Spring has sprung! You know what this means? Everybody just got really busy! We have so much on our plates there’s no time to put food on them!
Cheaper than take-out, healthier than frozen; homemade pizza pockets (AKA calzones) make a speedy dinner especially when you start with pizza dough from the dairy case.
The best part is you can make extra and freeze them for a super quick lunch, dinner or snack ready when you are.
Ever notice that freezer “pockets that are hot” (wink, wink) have more than 60 ingredients listed on the nutrition label? I’m not even exaggerating. The mind boggles.
There are three main reasons to DIY this convenient food yourself. First, you will know exactly what’s in them (I’m still hung up on 60 ingredients). Second, you control the portion sizes. Big ones for big appetites and little ones for little hands. Third, you can get as creative with the flavors as you like.
Since we’re talking about freezer meals check out these make-ahead breakfasts! Breakfast Bowls Save Time, Money and Morning Sanity & Breakfast on the run? Make “Grab-and-Go” Breakfast Burritos
It takes about an hour to make a bunch of these calzones. Make at least a double batch – one to have for dinner tonight, and more to freeze for later. I’ve included some handy dandy money saving recipes for Petite Portion Pizza Sauce and Mock-Ricotta, too.
FREEZER FRIENDLY PIZZA POCKETS
Yield: 4 servings
What You’ll Need:
- 1 (13.8 oz. to 16 oz.) prepared pizza dough – or homemade equivalent
- ½ cup Petite Portion Pizza Sauce – recipe below
- ½ cup ricotta or Mock-Ricotta – recipe below
- 1 ½ cup mozzarella – shredded
- 1 (3 oz.) package pepperoni – sliced
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon parmesan
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Place Parchment Paper on your work surface the size of your baking sheet. On parchment, roll pizza dough very thin. Divide into four portions.
- On one side of each piece (leaving 1 inch gap around edges); spread 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 2 tablespoons Mock-Ricotta, a generous ¼ cup mozzarella and some pepperoni.
- Beat the egg with a teaspoon water to make egg wash. Brush outer edges of dough with egg wash. Fold the empty half of the dough over filling and press to seal. Fold the edges of the dough over and pinch to further seal the dough.
- Brush the tops of the calzones with egg wash and sprinkle each with parmesan.
- Cut a few small slits in the top of the calzones to release steam.
- Slide the parchment onto the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- IF you don’t have a large baking sheet, you’re missing out, here’s mine – Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet
- Serve immediately or cool completely, wrap individually and freeze up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.
Petite Portion Pizza Sauce – Drain 8 oz. can of tomato sauce through a coffee filter set in a strainer over a bowl for 15 minutes to remove excess liquid from the sauce. Mix the drained sauce with 1 tsp each garlic powder and Italian seasoning and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
Mock-Ricotta – For a ½ cup portion – in a small food processor or by hand – blend ½ cup cottage cheese (not low fat, the texture is different) with ⅛ teaspoon each; garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt. This is easily doubled or quadrupled to be used on pizzas or in lasagna.
A mini food processor makes this so easy. Here’s one I love – Hamilton Beach 72600 Fresh Chop 3-Cup Food Chopper
If you have homemade pizza night, you’ll love how this recipe is a perfect match because the ingredients for pizzas are the same for calzones. Just make a double batch of dough, buy some extra topping ingredients and make a bunch of calzones for the freezer while your pizza is cooking. Easy peasy.
Now that you know this technique you can fill them with anything your little heart desires.
So, what will you fill them with? Ham and swiss, broccoli and cheddar, egg and sausage, chicken pot pie, chicken fajita, hamburger chili, anything you want!
No more stressing over dinner. You’re so clever.