Budget Stretcher: Leftover Makeover - Calzone

Last weekend I made meat sauce over spaghetti.  John loves spaghetti and I try to make sure and have it at least once a month.  I had a bit of leftover meat sauce, about 1 cup.  I debated the best way to use up that last bit and I thought Calzone would be ideal, especially since I had some cottage cheese that had been about to expire that I'd frozen.

As I shared with Louise last week, freezing cottage cheese works just fine.  The water in the cheese freezes and when you thaw, the curds of cheese are a little dryer than when fresh.  I like this dryer cheese to use in Lasagna and Calzone because it isn't watery.

Now this time I didn't photo the process, just the baked end product, so I can't show you step by step how I did this, but I can tell you:


1 batch pizza dough (I made my own)
1 cup leftover meat sauce
sliced mozzarella
grated Parmesan/Romano
1 cup 'dry' cottage cheese (you could drain well in a sieve if you don't want to freeze and thaw)
Pepperoni, salami, peppers, olives, mushrooms, onions, etc. (optional)

Cut pizza dough into tennis ball sized portions and stretch to form a sort of circle.  Just shy of the center of the dough, put a spoonful or two of spaghetti sauce, a couple of spoonfuls of cottage cheese, some of the each of the cheeses, and any other ingredients you want to include.  You want this to mound up in that off center area and keep the ingredients well away from the edges.

Fold one side over the mound of filling and then roll and crimp the edges together.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough and filling.  My batch of sauce made up about 8 Calzone.

To bake and eat, heat oven to 400F and bake about 20 minutes.

To par-bake for freezing, bake at 350F for about 10 minutes.  The dough will be just slightly firm/dry to touch, and not sticky, but still very tender and the Calzone will be very pale.  Cool on rack and place in freezer (on rack or cookie sheet) until frozen, then bag.   To serve: Thaw about 1 hour or so.  Heat oven to 400F, bake about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
These Calzone are about the size of my hand, from wrist to fingertip.  One was just right as a serving with salad to complete the meal.  Don't be limited by my suggestions on fillings.  John called them "Hot Pockets" and I realized these could be filled with ham and cheese, Ground beef, Sausage and Scrambled Eggs etc and frozen for a convenience meal.  For today, it was a terrific use of leftover ingredients.

I made seven big Calzone and put a medium pizza's worth of dough into the freezer that was leftover.  Not sure how that's going to work out but we'll see.


Lena said...

I like the versatility of calzones. There is always a version to please anybody :) I've never tried to freeze cottage cheese but it makes total sense :)

Rhonda Sue said...

they look good! I make calzones for the freezer sometimes and my John and Jimmy are always so happy to find them in there.

Anonymous said...

I intended to make the squash casserole you featured a few days back. I thought I had everything but did not have the sharp cheese just longhorn. So it would have to wait till our next grocery trip. Well today I was clearing the freezer and found a bag of Crackle Barrel sharp cheese I got at the dollar store and froze. Sp now I am ready!! ;-) Money saved? ?? I know a lot cause I am not going to the grocery store!! Thanks you for all the inspiring ideas and recipes by the way!!!! :-) Sarah

Anonymous said...

I have a question Terri. I am discouraged. When I cook chicken breasts they usually turn up dry inside. What am I doing wrong? I have tried changing the heat etc but they still it turn out dry with little taste. What technique am I missing? How do you pan cook them to keep them moist and good tasting? Also what i the best way to oven cook them? I sometimes put veggies and such on top but not until the chicken is ready to eat. Thank you for being there. I hope things are looking 'up' for you more now. Sarah

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Great idea! We love calzones but I don't make them very often (trying to stay away from white flour). I used to make and and cheese ones.

Cheryl said...

This is great!

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