Breads/ Recipes

Kale and Three-Cheese Calzones

You guys. I am SICK.

I don’t know how it happened, really. I’ve been so good — drinking green juice instead of coffee, taking my vitamins, busting out the hand sanitizer after church — but still. I am sick. It’s not the flu {thank goodness!}, just a bad head cold and even though I came *this close* to canceling my trip to Wisconsin, I decided to rally and am glad I did because now I have both my mom and grandma taking care of me. So, what I’m trying to say is that I’m currently all curled up in blankets in the little room my mom grew up in with a Kindle full of books to be read and some hot tea by my side.

I made these calzones the other day, when I was still feeling somewhat decent. I had been wanting to try my pizza dough recipe for awhile in calzone form and wanted to make good use of all the wonderful winter greens available at the market right now. I don’t know about you, but loving kale hasn’t always been a “thing” for me. Sure, I like it enough now but there was a time when I downright despised it. That being said, I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate it in my diet and the best way I’ve found is when it’s covered with CHEESE.

For this recipe, I used an herb variation of dough. Basically, I just dumped a bunch of dried rosemary in it while I was kneading. I ended up really liking it and think it will be a regular addition from now on!

The three cheeses I use in these are ricotta, mozzerella and goat. You can pretty much use whatever you like — I just happen to have an affinity for anything with goat cheese.

Super simple : just let the dough rise for an hour then roll out and fill with the cheese mixture and some a little handful of kale. Then, smoosh the edges well so none of that goodness escapes in the oven.

Serve with tons of warm marinara sauce for dipping! And stay warm guys, it’s cold outside!!

Kale and Three Cheese Calzones

makes five calzones

Print this Recipe!


for crust —

3 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour

1/4 cup olive oil

1 packet active dry yeast (1/4th oz)

1/4 tsp sugar

1 1/3 cups warm water — about 100 degrees F

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp dried rosemary (or herb of choice)

for filling —

1 15-oz container ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese

5 oz goat cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 small bunch lacinato kale, chopped into small pieces

warm marinara sauce for serving


Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the sugar. Let sit for five minutes until frothy and bubbly.

Combine the flour, salt and dried herbs in a large bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and then slowly stream in the olive oil. Knead the dough for about eight minutes until smooth and elastic. If you’re using an electric mixer, use the dough hook attachment for six minutes on high until you get a smooth ball.

Place a clean dishcloth over the bowl and set in a warm spot. Let rise for 1 hour.

While your dough is rising, make the filling. Mix together the ricotta cheese, the mozzerella cheese, the goat cheese, egg, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a Silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet.

After the dough has risen, divide into five equal balls — about six ounces each if you’re using a food scale. Roll each ball out to about an eight inch circle. The dough should be thin. Place about 1/3 cup filling on half of the dough circle. Top with a small handful of chopped kale. Fold the empty side over to make a half moon shape. Seal edges completely and cut three small slits in the top. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Place calzones on your prepared baking sheet.

Bake calzones for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool and serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.


2 hours


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  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    January 25, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Oh Jenna, sorry you’re sick! I am the queen of getting ready to travel and then bam, at the last minute, I come down with a cold. It makes traveling so hard. Sounds like you’re hanging in there. Hope you feel better soon!

  • Jacki
    January 25, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Nothing better than being with mom and grandma when you are sick. They’ll take care of you. Wave hello when you go through/over Iowa on your way home!

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking
    January 25, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Looks good Jenna! I can’t say I’ve ever thought to put kale in calzones, but it definitely adds some nutrition. I love our homemade pizza so much though, that I haven’t even made calzones in about a year! I can’t bring myself to stop making pizza 🙂

  • polly
    January 25, 2013 at 4:12 am

    take care, sweetie. mom + grandma = best home remedy EVER. 🙂 love you!!! <3

  • Anne
    January 25, 2013 at 4:18 am

    I’m sorry your sick, hope you feel better soon!
    Your pizza dough recipe is my favorite of all time! I love the idea of adding rosemary (the greatest herb ever) to it!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    January 25, 2013 at 4:38 am

    These are so pretty Jenna! I’m so sorry to hear that you’re sick. I’m sure your mom and grandma will be taking extra special care of you and I hope you feel better soon. I’m typing this while bundled up in a fleece blanket because it’s been so cold here this week, and I’m thinking of having a look back at some of your soup recipes for this weekend. Rest up! 🙂

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    January 25, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I hope you feel better. I am still trying to get my husband to fall in love with kale. That is an affair I wouldn’t mind him having.

