Spicy Pierogi Vegan Calzones

Homemade calzones are the perfect comfort food that combine the delicious flavours of classic pierogi fillings and pizza dough to create a carb-lovers dream! With the option to customize fillings to everyone’s taste, you can get creative and make your own calzone masterpiece.

Introducing the spicy pierogi calzone, one of our favourite recipes we have ever created! We veganized classic pierogi fillings like caramelized onions and potatoes, added some spice, and then jam-packed everything inside pillowy pizza dough to produce an unreal flavour combination. We feel that calzones are a pretty underrated food, always coming second to your standard pizza, but we are here to give calzones the attention they deserve and a chance to shine like the stars they truly are. We have been playing around with calzone recipes for a while now as the filling possibilities are endless. After consuming countless calzones, we are so excited to share this recipe for Spicy Pierogi Calzones.

Our original recipe didn’t include any meat alternative, but we both felt the calzone was missing something. We decided to include a vegan version of minced meat – a common pierogi filling – which we created by adding flavourful and smoky ingredients to tofu crumbles and baking them until brown and crispy. Caramelized onions are another pierogi favourite. Our onions are cooked low and slow to bring out all their natural sweetness and then give a little extra sweetness with brown sugar to complement the calzone’s spicy fillings. Speaking of spicy, we just couldn’t resist giving our dream calzone a little bit of spice, so we added chipotle pepper powder and other spices to the potatoes as well as sliced jalapeño peppers inside the calzone. If spice isn’t your thing, this is a perfect opportunity to customize your calzone and leave out the spicy elements. Since pierogis usually have mashed potatoes as a filling, we opted for a béchamel sauce to add creaminess to the calzone and serve and the base. Green onions are an iconic garnish/topping for so many dishes and pierogis are no exception. That’s why we stuff a ton of green onions into these calzones to cook and then usually end up shoving in some more fresh ones once they’re sliced open and ready to eat.

Once all of these incredible fillings are ready to go, they are simply piled onto circles of smooth and soft pizza dough and then folded over to create a cozy home for everything to be baked in. We typically buy pizza dough from local pizza shops for simplicity, but we definitely encourage making your own dough if you have the time! Either way, you will not be disappointed when you slice open that golden-brown crust and have your first bite of creamy, sweet, spicy, crispy goodness all in one.

What fillings would you put in your dream calzone?

Don’t forget to tag us in your creations – @smallkitchenbigplates 

Spicy Pierogi Calzones

  • Servings: 2 calzones
  • Print

Homemade calzones are the perfect comfort food that combine the delicious flavours of classic pierogi fillings and pizza dough to create a carb-lovers dream! With the option to customize fillings to everyone’s taste, you can get creative and make your own calzone masterpiece.

Ingredients

  • 300g pizza dough (our current favourite is from Queen Margherita Pizza in Toronto)
    Smoky Tofu Crumbles
  • 200g extra-firm tofu (1/2 package)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    Caramelized Onions
  • 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar​
    Roasted Garlic Bechamel Sauce
  • 1 head garlic, roasted
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened soy milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
    Spicy Potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow potato, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    Additional Fillings
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced

Instructions

Prepare the Fillings
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
2. Crumble the tofu into a bowl and add the maple syrup, dark soy sauce, liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Mix well and spread it onto the baking sheet. Cut the head of roasted garlic for the béchamel sauce in half crosswise and add it the corner of the baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, tossing halfway, so that the crumbles become dark brown and slightly crisp around the edges. The garlic may need to be removed before the crumbles so watch it and take it out when it’s golden and set aside. Remove the crumbles from the oven and put them in a bowl and set aside. Leave the oven on and place the empty baking sheet back in the oven to preheat it for cooking the calzones.
3. Make the caramelized onions. Heat a pan over low-medium heat and add the butter to melt. Add in the thinly sliced onions and stir them around in the butter. Perfectly caramelized onions take time, about 15-20 minutes, so be patient and stir them every few minutes. Once they are nearly done, add the brown sugar and stir, let them cook for another few minutes and then set aside.
4. Meanwhile, make the béchamel sauce. Squeeze the garlic out of the cloves and mash it with the side of a knife on a cutting board until it is smooth. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. When it is melted, add in the flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute, creating a thick paste. Reduce heat to low-medium and slowly add in 1/2 cup of unsweetened soy milk, still whisking, until it is combined. Add in the roasted garlic paste, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, nutmeg, and the remaining 1/4 cup of soy milk. Turn the heat back up to medium and whisk for 3-5 more minutes, until it has thickened and then set aside.
5. Place the thinly sliced potatoes in a bowl and add the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle pepper powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and toss.

Assemble the Calzones
6. On a clean work surface, divide the pizza dough into 2 portions. Shape each one into a circle and then roll or stretch each piece into 8-9 inch circles in diameter.
7. Have all of your fillings ready at your workspace. Add béchamel sauce to the centre of the calzones and spread it around almost to the edges. Layer slices of potato on half on the calzone and then top the potatoes with tofu crumbles, caramelized onion, green onion, and jalapeño slices.
8. Fold the half of dough with only sauce over the topping half and pinch and twist the edges to tightly seal the calzone. Remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven, transfer the calzones to it, and bake the calzones in the oven for 25-30 minutes until they are nice and golden all over and just beginning to brown on top. Serve warm.

Notes

  1. The spice factor of these calzones is totally optional. If you aren’t a fan of spice, just season the potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper and you can also omit the jalapeños.
  2. When we’re feeling ambitious we like to make our own pizza dough, but because of the many components of this recipe we usually use pre-made. If you can, see if one of your local pizza shops sells dough but any store-bought dough will work perfectly!
  3. If you have extra potato slices you can bake them on the tray next to the calzones for about 10 minutes or until they are golden and you’ll have delicious crispy potato chips.
  4. We recipe tested this calzone with and without vegan mozzarella cheese shreds and ultimately found that the cheese didn’t add much and we enjoyed the cheese-less version better. The béchamel sauce gave the calzone tons of creaminess, however, if you are looking for that super cheesy flavour feel free to add some vegan cheese shreds.

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