Oh Versatile Calzones – Cheezy Spinach Version
I was initially going to make these on the grill, but then I remembered my Grilled Peaches Pizza and I sort of chickened out… so I decided to make abstraction of the intense summer heat and fired up the oven instead.
Yeah, the house got hot[ter], but it was very well worth it! What a delicious and filling and satisfying dish this was!
You know, I can’t think of a dish that’s more versatile than calzones, really.
- They are highly portable and you can eat them hot or cold, so that makes them an ideal dish to take with you to work for lunch;
- Of course, they’re aslo perfect for picnics, for you don’t need much else than a napkin to enjoy them if you’re gonna eat them cold;
- If you prefer to reheat them, can easily do so in the microwave or toaster oven;
- You could have them for breakfast, lunch, supper, snack… you can basically eat them whenever, wherever!
- You can make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer wrapped in aluminum foil. Then it’s easy to just grab one (or as many as you need) from the freezer and reheat it in the oven. Better yet, just take one out of the freezer before you go to bed and in the morning, your lunch is all ready to go!
- You can make them as big or as small as you want;
- You can stuff them with pretty much anything you want which means you can make them as healthy (or as unhealthy) as you like… 😉
Of course, the version that you see here is super healthy!
I chose to take the classic route and go with spinach for my first try. You can’t go wrong with spinach, now, can you? But despite being extremely healthy, I found that if using spinach and cheese alone, the dish might have lacked a bit in the protein department.
Notice I did say MIGHT have…
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I won’t say it too loud, just in case your kids are listening. I wouldn’t want them to overhear, you know! 😉
I actually put tofu in these calzones.
But I promise I won’t tell anyone if you don’t… 😉
Because you know what? There is no way anyone will ever be able to tell it is actually there.
These taste rich and cheesy and have a great hooey and gooey texture. The tofu actually blends in with the cheese, so it gives the illusion that there is even more cheese than there actually is.
Now you might think that this is a little too extensive to make on a week night. Well, I thought the exact same thing, but I figured if the dough was good and ready to go by the time I got back from work, then I could very well pull it off.
So what I did is, the night before, I took the dough out of the freezer and left it in the fridge to thaw overnight. Then, before I left for work in the morning, I lightly brushed the dough with olive oil and placed it in a small bowl. I then covered it loosely with plastic wrap and put it in the cupboard to rise.
By the time I got back home, it was all poofed up and ready to use! The stuffing takes no time at all to make, and the calzones themselves cook fairly quickly also.
I highly recommend saving this one for a cooler day, however.
Unless you really love sweating…
Or you’re a little crazy, like me! 😉
(for 2 large calzones)
- 325g spinach, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 100g extra firm tofu, grated
- 100g low fat mozzarella, grated
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 500F
- In a non-stick skillet, cook onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until translucent. Lower heat, add spinach and stir until spinach is completely wilted, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add cottage cheese, tofu, mozzarella, egg and nutmeg and mix until well combined.
- Remove excess liquid from spinach and fold into cheese mixture. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
- Divide dough ball in 2 equal pieces and roll or stretch each piece into a 6-8 inch disc. I like to use cornmeal when rolling and stretching my dough as it tends to get trapped into the dough and adds a nice little crunch.
- Mound half of the spinach mixture on the center of each of the discs. Flatten it just a bit with a spoon, bringing the mixture more towards one side of the disc.
- Fold the dough back onto itself and press lightly on the calzone to form a half moon.
- Fold the edges, twice if possible, to seal in the filling.
- Transfer to a pizza pan or cookie sheet and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crust turns crispy, nice and golden brown.
- Serve however, wherever and whenever you prefer! 😉
59 Comments on “Oh Versatile Calzones – Cheezy Spinach Version”
This looks amazing – I’m DEFINITELY going to try these when it cools off. I’m always looking for protein-heavy, healthy lunch ideas. Thank you!!!
