Difference Between Calzone And Stromboli | Tips For You

Navigating the delicious landscape of Italian-American cuisine, one encounters a delightful dilemma: the choice difference between Calzone and Stromboli. While both dishes offer a mouthwatering fusion of cheese, meats, and dough, their differences extend beyond their fillings to include their history, preparation, and regional variations. This article aims to demystify these culinary cousins, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding that not only showcases our expertise on the subject but also underscores the value of exploring these distinctions. Whether you’re a seasoned food enthusiast or a curious newcomer to Italian fare, discovering the nuances between a calzone and a stromboli promises to enrich your dining experiences and perhaps inspire your next meal choice. Join us as we delve into this savory exploration, unveiling the unique characteristics that define each dish and celebrating the rich tapestry of Italian-American cooking. Prepare to have your curiosity piqued and your appetite whetted as we embark on a flavorful journey that promises to deepen your appreciation for these beloved staples of comfort food.

All About Calzones

All About Calzones

What is a Calzone?

A calzone is a beloved Italian specialty featuring a semicircle of dough stuffed with cheese, cured meats, vegetables, and herbs. The round dough is folded over the filling and crimped shut along the curved edge before baking. Calzones are often served fresh from the oven with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

Calzone Dough

The calzone dough is made from flour, water, yeast, olive oil, salt, and sometimes sugar. It is rolled or stretched into a thin circular shape, about 6 inches across. The border of the circle is often thicker to provide enough dough for sealing the calzone shut.

Traditional Calzone Fillings

  • Ricotta cheese – The most iconic calzone filling. Ricotta provides a rich, creamy base.
  • Mozzarella – Adds classic, melty cheese appeal. Often combined with ricotta.
  • Parmesan – Sharp, savory Parmesan amps up the flavor.
  • Cured meats – Pepperoni, salami, prosciutto add hearty, savory protein.
  • Vegetables – Onion, spinach, bell pepper, mushrooms and more.
  • Herbs – Basil, oregano, parsley.

The classic calzone combo is ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, cured meat, veggies, and herbs. But combinations are endless.

Shaping and Baking Calzones

Once the filling ingredients are added, the edge of the dough is folded over and crimped shut by pinching into a decorative fluted pattern. Crimping seals in the filling. The semicircle calzone is then baked until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is melted and gooey.

Serving Suggestion

Freshly baked calzones are often served individually with a side of marinara sauce for dipping. The marinara adds a tangy, richly flavored complement. Miniature calzones called panzerotti can also be made as an appetizer option.

All About Strombolis

All About Strombolis

What is a Stromboli?

The stromboli is an Italian-American dough roll filled with cheese, meat, veggies, and sometimes sauce. Unlike the calzone, the stromboli dough is rolled into a long log shape then sliced to serve multiple portions.

Stromboli Dough

Stromboli dough starts out as a large rectangular sheet. It is typically made from flour, water, yeast, olive oil, and salt. The soft but stretchy dough makes it easy to roll up.

Traditional Stromboli Fillings

  • Mozzarella – Ooey, gooey melted mozzarella is the star filling.
  • Cured meats – Pepperoni, salami, ham, and other deli meats are commonly used.
  • Vegetables – Onion, bell pepper, roasted red pepper, spinach, tomato, and more.
  • Parmesan – Finely grated Parmesan adds a sharp accent.
  • Tomato sauce – Optional, but can add moisture and flavor.

The most popular style of stromboli showcases mozzarella, cured meats, vegetables, and just a touch of tomato sauce.

Shaping and Baking Strombolis

The stromboli dough is stretched into an oblong rectangle. Fillings are layered across the dough then the dough is tightly rolled from short end to short end to seal everything inside. The long log shape is baked, then sliced crosswise to serve.

Serving Suggestion

Sliced stromboli wedges are perfect for a meal or appetizer. The interior reveals the melted cheese and other fillings layered inside. Strombolis can be served plain, with extra tomato sauce, or dipped in garlic butter.

Key Differences Between Calzones and Strombolis

Now that we’ve gone over all the details about each dish separately, let’s directly compare them:

Dough Type and Shape

  • Calzone = Circular, flat dough folded into a half moon shape
  • Stromboli = Rectangular dough rolled into a spiral log

The different shapes suit the distinct sealing methods used for each.

Sealing Method

  • Calzone = Edges crimped for an enclosed half moon
  • Stromboli = Rolled over itself multiple times to seal

Crimping leaves the calzone edges exposed. Rolling fully encases the stromboli interior.


  • Calzone = Traditional Italian dish
  • Stromboli = Invented in America in the 1950s

The calzone has centuries of Italian cultural heritage. Strombolis are a more recent creative take on stuffed dough.


  • Calzone = Often contains ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, meats, veggies
  • Stromboli = Mostly mozzarella, meats, veggies, and sauce

Ricotta cheese is a key ingredient in many calzones. Strombolis rely more heavily on mozzarella and sometimes add tomato sauce.

Serving Size

  • Calzone = Generally one serving per calzone
  • Stromboli = One long roll sliced to serve many

Calzones are self-contained snacks or meals. Strombolis are shareable party foods.

Calzone and Stromboli Recipe Inspiration

Looking to try your hand at making these marvelous stuffed dough creations? Here are some delicious calzone and stromboli recipes worth considering:

Calzone Recipes

  • Ricotta Veggie Calzone – Ricotta, spinach, sun-dried tomato, and mozzarella. Vegetarian
  • Sausage and Pepper Calzone – Spicy sausage, bell pepper, onion, fresh mozzarella. Meaty
  • Dessert Pizza Calzone – Nutella, strawberries, and ricotta. Sweet

Stromboli Recipes

  • Pepperoni Pizza Stromboli – Pepperoni, marinara sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan. Classic and meaty
  • Buffalo Chicken Stromboli – Shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, onion, pepper jack. Zesty
  • Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Stromboli – Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, provolone, Parmesan. Savory

With so many possible filling combinations, it’s easy to get creative with unique calzones and strombolis. Use your favorite pizza toppings or go in a sweet direction for a delicious anytime meal or appetizer.


Now that we’ve covered all the differences, it’s easy to see why calzones and strombolis are often confused for one another. They are both heavenly stuffed Italian dough dishes, but the details set them apart. To recap, calzones are half-moon pockets sealed by crimping, while strombolis are elongated rolled logs. Calzones frequently contain ricotta, while strombolis rely more on mozzarella and sauce. Both make for a fabulous homemade meal. The next time you’re craving Italian, give one of these stuffed dough specialties a try. From the traditional calzone to the hearty all-American stromboli, your taste buds will be delighted by these cheesy, saucy, and savory baked dough packets. Enjoy exploring the delicious differences between these two

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