I know, I know, everyone loves pizza. Its a heaven-sent food and blah blah blah – yeah, PIZZA IS GOOD. You get it. You know whats better?
Pizza folded in half. Have you ever had a calzone before? If not, just imagine the pizza you know and love so dearly with more saucy dough on top.
It’s an adult hot pocket. Its a fancy jumbo sized pizza roll. Its a hot sandwich. Its a miraculous pizza sandwich!
Amazing, right? All that being said, I have been dreaming up a recipe for a vegan-ized version of a calzone, but I needed the perfect cheese substitute.
To be honest, I have never been a big fan of store-bought cheese alternatives. The artificial flavor in it just turns me off and I can’t seem to ignore the peculiar after taste.
So it hit me – use tofu! So I decided to whip up & create a tofu ricotta cheese which, dare I say, is WAY better than regular ricotta cheese. Trust me. And, to top it off, too is such a healthier alternative to regular ricotta cheese – plus its packed with protein.
This tofu ricotta is wonderful in calzones, on pizza, as a dip, on sandwiches and toast, with chips, etc. Try it out!
One last thing, I was able to make these calzones easily because of my handy-dandy calzone press. They are fairly cheap and make the whole process of folding the calzone a lot easier! Check out PizzaCraft.com for more nifty pizza making products!
Serves: 3 cups
Time: 5 minutes
- 1 block firm tofu
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 cup basil, cut in thin ribbons
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for basil. Blend for a few pulses, just until it reaches a ricotta-type texture, but still a little grainy. Taste test and add more salt and/or nutritional yeast as preferred.
- In a small bowl, transfer tofu ricotta & mix in basil.
Prep Time: 10-20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30-40 minutes
- 1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce (I use the organic sauce from Costco)
- 1 cup arugula
- 2 16-oz packages of pre-made pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s – in refrigerated section)
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
- Using a calzone press or rim of a bowl, press down to shape into a circle of dough. Flour on both sides.
- There should be 6 calzone doughs.
FYI: they should not be super thin! You don’t want the calzone to burst in the oven.
- If you have a calzone press, place the dough into the press and fill. If you don’t, you can just do this on the floured surface and do it by hand.
- In the center of the dough, place a small spoonful of marinara and spread it evenly.
- Then add a small spoonful of the tofu ricotta, a 5-7 diced bell pepper pieces, and a bit of arugula. Keep in mind, you don’t want to overfill or the calzones will burst while baking.
- Once it is filled, use a bit of water and rub around the edges of the dough.
- Using the press, fold over (see pictures) and push firmly to “glue” the sides together.
- No press? Very gently fold over dough and push down on edges – use a fork to firmly press to seal edges
- Place on a greased baking sheet and/or pizza stone. Brush olive oil on top of each of the calzones and then cut thin slices (see pictures) so that they can steam while baking (and not burst!).
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
This recipe is sponsored by Pizza Craft, but all recipes and ideas are completely original.
What ingredient would you put in your calzones? Have you tried tofu ricotta before?
Did you try the recipe? How did it work out? I’d love to hear your feedback!
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