Spinach and artichoke calzones are a delicious variation of the classic Italian stuffed bread pocket.
Spinach and artichoke calzones are a delicious, savory, and satisfying dish that combines the flavors of spinach, artichokes, and cheese within a warm, baked dough pocket.
Spinach and artichoke calzones offer several benefits, both in terms of taste and nutrition:
- Delicious Flavor: Spinach and artichokes are a classic combination known for their savory, earthy flavors. When combined in a calzone, they create a rich and satisfying filling that’s a crowd-pleaser.
- Nutrient-Rich Ingredients: Both spinach and artichokes are nutrient-dense ingredients. Spinach is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, and folate. Artichokes are rich in fiber and antioxidants, which can be beneficial for your health.
- Balanced Meal: Spinach and artichoke calzones can be a balanced meal option when you pair them with a side salad or some fresh vegetables. The calzones provide carbohydrates from the dough, protein from the cheeses and ricotta, and essential nutrients from the spinach and artichokes.
- Vegetarian Option: Spinach and artichoke calzones can be a satisfying option for vegetarians. They offer a tasty alternative to meat-filled calzones, making it a versatile choice for different dietary preferences.
- Customizable: You can customize the ingredients to suit your taste and dietary requirements. For example, you can use whole wheat dough for added fiber, or use low-fat cheeses to reduce the calorie content. This flexibility allows you to adapt the calzones to your nutritional goals.
- Convenience: Calzones are a convenient and portable meal option. They are easy to take with you on the go or for a quick lunch or dinner at home.
- Fun and Versatile: Making and eating calzones can be a fun and interactive experience for the whole family. You can experiment with different fillings and create a variety of flavors to suit your preferences.
It’s important to keep in mind that while spinach and artichoke calzones offer these benefits, they are still a calorie-dense food due to the dough and cheese. Be mindful of portion sizes and balance your meals with other nutritious choices to maintain a healthy diet.
For the dough:
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110°F/43°C)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the filling:
- 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the topping:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix until a dough forms.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes until it's smooth and elastic. Place it in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the thawed and squeezed dry spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a circle or oval shape on a floured surface.
- Place a generous portion of the spinach and artichoke filling on one half of each dough round, leaving a border around the edges.
- Fold the other half of the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges to seal the calzone. You can use a fork to crimp the edges for a secure seal.
- Transfer the calzones to the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried basil. Brush this mixture over the tops of the calzones.
- Use a sharp knife to make a few small slits in the top of each calzone to allow steam to escape during baking.
- Bake the calzones in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.