Thanks Monique, that’s appreciated! Make sure to let me know if you try them! 😀
I want to jump through the screen and take a bite!!! If only I could make a gluten free version that looked as yummy as yours!!! Love the addition of tofu – that’s right up my alley! Beautiful photos, as usual!!!
Thank you so much Nora! Why would a gluten free version not look as pretty, tell me? Are there not flours that are gluten free that would make a great dough? Excuse my ignorance, I have never really looked into this… I don’t have a problem with gluten. Well, at least not that I know of! 😉
Awesome! I love these. I was thinking of making something similar to this so my sister in law can make some and put them in the freezer for when she has her baby. I love meals like that too 😀 And I’m super glad you linked to that whole wheat pizza dough recipe 🙂 And I love that you added nutmeg to this. Yum!
That whole wheat dough recipe is definitely a keeper. The only one I will make now. I make a full batch and keep the unused portions in the freezer. It’s just perfect that dough, I tell you. Next time I make it, I think it will be getting its own post! It truly deserves one! 😀
absolutely beautiful dough and stunning, stunning pictures! 🙂
Thank you very much, Flavia! 🙂
I LOVE LOVE LOVE spinach with cheese… ooooh! soft, melting in your mouth and so delicious!
These look stunning, irresistable infact. I want to make them for dinner tonight. Don’t think I’ll have problem finding a warm place for the dough to rise!! I might put some pine nuts & raisins in there too, can’t wait!
Ooooh! I like! I actually thought of putting walnuts in mine, but then I figured I had enough protein as it was with the addition of tofu.
You are one brave woman if you are going to make these tonight… unless it’s not quite as hot on your side of the pond as it is on this one…
New follower here–was led to you by FoodGawker! The calzones look scrumptious. I bought some tofu a while back and it is in my pantry. Any idea how long it’s good for? Would love to give these a whirl.
Thanks Heather! Glad you found your way here! I really appreciate visitors. 😀
As for your tofu, there should be a “best before” date on the package. Once opened, you want to keep it submerged in water and change the water every day. It will keep for up to 5 days. You did mention your pantry, though… tofu should always be kept in the fridge… I hope that’s what you meant! 😉
Sonia, I love your taste in food, it’s very similar to mine! I have so many of your recipes bookmarked, but I have a quick and possibly silly question.. is there an easy way to convert from grams?
So glad to hear Andrea! I sure would love to hear your comments if you ever make any of my recipes! And there is no such thing as a silly question! There are many websites that you can go to for quick and exact conversions, but I find that if you keep in mind that 30 grams is roughly an ounce and that 450 grams is about a pound, it makes converting recipes pretty fast and easy. Or you can get a kitchen scale that has both settings! 😉
Thank you Sonia! 🙂
They look so professional! Great choice of fillings. I love the versatility of calzones too because you can stuff them with anything.
Spinach and cheese is one of my favorite combos. Can’t wait to try them!
Sonia – I nearly wept with joy. You’ve combined two passions of mine: spinach + cheese. Thanks for the divine recipe, the glory shots + constant inspiration. xo
Aww, thanks to you Felicia. How very nice of you to say. You are too kind, really! 😀
just stumbled across your site through flickr and it is AWESOME! Just on the first page I saw several things I want to make and this calzone will be soon, maybe even today! Your pictures are inspiring and beautiful! Will post again after I try this and others! Thanks!
Thanks Mellissa! Glad you like some of my recipes and looking forward to your comments on them. I hope you still like them as much once you’ve tried them out! 😉
I just found your site from tastespotting. AWESOME recipes!!! Of course being a forever dieting Italian, the calzone caught my eye instantly. Can’t wait to explore the rest of your site. Thanks for sharing.
When I saw secret ingredient on foodgawker i was hoping it would be tofu! So cool. These are being saved to make for SURE!
I really hope you like ’em Sam! Let me know how they turned out! 😀
That looks amazing! I have frozen homemade whole wheat pizza dough in my freezer–now I know what to do with it!
