The one frozen food I have seriously always loved are hot pockets. I remember eating them as a kid, and definitely as a freshman in the dorms. And maybe like one time last week. So, I decided to make a healthier, “adult” hot pocket version, aka a calzone. It was so good!
You could really put anything inside of these, but I decided to brown some turkey sausage and caramelize some onions and leeks. If you’ve never had leeks, try them! I hadn’t until probably within the last year or so, but I’m obsessed with them now. They’re pretty easy to prepare, you just have to be sure you wash them thoroughly because they can be sandy/dirty. Some people soak them, but I just slice them and rinse them really well in a colander.
The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for the onions and leeks to caramelize, because it can take about 45 minutes – but it is SO worth it. And, it makes your house smell delicious. You can use any cheese you want inside, but I did a mixture of part-skim ricotta and part-skim mozzarella. Also, if you don’t have any frozen pizza dough, just buy some from your local grocery store or pizzeria! The spicy turkey sausage and the sweet caramelized onions and leeks are a delicious combo.
|I spy my broken pizza stone 🙁|
This is something fun to make with friends, or an easy way to get kids involved with cooking in the kitchen by having them put their own toppings in the calzone. You could invite people over, set up a bar of toppings, and have people build their own. Or, you can just eat it by yourself, which I fully support.
Turkey Sausage and Caramelized Onion & Leek Calzones
- 1 pizza crust dough, I used this recipe.
- 1/2 lb. hot italian turkey sausage
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 large white onion
- 1 large leek
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
- 1/3 cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Favorite marinara sauce, for dipping.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Warm a large, heavy-bottomed skillet on medium. Cut the onion in half, then slice both halves thinly. Cut the dark green and leafy part of the leek off and discard. Cut the white & lighter green part of the leek in half, then slice both halves thinly. Place in colander and rinse with cool water thoroughly.
- Melt the butter in the skillet, and add the onion and leek. Season with salt and pepper. Let the onions and leeks caramelize until they are soft and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Throughout the process, stir every few minutes and watch the heat. Depending on your skillet and stove, you might have to adjust the heat.
- Meanwhile, in another skillet, brown the turkey sausage until cooked through. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese and the mozzarella cheese together, season with a little salt and pepper.
- When the sausage, onions and leeks are finished cooking, cut the pizza dough in half and roll each round into a large oval, mine was about 10″ x 6“. Place on pizza stone or nonstick baking sheet.
- On one half the dough round, place half the cheese mixture on the bottom, leaving a little bit of a border on the outside, followed by half of the onion and leek mixture, and half of the turkey sausage. Do the same with the second dough round. Fold the empty half of the dough on top of the mixture, and pinch closed with your fingers. Take a fork and crimp the edges together tightly. Brush the entire calzone with the egg. Using a shark knife, make two little slits on the top of each calzone.
- Place in oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the calzones are golden brown.
- Serve with your favorite marinara sauce on the side, and enjoy!
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