By Cassie Johnston
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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).
This freezer-friendly recipe for Turkey Florentine Calzones makes enough for dinner and for the freezer.
You can also turn these into mini calzones for a fun and festive appetizer or snack. Just split the dough into smaller balls and use less filling.
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
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These look AMAZING! I’ve been compiling a list of freezer meals and this is definitely going on the list. Thank you!
I was taught you should not frieze items that have been defrosted? Maybe use fresh spinach?
I’ve heard that with meat, but never veggies. But, obviously, we all have our own threshold for what we are comfortable with in regards to food safety, and using fresh spinach is a great way to tweak the recipe if it makes you more comfortable. :)
Those look amazing!
I hope you don’t mine me asking a totally unrelated question, but I remember in one of your organization posts you recommended a pregnancy organization guide that had things to do week by week? I have tried looking on your blog and doing a google search, but can’t seem to find it. Do you happen to remember?
I do! Here you go: http://amzn.to/1BEnHgN
Thanks so much!
Yes it’s about time to stock the freezer with quick summer time meals. These look like a good one. Thanks!
These are so amazing! I’m a full-time student who lives by herself, so having one-serving meals on hand is super important to keep me on track and less stressed! Plus, I have two pizza crusts in my freezer (my FAVE). Thank you so much, Cassie! Your recipes are life savers!
These turkey florentine calzones look amazing!! I can’t wait to try them. I have a hard time finding ground turkey, so I might try using leftover turkey instead. I am just starting to make my own dough – sometimes it is a bit of a challenge to get the dough right but I’ll keep trying. :)
I have a turkey florentine pie that uses turkey. My family really likes it. http://doubletherecipe.com/2016/05/04/turkey-florentine-pie/
Thanks for sharing a great recipe!
These look so good! Question on the crust – the recipe linked says it makes 4 crusts. So by two batches do you mean use half that (2 crusts) or double that (8 crusts)? Thanks!
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