give this one a try! Thanks for sharing this with us at Fiesta Friday 🙂 Pinned, yummed, and stumbled!


  2. tentimestea says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever had a calzone before, and if I had, they were evidently not good enough for me to remember…whereas if I had one of these, I definitely wouldn’t have forgotten! I like the sound of dipping into the sauce instead of putting it inside–sometimes very sauce-y breads get a bit soggy and bogged down.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. FrugalHausfrau says:

    I had to pop over and tell you how delicious these look! I love a good calzone and it’s one of my favorite things and a restaurant. I haven’t made them in years but now I’m inspired.

    I know just what you mean about evolving over the years. I think a lot of people are intimidated by bread and doughs, but they’re easy and long as you allow for time! These look better than any I’ve had at a restaurant, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whisked Away says:

      Oh you are so sweet, thanks for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment! Calzones have always been one of my favorites to order as well, I hope you get a chance to try this homemade version, I think you’ll like it 🙂 Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. cookingwithauntjuju.com says:

    I love calzones and being able to pick the ingredients I like. Your dough is beautiful – much prettier than what I use to make. Great addition of balsamic vinegar to your marinara sauce – bet that adds some nice flavor. Thanks for bringing a yummy recipe to Fiesta Friday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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