Pizza dough wraps around a tasty filling of chicken, artichokes, spinach, ricotta and mozzarella cheese in these personal-sized calzones or pizza pockets. If you took a pizza and folded it in half – stuffed with extra toppings – you’d have a calzone. Calzone = more. More of all the things you love in a pizza.
These take longer than pizza to make so I bought my dough from a bakery to save time. If you have leftover chicken that helps too. You only need a cup and a half of cooked chicken so you can plan ahead and cook extra.
The artichokes are sautéed with garlic, onions and Italian seasonings before being mixed with the rest of the ingredients. Sometimes calzones are layered starting with the ricotta then topped with the fillings and mozzarella. I mixed everything together so assembling them would go faster, plus it was easier to fold the dough over without random pieces of cheese and whatnot splaying everywhere.
They bake up hot and bubbly, irresistible, with a chewy, golden crust. The filling has the distinctively tangy bite of artichokes tempered with creamy cheese, baby spinach and tender pieces of chicken.
So much more than pizza.
|Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Calzones|| |
- 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed in a colander, patted dry and chopped
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- coarse salt and fresh black pepper
- red pepper flakes, optional
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 pound pizza dough
- 1 + ½ cups cooked chicken, cubed
- 1 + ½ cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- flour, for dusting
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top
- pizza sauce, for serving
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, artichokes, Italian seasoning, a couple pinches each of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook about ten minutes, stirring often until the artichokes are soft with some golden color to them. Turn off the heat and lay the spinach leaves on top. Let cool.
- Meanwhile divide the dough into four pieces as equal as you can make them. Roll them out on a floured surface to about an 8-inch roundish oval. If the dough is hard to work with let it rest 5 - 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it well with olive oil.
- Once the artichoke mixture is mostly cooled mix in the chicken, ricotta and mozzarella - it will be thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop up a quarter of the chicken filling and place it on one half of one of the dough rounds, leaving a small border. Brush the edges all the way around with egg and then fold the dough over the filling, pinch the ends or roll it up over itself and crimp with a fork.
- Brush it lightly all over with egg, make a slit in the top with a knife then sprinkle sea salt and Parmesan on the top.
- Use a big spatula to gently scoop it up and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the calzones are made.
- Bake 26 - 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly in the center. Let set 5 - 10 minutes before serving with warm sauce for dipping.