While they both fall into the category of portable pizzas, calzones and stromboli are not to be confused. Calzones are essentially a pizza that is folded in half, and then stuffed with cheese. Calzones originated in Naples, Italy and can vary widely—they can be different sizes but their signature half-moon shape makes them easy to pack for a quick lunch or snack. They’re often stuffed with mozzarella, provolone, or ricotta, and variations include the addition of tomatoes or tomato sauce, onions, salami, ham, minced meat, and vegetables. Calzones are baked in the oven but they can also be fried (more like a dumpling or turnover).
Although stromboli sounds equally Italian, it’s widely accepted that the dish originated in 1950’s Philadelphia and is the invention of Italian immigrants in the US. Stromboli is an entirely different shape than a calzone—they’re more of a cylinder and contain several layers (cheese and meat, but rarely contain tomato sauce). Stromboli is made by rolling out the dough (pizza or bread dough) and laying out the ingredients, then rolling it all up in a similar fashion to a cinnamon roll and slicing the log-shaped cylinder after it comes out of the oven. The resulting slices have a pinwheel pattern of meats, cheeses, and occasionally, vegetables.
In short, you can think of calzone as a folded pizza, and stromboli as a rolled pizza—perfect options for when you need a pizza fix and you’re on the move. Check out our nine recipes for stomboli and calzone and start cooking.
Smoked Salmon and Mozzarella Calzone
Smoked salmon is an unusual addition to this tasty calzone combo. Use fresh Roma tomatoes and the freshest mozzarella you can find to make for a perfect lunch-sized snack (divide the dough into four pieces). Get our Smoked Salmon and Mozzarella Calzone recipe.
A sausage and cheese calzone puts a frozen Hot Pocket to shame. This recipe includes ricotta, provolone, and parmesan cheese as well as hot Italian sausage and pepperoncini. Get fancy and braid the dough so that you have a calzone that’s as delicious as it is Instagram-ready. Get our Italian Sausage Calzone recipe.
It doesn’t get easier than this stromboli recipe. You can use store-bought pizza dough to save time and any deli meat you choose (though this recipe calls for sliced ham). Feel free to add in extra jalapeño for an added kick. Get our Easy Stromboli recipe.
If you’re looking to make an unusual calzone, these crescent roll calzones are the perfect bite-sized snacks to serve as hors d’oeuvres at a party. Garlic powder, dried oregano, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese make them hard to eat just one. Get the recipe.
These mini calzones are Italy’s answer to empanadas. You can make them at the very last minute with premade pie crusts and fill them with any combination of meat and cheese. Get the recipe.
Chicken & Broccoli Rabe Stromboli
Homemade dough makes this chicken and broccoli rabe stromboli extra memorable—fill with garlic, oregano, crushed red chile flakes, mozzarella, sweet cherry peppers, and provolone. Get the recipe.
This is an extremely versatile recipe that you can make in a traditional stromboli shape or adapt to a babka-shaped loaf, which makes it perfect for transporting to a friend’s house for dinner. Use fresh herbs (oregano and basil) if you can. Get the recipe.
The perfect main course for a vegetarian dinner, this vegan stromboli is filled with spinach, bell peppers, and in an unusual twist, also includes tomato sauce made with plum tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and spices. Get the recipe.
Essentially a homemade take on a Hot Pocket, this stromboli is made with premade French loaf dough, ham, green onions, and bacon strips for added flavor. Get the recipe.