What’s The Difference Between A Stromboli And A Calzone?

As a pizza fan, there is a pretty good chance that you’ve heard of strombolis and calzones.

Most pizzerias have these on their menus, but if you normally stick of a slice you may not know what these things are and how they differ from each other.

Both of these are made with pizza or bread dough and stuffed with cheese and toppings – but that’s where the similarities end!

Don’t worry – I was well into my 30s before I ever tried either one of these and I didn’t know anything about them before that moment!

Keep reading and we’ll turn you into an Italian good pro that knows the differences between strombolis and calzones, including their ingredients, preparation, and presentation.

Characteristics Of Stromboli


Stromboli is a popular Italian-style sandwich made with pizza dough.

It is filled with a variety of ingredients such as meat and vegetables, and then topped with mozzarella.

Served with a side of tomato sauce, this is truly a tasty and convenient pizza alternative.

The process of making a stromboli involves rolling up the ingredients inside the pizza dough and then baking it until the dough is crispy and the cheese is melted.

The rectangle shaped-dough is folded lengthwise over the filling into a cylinder with the excess dough folded over the sides and pressed or pinched at the seam to seal.

Slits are cut into the top to allow steam to escape while baking.

The stromboli is then brushed with an egg wash or olive oil, baked until golden, then sliced into portions to yield multiple servings.

Strombolis are commonly served hot and are typically sliced into for easier eating.

They are great for parties and events where guests may be looking for a quick bite to eat.

Some common ingredients found in strombolis include:

  • Mozzarella cheese (on top)
  • Ham
  • Salami
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Tomato sauce (on the side, but sometimes inside)

Characteristics Of Calzone

calzone on plate

A calzone is a type of folded pizza that is similar to a stromboli in terms of ingredients, but is distinct in its presentation and preparation.

Calzones are made by placing the ingredients, such as cheese, meat, and vegetables, on one half of a pizza dough round.

The other half of the dough is then folded over the ingredients and sealed by crimping to form a semi-circle shape, like an empanada.

This shape gives calzones a unique, folded appearance that sets them apart from strombolis and traditional pizzas.

Calzones are then baked until the dough is crispy and the cheese is melted.

The folded shape of the calzone allows for the ingredients to be enclosed and protected, which helps to keep them warm and allows for a more controlled and mess-free eating experience.

A calzone is typically cut in half and meant to serve one or two people.

Some common ingredients found in calzones include:

  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Ham
  • Pepperoni
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Marinara sauce (for dipping)

Mini calzones can also be deep-fried and are called panzerotti.

Stromboli vs Calzone Comparison

Here’s a table comparing the differences between stromboli and calzone:

ShapeRolledFolded Semi-Circle
IngredientsTypically filled with various ingredients such as cheese, meat, vegetables, and sauces.Typically filled with cheese, meat, and vegetables.
PreparationIngredients are rolled up inside the dough and baked.Ingredients are placed on one half of the dough, which is then folded over and sealed to form a semi-circle shape.
PresentationTypically sliced into rounds for easier eating.Served in a folded semi-circle shape.

The table above gives you just a simple comparison between stromboli and calzone – think of it like a cheat sheet.

Both are yummy options if you enjoy pizza and Italian-style baked goods and are looking for something other than pizza, but the choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and taste.

What’s bigger, a stromboli or calzone?

Generally speaking, a stromboli is always bigger than a calzone.

So, if you’re ordering from a pizzeria menu, then that is what you can expect.

Of course, if you are making your own homemade stromboli or calzone, then you can make whatever size you prefer.

For the home chefs, here’s something to keep in mind –

The depth of a calzone is more than that of a stromboli of the same length.

If the calzone is excessively large, the dough may not get cooked through because of the additional depth.

As a result, it is best to make a miniature calzone so that the crust doesn’t burn during baking.

Final Word

As you can see, strombolis and calzones are both pizza-like options that are their own unique dishes.

Both of these are popular among pizza and Italian food fans all over the world.

While there are some similarities between the two, the key difference lies in the way the ingredients are presented and the shape of the final product.

Whether you choose a stromboli or a calzone, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal.

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