Vegan Italian Calzone

Cheese. Tomato sauce. Bread. Repeat. And those my friends, are the three reasons why we love Italian food.

OK. OK. So yes, there’s more to Italian food than cheese, tomatoes and bread … lots more … but growing up in the U.S., I think a lot of people think (or thought) Dominos pizza is Italian. Just sayin’. And truthfully, I was no different. When I was young, my idea of Italian food was either order-in pizza or spaghetti with some kind of flavorless red sauce and the occasional meatball or sausage. Oh, and that God-awful shakeable “cheese” someone (probably someone here in the States) decided was akin to Parmesan. 

And then I grew up. And I learned what ossobuco is. What a hearty ragu is. The difference between capellini and rigatoni. What limoncello is … tiramisu, alfredo, manicotti, puttanesca … and calzone. The first time I had calzone I was mesmerized by flavors. The way the outside was so perfectly doughy but crisp at the same time. How the insides were the perfect combination of meat, cheese and vegetables. And I was in love. And then, I grew up a little bit more and stopped eating meat and sadly, stopped eating calzone

But. Then I found a place that made vegetarian calzone and once again Cupid struck and I was under the influence of a deep-rooted love for this half circle Italian wonder piece. And then, I grew up a little bit more and stopped eating dairy. And so … yea, I suffered a little heartbreak as there was no such thing as a calzone without cheese.

Then one day, I learned about vegan cheese … well, caveat here, the first time I tried vegan cheese I wanted to vomit. But that was like 10 years ago. Maybe even longer. Nowadays a lot of companies have the flavor profile mastered. True, the consistency is different. But you can retrain your palate, and honestly, it’s worth it and it’s not that much a stretch. Seriously, do it!! And when you use other things like I do in this vegan calzone you won’t even notice a difference. Try it. You’ll like it : ) Because once you go vegan, you never go back—at least not when it comes to cheese.

Vegan Calzone

PREP TIME: 30 minutes | COOK TIME: 45 minutes

Heat oven to 350 degrees. On the stove top, saute onion, garlic and celery in 2 TBS olive oil until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Add carrot and cook another 5 minutes. Add the herbs and remaining veggies, sans the tomato, and another 2-3 TBS olive oil, saute over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and simmer 10-15 minutes. Add tomato, cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat once all liquid is absorbed and set aside.

Roll out pizza dough on a flat surface using the flour to help keep it from sticking. Once you have your desired thickness, place rounds of rolled dough on parchment paper lightly dusted with olive oil. Spoon vegetable mixture on one half, add cheese and fold into a semicircle, pinching the edges together to seal. Brush the top with a little olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve with a little more red sauce on the top, a dusting of vegan Parmesan, and or a drizzling of olive oil and or fresh tomatoes. Buon cibo!

  • 1 “ball” fresh pizza dough* from your grocery
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 portobellos, sliced
  • 15 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into cubes
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup eggplant, skin removed, chopped
  • ¼ to ½ cup fresh herbs: basil, oregano, parsley
  • ½ to 1 cup red wine
  • 2-3 large canned Italian plum tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup vegan Parmesan (recipe link here)
  • A little more olive oil for drizzling
  • Tomato sauce for topping, optional
  • Fresh sliced tomatoes for topping, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees. On the stove top, saute onion, garlic and celery in 2 TBS olive oil until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Add carrot and cook another 5 minutes. Add the herbs and remaining veggies, sans the tomato, and another 2-3 TBS olive oil, saute over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and simmer 10-15 minutes. Add tomato, cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat once all liquid is absorbed and set aside.

Rollout pizza dough on a flat surface using the flour to help keep it from sticking. Once you have your desired thickness, place rounds of rolled dough on parchment paper lightly dusted with olive oil. Spoon vegetable mixture on one half, add cheese and fold into a semicircle, pinching the edges together to seal. Brush the top with a little olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve with a little more red sauce on the top, a dusting of vegan parmesan, and or a drizzling of olive oil and or fresh tomatoes. Buon cibo!

*Most grocery stores have fresh dough available in plastic bags, and most are vegan. Not gluten-free, but vegan. Just be sure to read the ingredient list.

DISCLAIMER: Our recipes are just that, ours. Some are modified versions of dishes we’ve had elsewhere or old-favorites that contained animal proteins, while others are a concentrated effort of trial and error. But all are intended to be altered by you and made to suit your tastes. So if you want more garlic or none at all, go for it. You do you ; )

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3 Comments

    1. Gastro Lovely

      Hi Dorothy … just figuring out that I had a filter on my comments and was never getting notified. I’m so sorry I’ve never responded … but now I know. And I haven’t tried the provolone. Will see if they have it in the store this week. I wish someone would come up with a vegan version of brie—that’s like my only downfall : )

      Liked by 1 person

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