The first time I heard of Loaded Baked Potato Pizza was on a Food Network Competition and I humbly admit it that I was very unimpressed! What business did potato have being on a pizza? Little did I know that those words would haunt me and before I knew it, potato pizza started popping up everywhere. Finally, I had to know if my stubbornness was in fact standing in the way of genius so one evening at the Mellow Mushroom in Chattanooga, TN (whose creativity I implicitly trust), I went for it and ordered their Red Skin Potato Pie. When it arrived at the table, warm, bubbly, glistening with bits of bacon and bright, white carefully placed dollops of sour cream sauce, I knew. I had acted rashly by resisting this new pizza movement and I was instantly converted.
This week when making my menu plan and shopping list, I really fancied a calzone but also saw the upcoming days were going to be busy and decided a store-bought uncooked pizza dough was the way to go. Initially I added our classic favourite filling ingredients to my list and went on my way. I can’t say why inspiration occurs when it does, (believe me I wish it could be predicted and controlled sometimes) but there I was in the supermarket and suddenly I thought about also trying a loaded potato calzone. It was outstanding and the hubs and I found a new favourite to add to our dinner rotations.
Loaded Baked Potato Calzone! (about 4 servings)
1 can of Pillsbury Wholewheat Pizza Dough (you can really use any ready uncooked pizza dough, I just found this to be the easiest)
1 medium sized potato boiled and mashed with a tsp of butter
4 slices of bacon (any kind you like) cooked and chopped
1/2 cup of ricotta
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
1 tsp of garlic powder and onion powder (mix them together so you have 2 tsp in total)
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of grated Parmesan
1-2 tbsp of olive oil.
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 tbsp of milk or cream
Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out dough onto a large chopping board. Mix mashed potato with ricotta, butter, salt, 1/2 tsp of onion and garlic powder and a dash of pepper and nutmeg. Spread the potato mix onto one half of the dough , allowing about 1/2 inch space around the edges. Sprinkle on the bacon, shredded cheese and grated Parmesan. Brush some olive oil onto the remaining area of the dough and sprinkle some of the onion and garlic powder over top. Fold the dough in half to cover the filling. Pinch the edges of the dough tightly together to seal. Place on pizza stone or greased baking sheet. Brush more olive oil on the surface of the calzone and then sprinkle remaining garlic and onion powder over top. Place in oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes until brown and crispy. Mix sour cream with milk. Allow the calzone to cool for about 5 minutes once out of the oven and then cut and serve with the sour cream dip. (Filling will be hot so be careful) Alternatives: you can add some chopped chives to the sour cream, or add caramelized onions and garlic to the filling, or even mix the sour cream with some marinara for a different dipping sauce.
Pepperoni and Olive Calzone Filling:
Follow above instructions for preparing dough:
3/4 cup of ricotta
3/4 cup chopped pepperoni
6 slices of mozarrela
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
1 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp of dried oregano
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 tsp of onion powder
1/4 -1/2 cup of chopped Kalamata olives ( for the hubs!!)
Mix Ricotta with herbs and spices then spoon onto one half of dough with a 1 inch gap around the edges. Layer on the rest of the ingredients and follow above directions for seasoning, sealing and baking the calzone. Serve with your favourite marinara.
The reason we all love pizza is because you can top it with pretty much any of your favourite ingredients and the same goes for calzones. The ready made dough means that it’s such an easy option for a busy week night and is a fun alternative to just simple pizza. Also, if you can’t decide on one particular flavour, you can make two great calzone options just by slicing the dough in half which is what we did!