This freezer-friendly recipe for Turkey Florentine Calzones makes enough for dinner and for the freezer.
Ready in 1h 10m
Is Spring and early Summer hectic for everyone, or is it just in our family? March through June is like a crazy marathon of birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and events. By the time July comes around, I just want to spend a weekend on my couch doing absolutely nothing. It’s such a blessing to have a life filled with so much to celebrate, but holy cow, it’s exhausting.
To prepare for our yearly busy season, I try hard to stock our freezer with healthy, easy-to-make dinners. If I don’t have something stashed in the freezer for dinner, on some of our crazier days, our dinner might consist of chips, salsa, and a beer. Now, I’m not opposed to the occasional tortilla chip dinner, but when you do it multiple times a week for a few months? That’s not healthy. So the freezer, to the rescue!
There are two ways of going about filling up your freezer with meals. You can do a cooking marathon, which I outlined how to do in my Freezer Cooking 101 post. It’s a great way to get a bunch of food in your freezer fast.
The other way is to slowly build up your meal stash by making extras of food you would already be making for your regular meals throughout the week. It’s not as quick as the marathon style, but it doesn’t really take any extra effort, energy, or time. I mean really, does it take that much more effort to double that favorite casserole recipe and scoop the extra into an aluminum pan? Not so much. This freeze-as-you-go style of freezer cooking is freezer cooking for people who hate freezer cooking.
These Turkey Florentine Calzones are one of my absolute favorite freezer foods. The recipe makes for eight, hefty-sized calzones (as in, each calzone is probably enough to fill-up a big eater for dinner, or even split in two for a lighter eater), and they freeze wonderfully. I like to freeze mine before baking, because you still get the fluffy, crunchy, golden brown crust when you bake later. But for even easier dinners, you can freezer them post-baking (and cooling), and then just pop them in the microwave or toaster oven for a few minutes for a crazy simple dinner.
And of course, I love these because they are healthy. Yay! Unlike those delicious, but not-so-great-for-you calzones you get at that greasy restaurant down the street, these light and fresh florentine calzones won’t make you feel like you have to loosen a notch on your belt. They are filled with lean and light ground turkey, tons of healthy spinach, and all wrapped up in a 100% whole wheat crust. These are calzones you can feel good about!
These turkey florentine calzones are delicious, cheesy, and flavorful all on their own, but I like to serve them with a side cup of marinara sauce for dipping. If you prefer a saucier calzone, you could also put some of the marinara sauce in the calzone before sealing it up. Although, I have to admit, I’ve never tried freezing them that way, so let me know if you do test it out.
One last note about these calzones—this filling is useful for so much more than just sticking inside a calzone. It makes for wonderful meatballs and really tasty, flavorful turkeyburgers. Saute it up and put in on a pizza (and then invite me over, please). You could even mix it with your favorite marinara sauce and put it on top of spaghetti or as a layer in your lasagna (and again, please invite me over).
- 3 pounds ground turkey
- 1 pound frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 1 large onion, diced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 eggs, divided
- 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 batches whole wheat pizza dough
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon water
- Marinara sauce for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or fit with a baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, spinach, onion, garlic, three eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, cream cheese, red pepper flakes, fennel, and oregano until well-combined. Set aside.
- Divide the pizza dough into eight equal balls. Take one ball, and roll out on a non-stick surface until about 10" wide.
- Place one heaping cup of the turkey filling in the middle of the dough, and then sprinkle with ¼ cup of the mozzarella cheese.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and water. Using a pastry brush, brush the edge of the dough, and then fold in half, and seal the edge (I used a fork to press the two pieces together, and then rolled them in to really seal it). Drag a sharp knife across the top of the calzone in a few places to add texture, if desired.
- Transfer the calzone to the prepared baking sheet, and then brush top with egg wash. Repeat process with remaining dough and filling.
- To bake immediately: bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, and the inside registers 170° on a meat thermometer. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
- To freeze: place the calzones on a baking sheet, and place in the freezer for an hour or two, until frozen. Then transfer to a labeled zip-top freezer bag.
- To reheat: remove the calzones from the freezer in the morning, and then bake as usual once defrosted.
These will last in the freezer just fine for six months. To get even longer, wrap each calzone (after they are flash frozen) in a layer of plastic wrap before putting into the freezer bag.
Adapted from Rachel Ray