Feb 25, 2010

Turkey & Basil Calzones

I just love a good 'ol slice of greasy pizza. I'll take that over lobster any day. But sometimes, there isn't enough cash to throw down for delivery (a.k.a. Dave Ramsey won't let me), and braving the blizzard is just too much to ask when I'm all cozy on the couch.

What to do, what to do…make my own pizza? Nope. Something better. Get all fancy shmancy and make my own calzone! Ok so it's not really fancy. But it is quick, easy and delicious. Three words that pair perfectly with Friday night and sweatpants. This is all it takes:

First, I browned a pound of ground turkey along with some minced garlic, which smelled wonderful. Then I added tomato-basil pasta sauce and crushed red pepper flakes and let it simmer, which smelled even more wonderful. Then mixed in fresh basil (wonderful again) and set aside. At that point, I was halfway done. Man, I love this dish.




While the filling cooled, I prepared the crust. Don't you just love refrigerated dough? Maybe it doesn't make the yummiest, most authentic, straight-from-Grandma's-oven creations, but it sure makes things easier. Don't get me wrong. I have every intention of weaning myself off of the cardboard can. But a recipe this simple deserves to stay that way.

So out came the mysteriously preserved log of dough. I unraveled it, formed four sections and filled each with meat and mozzarella. It works best if you keep the filling on one half of the dough so nothing spills out when you fold it over.

Important tip: Don’t make your calzones on top of your pre-heating oven. Turns out dough can melt, which makes this process a little bit harder. Like trying to stuff meat sauce into peanut butter. Yeah. Thankfully, the taste wasn't ruined. And even more thankfully, the recipe's simplicity allowed for a re-do later in the week, hence the lovely un-melted photos.




After 12 minutes in the oven, I had four piping-hot calzones and one majorly drooling husband. They were delicious. A perfect little pizza pocket filled with lots of saucy, spicy, cheesy goodness. I totally forgot I was eating turkey. It tasted more like spicy beef. (I did add a bit more red pepper than the recipe called for, and I recommend it.)

With my first bite, I thought it was going to be a little too much food for one person. I told the hubs he may have to finish mine. But as I was rounding bite 15, I began instinctively hovering over my food while shooting death stares at my husband's "done yet?" looks.


With only eight ingredients and a few simple steps, this is one of those dishes I can whip up on a minute's notice. So sorry, Pizza Hut. I've got a hot new Friday night date.


Turkey & Basil Calzones
Cooking Light, December 2008
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 calzone)

Cooking spray
2  garlic cloves, minced
1  pound  ground turkey breast (original recipe called for ground chicken)
3/4  cup  prepared pizza sauce
1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper (I added a bit more)
1/4  cup  chopped fresh basil
1  (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Stir in pizza sauce and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Let stand 10 minutes.

Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; cut dough into quarters. Pat each portion into an 8 x 6–inch rectangle. Divide chicken mixture evenly among rectangles; top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese. Working with one rectangle at a time, fold dough in half over filling, pinching edges to seal. Repeat procedure with remaining rectangles. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until golden.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 459 (14% from fat), Fat: 7.1g (sat 1.8g,mono 1g,poly 0.4g), Protein: 39.1g, Carbohydrate: 56.4g, Fiber: 3g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Iron: 3.7mg, Sodium: 919mg, Calcium: 111mg.


Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Once again, I'm ripping you off. Probably this weekend if I can get to the store in all this snow! Great idea, looks yummy!

Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

sarahe said...

yum!!! i always crave pizza...will have to make these!

Kathryn said...

Wow looks yummy!!!

teresa said...

i like the way you think! friday night, sweatpants, and some amazing calzones. it can't possibly get better then that!

Mhel said...

I am already bookmarking this post. Your recipe seems easy to follow, also bec of the photos. I would want to make one someday! Thanks for sharing this...

Happy Saturday Sharefest!

Holly said...

Mu hubby LOVES Calzones! These look great and thanks for the step by step instructions - I have never made one...I need them! Thanks for stopping by 504 Main and following. I was already following you and still am!)!

simplysandi said...

Thank you for visiting my site. Your calzones are alot healthier than mine.

Katy ~ said...

Yummy calzone. I haven't made calzones in a while and I now I must. These look so good. Thank you for posting a healthier version of great recipe.

Tina Lane said...

This is a great idea. The Hubs and I almost always have ground turkey meat in the freezer and spaghetti sauce is never too far off either. We have to embrace our blizzard survival skills.

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