  • Dana
    January 25, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Mmmmm!!! Feel better fast!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    January 25, 2013 at 4:54 am

    Winter is really here, isn’t it? I woke up to a whole bunch of snow outside. It’s the first real snow of the season, though, so I don’t mind it too much 🙂

    Love these calzones! I’m a kale freak, so these will be made soon 😀

  • Tami@nutmegnotebook
    January 25, 2013 at 5:20 am

    So sorry you are sick but there is nothing like the love of mom or Grandma to make a person feel better.

    Your calzones look amaing. It’s been a long time since I have made them and they are perfect for this cold weather we are having.

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    January 25, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Mmm mm! I’m thinking of all kinds of combos that can go into that herbalicious dough!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    January 25, 2013 at 5:52 am

    The sickness plague has hit my family too! Thankfully it hasn’t gotten me. Yet. Fingers crossed!

    I absolutely love kale. Wrapped in yummy bread dough…even better!

  • Kelsey @aslolife
    January 25, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Yum, kale and goat cheese are an amazing combo–these look fabulous!

  • Madison
    January 25, 2013 at 6:10 am

    AMAZING. I love calzones any way you give them to me and these are speaking to me! Thanks for this recipe. Also: I hope you feel better soon!

  • Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}
    January 25, 2013 at 6:11 am

    I’ve never thought to make my own calzone! Looks delicious. Feel better, and enjoy your trip to Wisconsin!

  • Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    January 25, 2013 at 6:24 am

    oh no! I hope you feel better, this calzone seems like a cure all especially with all that kale 🙂

  • Amy Walters, aDESIGNdock
    January 25, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Mmm…goat cheese, ricotta and mozza, oh my! This is a fantastic recipe, Jenna. This’ll be a perfect recipe to test out my new stand mixer with. Happy weekend!

  • Molly@RDexposed
    January 25, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Yum! And mask+plane!!

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks
    January 25, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I’m so sorry you’re sick! Maybe more calzone in the mouth would be the cure? I think so.

  • Pippa@sundaysupperswithpippa
    January 25, 2013 at 6:45 am

    It’s funny that you posted this today, because I also made calzones for the first time last weekend! I used a mix of sauteed onion, mushroom, roasted garlic, spinach, ricotta and asiago in my filling. They were yummy. I love your idea of incorporating rosemary into the dough.

  • Becky @ Olives n Wine
    January 25, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Feel better!! Your calzones look like they would cure any cold or illness 🙂 Have fun (and stay warm!) in Wisconsin – Moms and Grandmas are always the best when you are sick.

  • Maria
    January 25, 2013 at 7:37 am

    #1, hope you feel better! #2, this is perfect for dinner tonight seeing as I wanted something pizza-y, cheesy, and i’ll be subbing spinach for kale bc I’m not down with kale yet.

  • Melissa
    January 25, 2013 at 7:57 am

    oh man! Feel better. It is amazing you still blogged for us. Thank you!

  • Heather
    January 25, 2013 at 7:57 am

    These look so tasty and like the perfect Sunday food coma dinner, thank you!

  • allie@sweetpotatobites
    January 25, 2013 at 7:59 am

    i always make a goat cheese and kale pizza, but love the idea of folding it up into a calzone!

  • Heather
    January 25, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Feel better Jenna. There’s nothing quite like a mom and grandmother taking care of you! What books are you reading? I’m finishing up Language of Flowers and am looking for another good book to read. 🙂

  • A farmer in the dell
    January 25, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Feel better Jenna. The calzones look great! Love the addition of kale!

  • Amanda
    January 25, 2013 at 8:17 am

    That looks amazing! I can’t stand the aftertaste of kale, so I’ll probably sub in spinach instead. But I definitely want to make this. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you feel better soon!

  • Amanda
    January 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

    That head cold is going around Nor Cal. All of my friends got it after new year’s as well as my lab. Good news is, it goes away! Feel better!

  • Caroline L.
    January 25, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I hope you feel better soon! But if you’re sick, mamas and grandmas are the best to have at your side, right? These look really wonderful – I love, love, love calzones – this could be the best way to sneak some veggies into my system 🙂

  • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    January 25, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I, too, don’t exactly have a thing for kale haha. This looks like a yummy way to try it though!

  • Emily
    January 25, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Boo sick. Yay cheese!

