These mini pesto and cheese calzones are such a fun holiday appetizer. Of course they would be good any time of year. They can stand on their own or as part of a holiday appetizer board or buffet - and you know how much I love those! Entertaining at home is the name of the game this year. And while our gatherings might be smaller, they will not and should not be any less special.
This post is sponsored by Filippo Berio, a brand I have been lucky enough to partner with previously and a brand I have been using for decades in my home kitchen. Their olive oils, pestos, vinegars, and glazes are a constant in my pantry and I'm thrilled to be bringing you this recipe using their delicious line of pestos. All thoughts and opinions are my own - thank you for supporting the brands that keep wild thistle kitchen cooking!
Mini Calzones with Pesto and Cheese
Ok, these calzones. I mean, I kind of have an uncontrollable love for all mini food things. These mini calzones are no exception. Fun to make, fun to photograph, and REALLY fun to eat. They could not be easier either. I will link to my basic pizza dough, but please feel free to use a good quality storebought pizza dough to make things even easier. Then it is just a matter of rolling, cutting, filling and folding. A quick egg wash and off to the oven they go. They bake up so shiny and golden and just beg to be eaten! Our kids really loved these and I will be making them again and again I'm sure. A fun switch up to our usual pizza Friday routine.
Is there a difference between pizza dough and calzone dough?
Nope! No difference at all - here is my Basic Pizza Dough Recipe which is what I used. But like I said above, feel free to use storebought dough or grab some from your local pizzeria if they sell it.
Do calzones have ricotta?
Mine do, because I like that extra bit of creaminess it offers and it is a traditional ingredient in most calzone recipes. I made homemade using my friend Ari's recipe, but again - use storebought or leave it out if you aren't a ricotta fan. I should tell you, if you think you don't like ricotta, try homemade. It is so good and SO much better than storebought . Here is a link to the recipe I have used many times: Homemade Ricotta
Pick your favorite pesto
Or use a variety like I did. If I have to pick a favorite it would be the Tomato & Ricotta pesto. It is so good! Such a rich tomato flavor and a wonderful creamy texture.
Other filling options for these mini calzones
I used shredded mozzarella and a little dab of ricotta, but feel free to use your favorite cheese and add in some pepperoni or sautéed veggies if you like. Just be careful not to over stuff them and also be mindful of how much moisture is in the ingredients. Nobody wants a soggy calzone.
Like I wrote above, for many of us, myself and my family included, the holidays look very different this year. Even if we aren't able to have the large family gatherings, I urge you to still make those special recipes you wait for all year. Put out delicious savory nibbles like these calzones, even if you are just enjoying them on the couch in your sweats! The spirit of the season is still here and I think we could all benefit from truly embracing it this year. I wish you all a happy holiday season full of love and lots of good food. xo – AnitaPrint