This post is sponsored by the National Turkey Federation. You can find delicious turkey recipe ideas on their website, www.eatturkey.org.
I can’t believe it’s already back-to-school season and while it may be the case that the school year isn’t going to be a completely normal one, at least we can make sure to have some good meals in the fridge during the year! These Turkey Sausage Calzones are a great option!
While these do involve a bit of work, especially if you are making the dough, they are a fun weekend baking project and you can eat them right away for dinner and have some leftovers for weeknight quick meals!
Read on and master these turkey calzones!
What kind of turkey sausage to use?
If you can find it, try to use actual turkey sausage for these calzones. Most grocery stores will carry some sort of Italian turkey sausage and that will work well for these.
If you can’t find that, you can use ground turkey and mix in a pinch of ground sage or rosemary to give it some extra spice.
If all else fails, you can use turkey breast and just dice it up and use it in the filling. Again, I would recommend seasoning the filling a bit more than the recipe below if you are using turkey breast instead of turkey sausage.
How to make calzone dough
Calzone dough is essentially pizza dough although I do like a little more yeast and olive oil in my calzone dough than in my standard pizza dough recipe.
If you have a stand mixer, you can mix the dough ingredients together with a dough hook for about 10 minutes until the dough isn’t sticky and really pliable. Then let it rest in an oiled bowl for two hours before using for the calzones.
If you want to skip the mixer, you can make this dough by hand by stirring together the ingredients with a wooden spoon. Once the dough comes together, knead it on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes until it’s very smooth. If it’s sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon. Again, let the dough rest before using.
In a pinch, you can absolutely use store-bought pizza dough for these calzones. You’ll need about 1 ½ pounds to make the full recipe.
How to prepare turkey calzones
Once you have the dough and filling made for this calzone, it’s pretty straightforward to make them.
Divide the calzone dough into six portions and roll the first one out on a lightly floured surface until it’s at least six inches in diameter. Add about ¼ cup the ricotta mixture to the bottom half of the circle, then top with a sixth of the turkey sausage mixture. Top the calzone filling with a slice of provolone, ripped up to fit.
Fold over the calzone dough and pinch if closed around the edges. Use a serrated knife to cut some slits in the top of the calzone to let steam escape.
When you have all the calzones made, brush them with some egg wash to promote a browned, delicious crust.
Bake the calzones at 375˚F for 30-35 minutes and you’ll be in the calzone zone!
What to serve with turkey calzones?
These are a hearty meal and quite honestly I can make a light dinner or lunch out of just a half of a calzone.
That said, I like to serve them with something like, like a salad or even just fruit. If corn is in season, this would go well with this Spicy Corn Salad, or this Easy Falafel Salad would be great any time of year. Sometimes I would serve these with just a few dips like maybe Homemade Baba Ghanoush or this Creamy Cilantro Dip.
Keep it light and fresh though when serving something alongside these calzones!
Storing and reheating calzones
These calzones store well and reheat almost to their original glory. Wrap them in foil for storage in the fridge for up to five days. If you are freezing, then also store in a freezer-safe bag to prevent freezer burn and they will be fine for up to three months.
Reheat the calzones in a 350˚F oven for 10 minutes if they are coming from the fridge and until they are warmed through if they are coming from the freezer.
Turkey Sausage Calzones
- 4 cups 22 ounces bread flour
- 1 packet instant yeast, 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 1 pound turkey sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- ½ cup marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pound ricotta
- 1 egg yolk
- 6 slices Provolone cheese
- 1 egg , + 1 tablespoon water
- For dough:
- Stir together flour, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in olive oil and then add water, mixing on medium speed with a dough hook or with a wooden spoon until it comes together and then knead it for about ten minutes until it’s smooth. If you’re using a dough hook, mix dough on medium for 8-10 minutes. If at any point the dough is very wet and sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon. If the dough is very dry and cracking, add more water by the tablespoon.
- When dough is ready, add to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for two hours. Then divide into six even portions for calzones.
- For Filling:
- Remove turkey sausage from casing if it is in a casing and break apart in a skillet, with olive oil, over medium-high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes, continuing to break apart sausage as it cooks, until it’s browned and cooked through.
- Once sausage is cooked, add peppers and onions and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes until vegetables soften.
- Add marinara, sage, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until combined. The mixture shouldn’t be watery at all and nice and thick.
- Meanwhile, whisk together ricotta with egg yolk.
- To Make Calzones:
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Working with one portion of calzone dough (1/6 of batch), roll it out on lightly floured surface into a circle at least 6 inches in diameter. Add about ¼ cup of ricotta mixture to the bottom half of dough and top with a sixth of the turkey mixture. Top that with a slice of provolone cheese, ripped up.
- Fold the top of the calzone over the filling, pulling it tight and crimping it around the edges. Then use a serrated knife to cut a few slices in the top of the calzone so steam can escape.
- Move the calzone to a baking sheet and repeat until you have six calzones.
- Brush the calzones with egg wash and move to oven.
- Bake calzones for 30-35 minutes at 375˚F until they are golden brown on top and around the edges.
- Let cool for five minutes before serving or let cool to room temperature and wrap in foil for storage in the fridge.
- Reheat stored calzones in a 350˚F oven for 10 minutes until warmed through or in the microwave for 1 minute on high. Calzones will keep in the fridge for 5 days or freeze for longer storage.