Recipes: Stromboli and Calzone Are Different, and They Always Will Be

Let's get straight to it on what differentiates the popular Italian recipes...

Stromboli is a to-die-for recipe that uses Italian cheeses (typically mozzarella) and cold cuts (typically Italian meats, such as salami, capocollo and bresaola). The dough used is either Italian bread dough or pizza dough.

Stromboli was likely invented by Italian-Americans or Italian immigrants in Philadelphia many decades ago. Immigrant workers would often wrap strombolis in napkins and take them to work for lunch. Culinary historians say the divine recipe is named after the Italian film Stromboli, or the volcanic island that shares the same name near Sicily.

Stromboli vs. Calzone 

A stromboli is somewhat similar to a calzone, BUT they are different. A calzone is a baked turnover stuffed with pizza ingredients. A stromboli is rolled up and baked, but it does not generally contain pizza ingredients, aside from cheese and Italian meats.

Strombolis do not call for tomato sauce, but calzones do. Calzones, which originated in Naples, are crescent-shaped, and a stromboli is rolled into a long cylinder.

Now, it’s time to eat, starting with this vegetable calzone recipe by Chef Nick Stellino:


1 pound eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 sweet bell pepper (red, yellow or green), cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pizza Dough
1 cup + 2 tablespoons Pizza Sauce
12 (1/2 inch) slices fresh or smoked mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Serves 4

Place the diced eggplanrt in a colander with a plate or bowl underneath. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Put a small plate over the eggplant and place 2 cans of food on top as weights. Drain for 30 minutes. Pat the eggplant dry.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until sizzling, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini and cook for 2 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Add the bell pepper and cook 3 more minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar, pepper and salt and cook for 2 minutes, tossing to mix well. Set aside and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.

Divide the pizza dough into 4 equal pieces and, on a floured board, roll out each ball of dough into an 8 inch circle.

Spread 1/4 cup of pizza sauce on each round to within 1 inch of the edge. Put 1/4 of the vegetable mixture on one side of each round and top with 3 slices of the mozzarella and 1 tablespoon basil.

Fold the circle in half and seal the edges by pressing them with a fork. Place the calzones on a greased baking sheet (it’s best to use one with edges in case the calzones leak). Brush each calzone with the remaining pizza sauce. Bake 30-40 minutes until puffed and golden brown.

Chef’s Tip: 

You can make 3 small cuts in the top of each calzone before baking to release the steam while it cooks. The calzone will not puff up as much when you cut steam vents.


And, for a delicious stromboli recipe, click here:

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