Easy Restaurant Style Skillet Calzone recipe you can make at home. Meaty, gooey cheese center with crisp veggies in a chewy, flaky and buttery pizza dough shell.
Within this recipe post you’ll learn how to make an easy restaurant-style calzone in a skillet; as well as how to substitute ground beef for Italian sausage, and the difference between green and warm colored bell peppers.
Olia and I have a thing for romantic movies. Actually she started it, but I do cherish the time we spend together watching them. While we go out for dinner and events, there’s something about spending a nice night in with a loved one. A dinner and a movie at home is a worthy alternative to it’s night-out sibling. What better way to enjoy it than with a Restaurant Style Skillet Calzone?
When you think of cheese, especially mozzarella or Parmesan, what comes to mind? For me, Italian food instantly comes to mind. Hence the rich, hearty and fun skillet calzone.
I opted for pre-made pizza dough for the shell. Cook ground beef, or you can use Italian sausage for a more authentic pizza flavor. I know a little trick to make beef just as good; it’s just one secret ingredient that you need. Read the cooking tips section for details.
Onions, mushroom, green bell peppers, and of course cheese, is all you need for a perfect Italian restaurant-style skillet calzone dinner in. Did you know green bell pepper come from the same plant as red, yellow and orange? The only difference is they are picked sooner, and less ripe, therefore less sweet. Read more on green peppers from the Kitchn.
What is the main flavor of Italian sausage, and can you substitute ground beef?
Fennel seeds are the main ingredient that give Italian sausage its unique flavor. This is my preferred choice when making any Italian dish with meat. If you don’t have any sausage in stock, or want to use more affordable beef instead, add fennel seeds. About 2 teaspoons per pound is all you need. Add it while you are cooking the beef to infuse seeds and flavor into the meat.
Products used in this recipe:
Flavor profiles: Savory, meaty, cheesy and buttery.
Texture: Chewy and crispy pizza dough filled with a creamy, gooey, cheesy center, tender ground beef, and a bit of crunch form veggies.
Dietary Options/Substitutions: For vegetarian, omit beef.
Notes: If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can try in a pie pan, but I haven’t tested this.
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Restaurant Style Skillet Calzone
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 2 13-ounce cans pizza dough
- ¾ cup marinara, or spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups shredded Stella Mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
- ½ cup shredded Stella Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional as garnish)
- Preheat oven to 400º F. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion, and seasonings from fennel seeds to salt. Cook until meat is browned, 7–10 minutes, breaking up meat and stirring during cooking. Drain excess oil and place mixture into a bowl. Allow skillet to cool slightly and wipe off with paper towel.
- Evenly sprinkle cornmeal in skillet (this adds flavor, texture and helps prevent sticking). Place dough from one can in bottom and press up into sides to reach the top of the skillet (you may need to cut of square edges or mold into a circle shape). Spread on sauce, top with meat mixture, sprinkle with mozzarella, mushrooms, bell peppers, then top with Parmesan cheese. Place remaining dough sheet on top, then press into edges of bottom dough to seal in all ingredients.
- Cut a few small slits on top to let out steam while baking. Bake 25 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool 5–10 minutes before slicing. Top with optional basil leaves.
Do you prefer a pizza or calzone, or have you ever made a skillet calzone?