    I love the kale instead of your standard spinach. I’ve never really liked cooked spinach, but the chewy texture of cooked kale (ha, I almost wrote “kooked kale”), I am always a fan.

    Have a great time with the family!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    January 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Mmmm this sounds so tasty!!

  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    January 25, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Sorry to hear you are sick! Hope you feel better soon.

    These look fun and really yummy! I had a recipe fail last week that I used pizza dough for. This might sound like a stupid question, but do you flour the surface when you roll the dough out after it has risen? Or do you just use a dry surface to roll on?

    My dough kept sticking to my cutting board so I used olive oil. Then it was so slippery I couldn’t handle it! lol

    • jenna
      January 25, 2013 at 11:41 am

      I do use flour…not to much — just a sprinkle!

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action
    January 25, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Oh my goodness- YES! I know what I am making this weekend. Looks delicious 🙂

  • Caroline @ Pink Basil
    January 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    hmmmm… Kale in a calzone? Sounds yummy!

  • em @ simplypresent
    January 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I had been feeling under the weather for several weeks even though I had been drinking lots of tea and eating well. This is the first week that I’ve felt better. Turns out that not working as much and allowing myself to rest can be a natural remedy – who knew?!

    Rest up!

  • Charlotte
    January 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I LOVE your recipes!! Now, if I could get them on my pepperplate account easily, that would be even better 😉

  • Stephanie O
    January 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Ice Storm today in the Charlotte, NC region…I went out in the elements to get the ingredients! Can’t wait to eat it….Kale for the adults, mini pepperoni for the kids 🙂

  • Ashley
    January 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I live in Wisconsin… bundle up when you get here! 🙂 The calzones look amazing!

  • Andrea
    January 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Mmmm. You had me at kale and cheese! I have truly come to love kale’s heart green flavor, but it’s always better with cheese. What isn’t? Hope you feel better! Where better to be than with mom when you’re sick?

  • Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite
    January 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Amazing. Simply amazing. I cannot WAIT to try these! Hope you feel better soon!

  • Jamie
    January 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Wow Jenna, that calzone looks amazing! I mean, just the way it baked, the dough, you are definitely in the professional zone! Hope you feel better!

  • Rachel
    January 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    this looks amazing! You are my gateway drug into kale – and brussels sprouts – I felt the same way about it until trying your amazing recipe for that salad with the shaved brussels sprouts. Now I can’t get enough…

  • Alicia @ NeverEverBeenSkinny
    January 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    OHHH MMMYYYY GGOOODDDDNESSSS I can not wait to try this. Really I am just looking at the cheese and I am getting hungry!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  • Row
    January 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    This is perfect comfort food! Thanks for the recipe and get better soon! 🙂

  • Kim Bee
    January 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I am so sorry you’re sick. Nothing worse than feeling cruddy.

    This would make me feel right as rain any day. Love calzones so much. This one is sheer perfection.

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    January 26, 2013 at 4:15 am

    I am in love with this entire idea. First, because it is a VEGETARIAN calzone, which you rarely see, and second because it contains kale. I have wanting to try cooking with kale but just haven’t gone for it yet. This looks like a great recipe to try it out in.

  • jen
    January 26, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Do you have a juicer? Can you do a “throw back” and let us know how you make green smoothies;)

    Feel better. xxo

    • jenna
      January 26, 2013 at 9:56 am

      I don’t have a juicer actually! I gave mine to a friend about a year and a half ago…I need to get a new one!

  • Liz (formerly VeggieGirl)
    January 26, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Hope you’re feeling 100% better, Jenna!!

  • Shaina
    January 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Mmm this sounds really good!! I have an affinity for anything with goat cheese too, so this definitely jumped right out at me. Hope you are feeling better!

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    January 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Feel better. Glad your mom is taking such good care of you. Being sick is such a bummer.

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  • Alley @ Alley's Recipe Book
    January 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Hope you feel better! I think my green juices has kept me from getting sick (everyone else seems to be catching something)… wonder how you ended up still catching it.

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  • Kari@Loaves n Dishes
    January 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I looove this; creamy ricotta and healthy kale; I would feel guilty at all eating all this calzone yumminess!

  • Stephanie
    January 30, 2013 at 7:14 am

    We ate these last night. So, so delicious.

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    February 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Made these as is for dinner tonight. Delicious!!!! I had a little of the cheese filling leftover. Will definitely be making theses again. Yum.

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