Calzone and Stromboli

Calzone vs. Stromboli: The Ultimate Showdown!

Italian cuisine is well known for its delicious and savory dishes, with pizza being one of the most beloved. But have you ever heard of calzone and stromboli? These baked dishes are Italian classics and have been gaining popularity in the United States. Some may confuse the two, but believe me, they are not the same. In this article, we will explore the differences between calzone and stromboli and their significance in Italian cuisine.

Key Takeaways:

  • Calzone and stromboli are baked Italian dishes that are gaining popularity in the United States.
  • Although they may seem similar, calzone and stromboli have distinct differences that set them apart.
  • Both calzone and stromboli are associated with pizza and are considered Italian classics.
  • These savory treats offer a wide range of filling options, with mozzarella cheese playing a significant role.
  • The perfect dough is crucial in achieving a crispy and golden crust for both calzone and stromboli.

Exploring Calzone and Stromboli: Origins and Differences

When it comes to Italian pastries, calzone and stromboli are some of the most beloved. These stuffed bread delicacies have a long history in Italian cuisine and are considered a variation of the classic pizza turnover. However, while they may have some similarities, calzone and stromboli have distinctive differences that set them apart from each other and from other types of stuffed bread.

The main difference between calzone and stromboli lies in their dough and shaping. Calzone is typically made from pizza dough and is folded in half, creating a half-moon shape that encases the filling entirely. Stromboli, on the other hand, is made from a dough with a higher gluten content and is rolled up and sliced, resembling a pinwheel.

Another difference between the two Italian delicacies is their place of origin. Calzone is believed to have originated in Naples, Italy, while stromboli is said to have originated in the Italian-American community in the United States.

Despite these differences, both calzone and stromboli share one important characteristic – they are delicious and versatile dishes that can be filled with a variety of savory ingredients. From classic mozzarella cheese and Italian cured meats to vegetables, seafood, and even fruit, the filling options for calzone and stromboli are endless.

Whether you prefer the classic calzone or the unique shape and texture of stromboli, these Italian stuffed breads are a delicious addition to any meal. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at the filling options available for these savory treats and explore some traditional recipes.

The Filling Battle: Options Galore

When it comes to calzone and stromboli, the filling options are practically endless. From classic ingredients to unique and unexpected pairings, the possibilities are enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Let’s take a closer look at some of the filling options available for these popular Italian dishes.

Mozzarella Cheese

One of the most commonly used ingredients in both calzone and stromboli is mozzarella cheese. This classic Italian cheese is known for its mild flavor and stringy texture, making it the perfect addition to any savory filling. Whether it’s combined with fresh tomatoes and basil or spicy Italian sausage and peppers, mozzarella cheese is the glue that holds the filling together and adds that delicious cheesy goodness.

Traditional Recipes

While there are plenty of creative filling options out there, many people prefer to stick with the tried and true traditional recipes. For calzone, this might include a combination of mozzarella, ricotta cheese, and ham or pepperoni. Stromboli, on the other hand, typically features a mix of Italian meats, such as salami and prosciutto, along with mozzarella cheese, peppers, and onions.

Unique Pairings

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of unique pairings to try when it comes to calzone and stromboli fillings. For example, you might experiment with adding roasted vegetables like eggplant or zucchini, or even incorporating flavors from other cuisines like Mexican or Asian. The key is to find a balance of flavors and textures that complement each other well.

Mozzarella cheeseMozzarella cheese
Ricotta cheeseItalian meats (salami, prosciutto)
Ham or pepperoniPeppers and onions
Roasted vegetables 

As you can see in the table above, while there are some similarities in the filling ingredients used for calzone and stromboli, there are also some distinct differences. This is one of the reasons why these dishes are often pitted against each other – everyone has their own preferences and opinions on which is better!

No matter which filling options you choose, one thing is for sure – calzone and stromboli are both delicious and versatile dishes that can be customized to suit anyone’s taste buds.

Calzone and Stromboli

The Art of Baking: Perfecting the Dough

When it comes to creating the ultimate pizza turnover or baked turnover with savory fillings, the dough is crucial. It’s the foundation on which everything else rests and can make or break the final product. As someone who loves Italian cuisine and has tried my hand at making calzone and stromboli, I’ve learned a thing or two about perfecting the dough.

