How to make a meatball calzone

There’s nothing better than leftovers – especially leftovers that improve with time. A prime example are succulent, walnut-sized meatballs cooked in a rich tomato sauce. The flavours in this classic Italian dish intensify overnight and you’re left with a meal that tastes as good as, if not better, the first time round.

The good news is that it’s easy to whip up a big batch of meatballs and save half for another meal – namely in this cheesy New York-style meatball calzone.

How to make a meatball calzone

I grew up in New York City with a pizzeria on my corner which, to say the least, I visited frequently. One of my favourite items on the menu was a meatball calzone: a mouth-watering mix of meatballs, tomato sauce, ricotta and mozzarella encased in a crisp-yet-chewy pizza crust. It was good – really good.

So, in order to satisfy my craving for this meaty, cheesy creation, I’ve discovered a way to recreate it at home. Use up a batch of leftover meatballs – we’ve got lots of meatball recipes to choose from – then use it to stuff a doughy pizza crust, with extra ricotta and mozzarella of course.

If you don’t have the exact ingredients listed below, simply use your best judgement. The cheeses can always be swapped for ones of your choice and you can vary the number of meatballs depending on how many you have leftover – just make sure you don’t over-stuff the dough!

Or, double the ingredients for the pizza dough and make two calzones if you have lots to pack in.

New York-style calzone

Serves: 2
Hands-on time 15 minutes, oven-time 15 minutes


  • 350g pizza dough
  • 6 leftover meatballs (in their sauce), quartered
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 100g ricotta
  • 100g mozzarella


1. Prepare the pizza dough as instructed.
2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7 and place a heavy-based baking tray inside the oven to heat. Put the meatballs, leftover sauce and chilli flakes into a pan and warm over medium heat, until heated through. Remove from heat and stir through the ricotta.
3. Roll out the dough into a large circle, about 5mm thick, and place the meatball mixture onto one side of the dough leaving about three centimetres of dough for crimping. Sprinkle over the mozzarella.


4. Fold the right hand side of the dough over the filling until it becomes a semi-circle. Crimp the edges so it’s secure and the filling won’t escape.


5. Slide the calzone onto the pre-heated baking tray and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the calzone is browned. Dig in!

Want more? Check out all our brilliant batch-cook recipes.

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