Calzones (with Kids)

Anderson, enjoying his calzone!

This summer, while visiting my nephews in Seattle, we brainstormed the idea of making stuffed bread.  First, they hadn’t made bread at this point in the week, and second, they were trying to think of any excuse to eat tons of olives in their meal!  So as we approached the date to make it, my 7 year old nephew, Hunter, of course wanted something completely different than my 9 year old nephew, Anderson.  BUT, the solution was easy!  Why my one, large, stuffed bread, when we could make 4, individualized, stuffed pizzas. (We didn’t want to leave my sister out.) Of course, they did make to make sure to pick at least 1 vegetable to go inside and have a side salad.

When it’s a Friday night, and the kids are antsy, get them up and involved.  You’ll see here how they were involved almost the entire way as great chefs/helpers!

Ingredients: (vary according to your family’s taste) 

  • 1-2 packages store-bought refrigerated pizza dough
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, plus extra for topping
  • 4 ounces pepperoni slices
  • Olives, sliced
  • Pizza Sauce (for inside or dipping) 
  • (We used some meatballs from my Turkey and Pork Meatball recipe)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or non-stick tin foil.  (note: if you have not tried non-stick tin-foil, it’s a must! You don’t have to add much oil to your vegetables when you roast, and they won’t stick to the pan… and you don’t have to wash it! Miraculous!) 

Divide up dough into portion.  Over a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough into a thin circle or rectangle; about 1/4 inch thick. (Parent may need to help with the rolling pin to get it thin and even to the other children.) 


Using only half of the dough in front of them, allow each person to top their own calzone with their topping choices.  


(Anderson made: Meatball, pepperoni and olives…My sister added extra tomatoes) 
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on anyone’s and everyone’s.

Fold over non-covered dough half.  Crease, pinch, or tuck the edges of the dough to form a pocket. If possible, allow each child/person, to put their own spin on the outside. (Maybe with a piece of extra dough.) 

Bake calzone for 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown. 
Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes before slicing. 

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