When making pizza dough for Italian calzone, I always opt for a blend of all-purpose and pastry flour to achieve the ideal texture. The dough should be stretchy and pliable, yet sturdy enough to hold up to the fillings and the baking process. Here is my go-to recipe:

Note: This recipe makes enough dough for 2 large calzones or 4 small ones.

  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until foamy.

2. Add the flours, salt, and olive oil. Mix well until a dough forms.

3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.

Once you’ve perfected the dough, you can get creative with the fillings. Some classic options include mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce, Italian sausage, and pepperoni. For a vegetarian twist, you can use sautéed mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers or even roasted eggplant and zucchini. The possibilities are endless!

When it comes to baking your calzone or stromboli, the key is to get a crispy and golden crust without overcooking the fillings. I recommend baking on a preheated pizza stone or a baking sheet at 425°F for 20-25 minutes. For an extra pop of flavor, brush the crust with garlic butter or sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top before baking.

With a little practice and patience, you can master the art of making perfect Italian calzone and stromboli. Not only are they delicious and filling, they also make for a great party appetizer or weeknight dinner option. Buon appetito!

Italian calzone and stromboli


In conclusion, calzone and stromboli are two quintessential Italian dishes that have gained popularity across the globe. Both these baked turnovers are filled with savory ingredients that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Whether you prefer the folded pizza style of calzone or the cylindrical roll of stromboli, there’s no denying that these dishes are perfect for any occasion.

Throughout this article, we explored the origins, differences, filling options, and the art of baking when it comes to calzone and stromboli. We learned that while they may share some similarities, there are distinct differences between the two. Calzone is typically folded in half and has a pizza-like appearance, while stromboli is rolled up like a jelly roll and has a thin and crispy crust.

We also explored the numerous filling options available for both these delicious pastries. From traditional fillings like mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and pepperoni to more creative options like chicken Alfredo and jalapeno popper, the possibilities are endless.

Finally, we discussed the importance of the dough in achieving the perfect crispy golden crust for calzone and stromboli. We explored the techniques and tips for creating the perfect dough and shared some traditional Italian recipes to help you get started.

In conclusion, it’s safe to say that calzone and stromboli are both winners in their own right. Whether you prefer the classic flavors of a calzone or the unique roll of a stromboli, there’s something for everyone. So go ahead, indulge in these savory treats and savor the flavors of Italy!


What is a calzone?

A calzone is a type of Italian pastry that consists of a folded or sealed dough filled with various ingredients, such as cheese, vegetables, and meats.

What is a stromboli?

Stromboli is a type of stuffed bread that originated in the United States. It typically consists of rolled or folded dough filled with a variety of ingredients, including cold cuts, cheese, and vegetables.

How are calzone and stromboli different?

While both calzone and stromboli are filled with ingredients, the main difference lies in the way they are prepared and presented. Calzones are usually folded into a half-moon shape and baked, while strombolis are rolled and then baked.

Are calzone and stromboli related to pizza?

Yes, both calzone and stromboli are often associated with pizza due to their similar ingredients and dough. However, they offer a different eating experience and can be considered as alternative options to traditional pizza.

What are some traditional fillings for calzone and stromboli?

Traditional fillings for calzone include mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, vegetables (such as spinach or mushrooms), and various types of meats (such as ham or sausage). Stromboli fillings often include Italian cold cuts like salami or pepperoni, along with mozzarella cheese and vegetables.

How can I perfect the dough for calzone and stromboli?

The key to perfecting the dough for calzone and stromboli lies in achieving the right texture and elasticity. It’s important to use a pizza dough recipe that has been specifically formulated for turnover-style baked dishes. This will ensure a crispy and golden crust. Additionally, allowing the dough to rise properly and using high-quality ingredients will contribute to a delicious end result.

Are there any traditional Italian recipes for calzone or stromboli?

Yes, there are many traditional Italian recipes for calzone and stromboli. These recipes often vary by region and personal preference. Some popular variations include Calzone Napoletano, which is filled with mozzarella, ricotta, salami, and tomato sauce, and Stromboli Siciliano, which typically includes ham, salami, provolone cheese, and olives.

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