What’s The Difference? Stromboli vs Calzone

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Stromboli and calzones can both be found in a pizza restaurant, and both are made with pizza fixings, as the two recipes include dough and cheese. The big differences between them are the shape and the sauce placement.

What is the difference between calzone and stromboli?

A calzone is kind of a pizza turnover – or folded over pizza, and may have red sauce on the outside, but never on the inside. A stromboli is more of a pizza burrito and does have red sauce on the inside.

While calzones are baked as individual servings, stromboli can be made in one long folded piece of dough and sliced up before plating.

What Is A Calzone?

The history of the Calzone is a long one. Are calzones Italian? Absolutely! They were developed in Naples, Italy, back in the 18th century. What does calzone mean? The word calzone refers to a stocking or wrap.

what is a calzone

Rather than the standard pizza construction with dough on the bottom, a smearing of sauce, and then toppings layered over the top, a calzone is a circle of dough with filling in the center, which is then folded and washed in egg white to crimp the folded dough and add shine to the calzone.

This delicious Italian favorite can easily be recreated at home using your favorite recipe. Check out some of the best pizza stones to help you get a better cook on the bottom. You can even double the amount, eat your full for dinner tonight and freeze the rest for later.

Typical Calzone Fillings

Spinach and ricotta is a common filling, but you can put anything inside a calzone that you might spread across a pizza, as long as it works without the red sauce.

Cooking Tip: Always be certain to cut air holes in the top so the fillings can vent steam. This will also keep the bottom from getting soggy.

Calzone Calories & Nutrition

A vegetarian calzone with the traditional filling of ricotta and spinach will come in at under 300 calories. Of course, changing the fillings will alter the calorie count. Adding red sauce to the outside prior to serving doesn’t add much to the calorie count.

What Kind of Cheese Is In A Calzone?

The traditional cheese filling features ricotta and maybe a little mozzarella. However, this can also be customized to your taste. For example, although mozzarella is the traditional cheese for pizza, you can use Monterey Jack for a stronger flavor.

calzone fillings ham cheese

Or why not skip the white cheeses altogether and create a broccoli and cheddar calzone? Chop the broccoli small and blanch it before draining well and adding to the mixture. Just be sure to poke vent holes in the top of the pastries prior to baking so you don’t wind up with a soupy mess.

To further reduce moisture, look for a low moisture cheese when shopping for calzone fillings. The wetter the filling, the greater the risk that your calzones will fail because the bread dough gets too wet.

Do Calzones Have Sauce Inside?

There’s no red sauce inside a calzone. Red sauce can be used for dipping or as a drizzle over a plated calzone. Adding red sauce will also add moisture, and may make for a soupy calzone.

Is A Calzone A Sandwich?

Since it’s portable, yes! However, you might want to make some initial cuts with a knife and fork; the centers can be steamy and may be a little runny and messy.

Calzone vs Panzerotti

Calzones are baked, while panzerotti are deep fried. In addition, panzerotti are smaller than calzones. Traditional panzerotti aren’t always filled with pizza ingredients.

Calzone vs Pizza

Pizzas have a base and toppings. While the bottom is stable, the tops can get rather gloppy, so a slice of pizza doesn’t travel all that well.

Calzones are folded and can be a walking food, but you’ll want to cut into it first as the filling can be very wet. And, of course, the dipping sauce will need to travel as well.

What to Serve With A Calzone

Any side that will go with a pizza will work with a calzone, such as a green salad. Consider adding a little sweetness to the salad, like a dried fruit, because the spinach in a calzone may be a little bitter.

Be ready to reserve a spot for the dipping sauce on the plate, and consider a beverage with a bit of acid. Lemonade may work well for children, and a nice red wine will please the adults at the table.

What Is A Stromboli?

Stromboli originated in the United States in the 1950’s. While they’re made with pizza dough, stromboli are built on top of unbaked dough, rolled up snugly like a burrito, and baked like a pizza.

what is a stromboli

You’ll need an egg-white wash to crimp the edges and fuse the dough. Poke some vent holes through – it’s better to have a bit of red sauce bubble up than to have a soggy-bottomed stromboli.

There are many restaurants that claim the invention of the Stromboli, from east (Philadelphia) to west (Spokane). No matter where they started, it’s important to note that this hearty and portable pizza-based sandwich did not come from Italy.

What’s In A Stromboli?

While a traditional calzone is a vegetarian turnover, a stromboli is the hero sandwich of Italian dining; these tasty rolled sandwiches are loaded with meat. In addition, the red sauce necessary to make the dough sing is wrapped up inside the sandwich. Finally, you’ll find mozzarella cheese.

You can add veggies, of course, so any pizza appropriate vegetable such as peppers, onions or mushrooms will work well in your stromboli sandwich.

Avoid any product that’s very wet, such as pineapple. This may compromise the integrity of the pizza dough and make it hard to eat as a sandwich.

Stromboli Calories & Nutrition

This quick and easy stromboli recipe puts the calorie count at over 900 calories.

Stromboli are meat-intensive and quite high in protein. However, if you’re concerned about salt and really miss pizza, you can make your own stromboli with low-salt sausage and pepperoni for a lower-sodium treat!

Related | Difference Between Pepperoni And Salami and What Is Old World Pepperoni?

Does a Stromboli Have Ricotta Cheese?

While the calzone does traditionally contain ricotta, stromboli are usually made with mozzarella. Stromboli are also made with the red sauce inside the dough, rather than on the side.

When wrapping your stromboli, be sure to create vent holes for steam to escape so the bread maintains integrity. Stromboli are meant to be portable.

What Does Stromboli Mean?

Depending on the origin story you prefer, the word stromboli either refers to a sandwich or a movie of the same name. Curiously enough, Stromboli is also a volcanic island off the coast of Sicily.

What To Serve With Stromboli?

As noted above, stromboli sandwiches are usually pretty loaded with meat, so a simple green salad is probably an excellent option.

Because stromboli are very high in processed meats, consider adding something acidic to the salad, such as a vinegar-based dressing. And, of course, some nice red wine.

Final Thoughts – Which Is Better?

In reviewing the difference between stromboli and calzones, the primary difference seems to be the filling. While you can make a vegetarian stromboli, this sandwich was designed to wrap around meat coated in red sauce.

Conversely, while you can add meat to a calzone, the original filling contained vegetables and cheese. Your favorite will likely refer back to your tolerance for meat and salt.

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.