Home Articles Calzone vs. Stromboli (What’s the Difference?)

Calzone vs. Stromboli (What’s the Difference?)

Calzone vs. stromboli is the ultimate battle of stuffed doughy goodness!

They might look pretty similar, but they each have their own unique qualities.

Calzone Pizza with Cheddar Cheese and Sausage

These scrumptious dishes both come from one parent dish: the ever-loved pizza.

And they’re packed with the same delicious dough, cheese, and yummy fillings. 

But here’s the juicy secret: they’re actually quite different from each other! 

From the way they’re shaped to how they’re served, stromboli and calzone recipes have plenty of traits that set them apart. 

So don’t be fooled by their similar looks!


What Is a Calzone?

A calzone is basically like a pizza’s cute little cousin that you can hold in your hand!

Hailing all the way from Naples, Italy, a calzone is made by forming pizza dough into a flat circle. 

Then, they’re loaded up with all sorts of delicious fillings like meats, veggies, and ooey-gooey cheese! 

The most common cheese used is ricotta, which is often paired with the ultimate melty cheese: mozzarella.

Then, the magic happens. The dough is folded in half over the toppings, giving you a mouthwatering half-moon-shaped calzone! 

These babies are usually made to be individually sized and are the perfect on-the-go snack. 

And don’t forget the marinara sauce for dipping. It’s a must-have for the ultimate calzone experience!

Sliced Stromboli

What Is Stromboli?

Let’s talk about stromboli, the delicious creation that’s like a pizza and a sandwich had a love child! 

Stromboli’s roots can be traced all the way back to Philadelphia, where it was created by Italian-Americans.

To make a stromboli, a thin and crispy rectangle of pizza dough is loaded up with cheese, cured meats, veggies, and sometimes, a little marinara. 

Then, the dough is wrapped around the filling, creating a deliciously long and tempting stromboli. 

To serve, it’s cut into spiral slices that are just waiting to be devoured! 

Some people like to dunk their slices in tomato sauce for that extra kick of flavor.

But let’s be real, a stromboli is so tasty on its own that you won’t even need the sauce!

Meaty Calzone

Calzone vs. Stromboli (What’s the Difference?)

If you’re a fan of pizza, then you’re bound to love its handheld cousins, calzone and stromboli. But wait a minute, aren’t they the same thing? 

Not quite! Let’s break down the differences between calzone and stromboli so you can become a true pizza connoisseur. 


You might think that stromboli comes straight from the streets of Italy. But it turns out that this savory treat actually got its start in the USA. 

Yup, you heard that right. Stromboli was invented by Italian-Americans back in the ’50s in Philadelphia.

Its roots can even be traced all the way back to a restaurant called Romano’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria (which, by the way, still exists today). 

Legend has it that the restaurant owner was trying to come up with a name for his new sandwich. 

A tabloid-obsessed customer suggested “stromboli,” a nod to the scandalous romance between two famous Hollywood stars (psst, it was Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini)! 

And just like that, the name stuck!

On the other hand, calzones are the real deal. They’re true-blue Italian creation that’s been around since the 18th century. 

Originally invented in Naples, these tasty treats quickly became a hit as a popular street food.

It was all thanks to their handy handheld shape that makes them perfect for eating on the go! 

So, whether you’re a fan of stromboli or calzones, one thing’s for sure, they’re both delicious in their own unique way.

Crusty Stromboli Sliced with Extra Marinara Sauce Served on a Brown Plate

Sealing Technique

The big difference between a calzone and a stromboli comes down to one thing: how they’re sealed up. 

To give you the rundown in simple terms, a calzone is like a taco. It’s folded in half and sealed up around the edges. 

On the other hand, a stromboli is like a burrito. It’s rolled up in a spiral and sealed with a little extra dough on top.

Both of these handheld goodies get a shiny egg wash to ensure that the dough stays put and doesn’t fall apart on you mid-bite. 

Shape and Size

Stromboli is like a big, burly sandwich. It’s cylindrical in shape, which means it can pack a lot of yummy ingredients inside. 

It can really bulk up after baking.

So, it’s perfect for feeding a hungry crowd or for those times when you want to indulge in a big, hearty meal.

On the other hand, a calzone is like a crescent moon-shaped pizza.

It’s smaller and more compact than stromboli, making it perfect for a single serving. 

The shape also means that all the delicious toppings and sauce are safely tucked inside.

So you won’t have any messes to worry about.


Calzone and stromboli share similar ingredients, like pizza dough, Italian deli meats, and cheese.

But they also have their own unique twists. 

You can make stromboli with either pizza dough or French bread dough. 

And it’s usually filled with cold cuts that you’d find in a sandwich. Meats like salami and capicola are super popular. 

Stromboli is also filled with low-moisture mozzarella cheese to ensure an even cook throughout. 

On the other hand, calzones are basically a pizza folded in half.

So they have all the classic ingredients like tomato sauce, mozzarella, and of course, ricotta cheese.

Ricotta cheese is key as it gives the filling an irresistible, gooey, and creamy texture.

Calzone Pizza Garnished With Sauce


Let’s talk about the saucy difference between stromboli and calzone! 

When making stromboli, you have to spread the sauce on the dough with the fillings before rolling it up, just like on a pizza. 

So, you always find the sauce inside the stromboli, which is pretty cool. But what about calzones? 

Well, there’s no sauce inside here. Instead, the marinara sauce is served on the side for dipping. 

So, take your pick. Do you want your sauce inside or on the side?

Cooking Method

Want to know the key to getting that perfect crispy crust?

Bake your strombolis and calzones in a wood-fired oven at around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 

But be warned: the baking time for each varies! 

Because a stromboli has layers upon layers of dough, it takes a bit longer to cook, usually around 20 to 25 minutes. 

Calzones, on the other hand, have a crescent shape and cook up faster, and 10 to 15 minutes should do the trick.

Serving Size

One of the biggest differences between stromboli and calzones is their serving size. 

Strombolis are like the life of the party, meant to be shared and enjoyed by a group of 3 to 6 people. 

Once cooked, the long roll is sliced into shareable slices, perfect for a gathering of hungry friends.

On the other hand, calzones are meant to be enjoyed all by yourself. 

They’re usually made in smaller, single-serving sizes, so you can easily grab one for a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner. 

Plus, since they’re handheld, they make for a great on-the-go meal when you’re in a rush.

Calzone vs. Stromboli

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

1 thought on “Calzone vs. Stromboli (What’s the Difference?)”

  1. I’m glad you pointed out that a calzone and a pizza are similar in that they are both produced by flattening pizza dough and then filled with a variety of mouthwatering ingredients, such as juicy meats and melted cheese! I believe it would be a good idea to check this out as my cousin has been open to trying new brunch options. I’ll be sure to let her know about this and look into eateries we can visit together. I appreciate you sharing!


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