Thanks Kate! I hope you like the calzones! 😀
Oh, and I just visited your site! WOW! Your photos are absolutely breathtaking! Gorgeous! New regular, here! 😀
Mmmm! I will definitely be trying these! I love spinach and cheese! I’m not vegetarian, so I think I’ll go ahead and put chicken in instead of tofu. I stay away from soy due to the estrogen in it causing increased risk of reproductive cancers in women. Your pictures are so great! I’ll be trying the pizza dough too; I’m always on the lookout for good pizza dough recipes. (Pizza being another excellently versatile dish.) Thanks for sharing your recipes! 🙂
Thanks Megan. You should definitely give that dough a try, it’s by far the best whole wheat pizza dough I’ve ever had. Takes a little bit of thinking ahead, but it’s really worth the extra effort. 🙂
Replacing tofu with chicken sounds like a great option to me! Let me know how it turns out if you try it!
These calzones look so yummy. I so want to make them but my doctor told me to avoid soy since I’m sensitive to it. The chicken substitution sounds good. Any other suggestions on how to make the filling without soy?
Chicken, ground beef, cubed ham, hard boiled eggs, crushed walnuts (although maybe not the whole quantity), cooked butternut squash, roasted mushrooms… there are so many great ingredients that you could use instead of tofu. Let your imagination go wild! 🙂
We just tried your recipe and blogged about it on http://www.ibeafoodie.wordpress.com. We chose the recipe because the ingredients are all friendly for someone cooking for Inflammatory Bowel Disease diet. Thanks for the recipe!!!
Is the nutrition information available for this recipe? i’d love to make it, but I’d really like to know the nutrition info. Thanks, the calzones look great!
Sorry Amanda, I do not have that information.
Made this recipe last night. LOVED it. I tried it because I was struck by the idea of using tofu to increase the “cheese factor” – such a fabulous result I will start experimenting with other cheese dishes. Whilst I was making the dish I just thought of the pastry as a vehicle- but I really was impressed! Thank you so much for posting this (your recipe has ended up on a plate all the way in the Netherlands)!
Alright! So happy to hear that this recipe turned out for you! And thank you so much for letting me know. I always appreciate good feedback! Love the idea of adding tofu and mushrooms. I will keep that in mind for the next time I feel like making calzones. 🙂
…oh and I added 250g mushrooms in cubes to the onion – I really enjoyed that extra dimension of earthy flavour. (By the way I cooked the spinach seperately and put it in a colander to squeeze dry……Also I used a little less cottage cheese)
Loved this recipe!! Wrote a post about it. Thanks for the photo inspiration ;).
Thanks Ali. Glad you liked the recipe. Thanks to you for the kind words in your post. That’s truly appreciated! 🙂
Looks great and I am going to dip it in marinara sauce. Have you tried it that way?
No, I’m afraid I haven’t… in fact, I don’t think that it would’ve ever occurred to me. I remember, back in my old days, I used to dip pizza crust in hot and spicy bbq sauce… I know, how totally unhealthy! But I bet this calzone dipped in marinara sauce could be really glorious! 🙂
Looks amazing! Will definitely have to try this recipe.
Just made these and they are AWESOME!! Thanks for the amazing recipe!
YAY! So happy to hear you liked them! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
Looks gorgeous! Would try with diced chicken breast instead / in complement of tofu.
Thanks! Love the idea of adding chicken!
I am so excited to try this Recipe. It looks amazing!
But how much tofu and cheese was used roughly in cups?
Ooof… it’s been a while. I would say about 3/4 of a cup. It’s not an exact science, so feel free to use a little less or a little more.
Let me know how the recipe turns out if you end up trying it! 🙂
soft, melting in your mouth and so delicious!
Thanks for the amazing recipe!
Can’t wait to try them!
Your photography is so good. It makes the calzones look even more appetizing. Can’t wait to try them out.
Thank you Lana. That’s really kind of you to say!