Baked calzones are one of my favorite Italian dishes to make when I want an alternative to pizza or pasta. Calzones are savory turnovers filled with meat, veggies and cheese, baked into little pockets of tasty goodness, served with a side of fresh tomato sauce for dipping.
For this KitchenAid recipe challenge, I’m making some Savory Veggie and Cheese Scones Filled with More Cheese & Meat – stuffed, baked calzones, but made with a herb and cheese scone dough that is light and buttery and super tasty.
They’re so fun and easy to make, especially with the help of a powerhouse machine like my new KitchenAid® 11-Cup Food Processor, which does everything for me (except the cooking)! It makes the dough in a snap, easily preps the sauce and all the tasty ingredients for the filling, including shredding the cheeses and chopping the veggies. It also has a 3-cup work bowl that you can use for making sauces or prepping smaller amounts of ingredients. And the precise ExactSliceTM system allows you to slice from thick to thin just by sliding the lever.
Start by making your dough first in the large 11-cup bowl by adding the ingredients and pulsing a few times until the dough comes together.
Gather the dough into a ball and cut the dough in half into two pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator while you make your marinara sauce.
To make the sauce, blanch, peel and seed your tomatoes and cut them in half (for smaller tomatoes) or quarters (for larger tomatoes). Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and basil leaves and process in the large bowl on medium-high speed until blended thoroughly. Put the sauce in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and then reduce to a simmer to cook through while you prep the fillings for the calzones.
Chop your veggie fillings (peppers and onions) into large chunks and place into the 3-cup work bowl, pulsing a few times for a medium-fine chop and set aside.
Cook your Italian sausage in olive oil with some garlic and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat until browned well and no longer pink.
Add the veggies and sauté for about 5-7 minutes until soft and translucent. Then add your spinach and sauté for a few minutes until wilted. Combine the cooked veggies with the sausage mixture and set aside.
Next switch to the shredding blade (with the larger holes) and insert into the food processor to shred the cheeses.
Get all your cheese ingredients ready to start making your scrumptious scone calzones.
Once all the ingredients are prepped, you simply press out your scone dough to 1/4-inch thick and into a large 10-11-inch circle on a silicone mat or parchment paper to prevent it from sticking.
Top half of the dough with your fresh marinara sauce, leaving a 2-inch border.
Top it with your shredded cheeses and ricotta.
Top it with a few tablespoons of the sausage and veggie filling, and sprinkle with a little more cheese.
Fold over the dough in half and seal the edges well to make a half moon shaped pocket, and score the edges with a fork. Brush the tops with a tablespoon of heavy cream and sprinkle some additional grated cheese and salt on top.
Place the silicone mat or parchment onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes until the crust is crunchy and golden brown.
All that’s left is to gobble them up with a side of the warm marinara sauce for dipping.
Super easy and super delicious!
Herb and Cheese Scone Calzones with Sausage, Veggies and Spinach
Makes 4 servings (2 calzones cut in half)
For the dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 ounces cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup provolone cheese, shredded
A few fresh basil leaves (1/4 cup chopped)
A small handful of scallions or chives (1/4 cup chopped)
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-3 grinds freshly ground black pepper
For the marinara sauce
3 pounds fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Sea salt, to taste
4 fresh basil leaves, torn into bits
For the sausage and veggie filling
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red and 1/2 orange pepper, chopped
1-2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
A few fresh basil leaves, torn
For the three-cheese filling
2 ounces Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup shredded)
2 ounces Provolone cheese (1/4 cup shredded)
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
A few fresh basil leaves, torn
For the dough
Pulse the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of your food processor, pulsing a few times until mixed through. Cut cold butter into small pieces and crumble into the flour mixture until butter pieces are the size of small peas.
Add parmesan and provolone cheese, basil and scallions or chives to the dough mixture, pulsing until mixed well. Slowly add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, cayenne pepper and black pepper; mix until the dough just comes together.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces, wrap in plastic and chill for up to 30 minutes in the refrigerator while you make the sauce and fillings for the calzones.
For the marinara sauce
Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, and shock in ice water. Peel the tomatoes and cut in half, and de-seed. Place the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, sea salt and basil into the large work bowl of your KitchenAid® 11-Cup Food Processor and pulse on medium speed until ingredients are finely chopped. Set aside.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomato-garlic-basil puree and cook for about 20-30 minutes at a steady simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and cooked through.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
If making the sauce ahead of time, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
For the fillings
Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat.
Add onion and red pepper to the bowl of your food processor and pulse at medium speed until chopped into a small dice.
Heat olive oil in the sauté pan, add garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for about 1 minute on medium-low heat until lightly golden brown. Increase heat to medium high, add sausage and cook until well browned and no longer pink. Drain the cooked sausage mixture on paper towels and place in a large mixing bowl.
Heat additional tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onions and peppers until soft and onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add baby spinach and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted. Place the cooked veggies into the bowl along with cooked sausage mixture, add salt and pepper, fresh basil and stir together. Set aside to cool.
Rinse out the large bowl of the food processor and insert the shredding blade. Add the parmesan and provolone and process over medium speed until shredded. Place cheese into a large mixing bowl.
Add ricotta, eggs, salt, pepper and basil to the shredded cheese and stir to combine, reserving some of the shredded provolone and grated parmesan for garnish. Store the cheese mixture in the refrigerator with the cooked sausage and veggie mixture (once cooled), until you are ready to stuff the calzones.
For the calzones
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the calzones, press out each piece of dough to 1/4-inch thick on a greased baking sheet into two large circles (about 10-11 inches around).
Spread a few tablespoons of the marinara sauce and top with a few tablespoons of the cheese fillings on to half of the dough, leaving the other half and a two inch border around the edge empty. Add a few tablespoons of the sausage and veggie mixture, and top with some of the additional parmesan and provolone cheeses.
Carefully fold the top half of the dough over the filling to form a pocket. Seal the edges by pressing them together with your fingers; score the edges with a fork.
Brush the tops of the dough with the additional tablespoon of heavy cream. Sprinkle with some more grated cheese and a little sea salt.
Bake the scone calzones for up to 20-25 minutes, until they are crunchy and golden brown. Let cool on a baking rack for about 5-10 minutes. Garnish with additional torn basil, grated cheese, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Serve hot with a side of the fresh marinara sauce for dipping.
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*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*