Stromboli vs. Calzone

With so many delicious options, how does one possibly choose between having a stromboli vs. a calzone instead? Damn, if you ask us – you don’t need that type of pressure in your life…just have both! 

Life is simply too short not to enjoy as many delectable Italian recipes as possible.

Defining a stromboli and a calzone

Ciao! Confusion is rife amongst the Italian cuisine consumers as to what a calzone is and what a stromboli is. The cooking methods and ingredients are very similar. Basically, both of them are doughy creations, stuffed to the brim with cheese, but are not quite the same thing!

Over the years, even the pronunciation of the calzone has been a bone of contention. Many people still even wonder about the appropriate pronunciation of the word calzone. Is it a “cal-zone,” or is it a “cal-zo-nee”? We chose not to get involved in politics on the pronuncia. Instead, we want to discover and investigate the good stuff.

Rolling dough for calzone, Stromboli vs. Calzone - The Proud Italian

What are the differences between a stromboli and a calzone?

There is so much conflicting information to be found on just this particular question; we can keep you glued to this article for hours. One thing is for sure is that many people indulge in their own bastardized version of these two dishes. Some of the key differences that need mentioning are:

About the insides and the on tops

Some say that calzones are stuffed, while Stromboli is rolled, and can be filled with an array of different fillings, and lastly accompanied by the sauce – this is to be placed anywhere on your plate.

Calzones are viewed as an inside-out pizza and Stromboli as an inside-out panino. Typically their sauce is found on the side, while strombolis hide their saucy secrets in the crust. But, it is also perfectly acceptable for the stromboli sauce to be served on the side. Are you as confused as what we are by this revelation?

Dough not disturb!

A calzone is a turnover filled with cheese and a selection of preferred Italian meats. Stromboli is crafted from a pizza dough that is square in shape. The desired toppings are then added on top, rolled into a log shape, and then baked in the oven.

How Stromboli is made, Stromboli vs. Calzone - The Proud Italian

The secret is in the seal

Another lesser-known fact is that the method of sealing each of these dishes is different. Calzones are always folded, and strombolis are always rolled. A calzone is sealed by firstly folding it in half, followed by firmly crimping the edges. A stromboli is considered as being adequately sealed when it is rolled into a spiral and then folding the extra dough over the shape.

Size and shape do matter

The circular shape of the calzone is meant to yield a single serving, intended for only one person. When cooked, the stromboli resembles a long rectangle. Therefore it can be cut into many different pieces to be shared amongst multiple diners.

Calzone, Stromboli vs. Calzone - The Proud Italian


Calzones are 100% legit, form warmblooded Italian origin; however, the stromboli has its founding fathers to thank in the Italian-Americans. It was born deep in the heart of South Philly (Philadelphia) and was the brainchild of the culture-rich Italian occupants that named it to honor the Isle of Stromboli.

Cheese and sauce

Calzones are made with ricotta cheese and are to be dipped in the tomato sauce. Stromboli is made with mozzarella cheese, and the tomato sauce is carefully crafted into the crust.

What are the similarities between a stromboli and a calzone?

  • Both of these creations are derivatives of the iconic pizza.
  • They are both bathed in eggwash before being placed in the oven – this helps the dough stay out.
Stromboli, Stromboli vs. Calzone - The Proud Italian

Easy homemade Stromboli recipe

Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • Additional pizza sauce 
  • 12 slices Italian salami
  • 16 slices Italian pepperoni
  • 1 ¼ cup divided mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Egg wash
  • Fresh chopped parsley (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Using the back of a soup spoon, spread the pizza sauce well over the dough, leaving 2 inches from the edges on all sides, in sequence, top with the salami, ½ of the cheese, and then the pepperoni.
  3. Roll the dough up in a spiral shape, pinching the edges to seal the dish. Lay it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and brush with egg wash.
  4. Top with the remainder of the cheese, herbs, and Italian seasoning.
  5. Bake until golden brown and serve hot with the additional pizza sauce by warming it up.
Calzone with sauce, Stromboli vs. Calzone - The Proud Italian

Easy homemade Calzone recipe

Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: 6 calzones

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • Additional pizza sauce for dipping
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup sliced green bell pepper
  • ½ cup sliced Italian pepperoni
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 ℉. 
  2. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll each into a ¼ inch circular shape.
  3. Divide the sauce, onions, bell pepper, and pepperoni equally between the 4 parts on the half of each circle. Remember to leave a bit of room around the edges so that the calzone can be crimped properly.
  4. Finish the process off by equally dividing the cheese between the 4 calzones. Fold the blank half over the toppings, and crimp the edges, sealing it.
  5. Cut 2 air vents on the top of the calzones, and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Brush the calzones with the olive oil, and transfer to the oven.
  7. Bake until golden brown, serve hot with the additional pizza sauce, warmed. Dip the calzones into the warm pizza sauce for the best experience.
Homemade Calzone, Stromboli vs. Calzone - The Proud Italian

The final say

Even with all the differences highlighted, one thing that these two unique creations have in common? They are both proudly Italian! God bless the Italians! Fino alla prossima volta. What is your take on this?