Whats the Difference Between a Calzone and a Stromboli

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A calzone begins with circular dough, while stromboli starts with a rectangular piece of dough. Outside of that slight difference in preparation, they are pretty similar.

What is a Calzone?

A calzone is simply an Italian folded pizza baked in an oven and prepared with leavened dough, commonly referred to as a turnover. It originated in the 18th century in Naples, Italy. 

A traditional calzone consists of salted bread dough with a stuffing of salami, ham, vegetables, mozzarella, pecorino, ricotta, parmesan cheese, and an egg. 

Other ingredients generally associated with pizza toppings are also present in or on calzones, depending on regional variances. Rather than a fried pastry, the name usually refers to an oven-baked turnover. 


What Does a Calzone Taste Like?

Even though the calzone belongs to the pizza family, it has a distinct taste. The significant difference between a calzone and a pizza is the half-moon shape. This pizza derivative has countless possibilities for fillings that decide the preference.

The calzone, as we all know, is less popular than pizza despite its saucy, cheesy taste and texture similar to that of pizza. The primary difference between a calzone and a pizza is that every part of the calzone has a part of the pizza crust attached to it.

Different Types of Calzones

Calzones come in different types, and you can customize their fillings. You can savor this delicacy in almost all parts of the world. Here are a few popular types:

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Easy Calzones

To make this, defrost refrigerated, unrisen supper rolls, allow portioned bread to rise, and then roll each one into a circle. Later, fill half the dough with three kinds of cheese and sausages, fold it over, crimp it close, and bake it till golden brown.

Mini Shrimp Calzones

You can roll out mini pizza dough rounds and seal them with a mixture of cheese and prawns prepared with chopped tomatoes. The little calzones cook up golden brown and are the perfect crowd-pleasing starter.

Cheese Calzone

This fan-favorite combination is a mix of mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan cheeses spiced with fresh herbs and chopped scallions. Just before baking, adding parmesan cheese on top gives it a toasted, delicious richness. 

Garnish your cheese calzone with marinara sauce, sliced salami, and giardiniera, a zesty Italian pickled vegetable.

Is a Calzone a Folded Pizza?

In the broader sense, both calzones and strombolis are folded pizzas. The calzone comes in the shape of a half-moon and has pizza-like filling stuffed inside it. It tastes similar to a pizza but is pretty easy to carry around while traveling or going to work.

What is Stromboli?

Stromboli is a sort of Italian turnover filled with various Italian cheeses (often mozzarella) and usually Italian cold cuts (typically salami, capocollo, and bresaola) or vegetables. It’s made with either Italian bread dough or pizza dough. Italian-Americans in the Philadelphia area of the United States created this delicacy.


What Does a Stromboli Taste Like?

While a pizza comes with various toppings, a stromboli has folds with multiple fillings. You can also define Stromboli as a filled hot sandwich that looks like a jelly roll. Stromboli usually caters to the Western taste buds.

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Stromboli Types

Stromboli can be served in various types depending on the filling used. One can easily find most of the ingredients to make this mouth-watering dish at home. Its different types are: 

Broccoli Cheese Stromboli

This healthier version of stromboli will need some broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. You will have to make it using the traditional side and garnish it with a side of marinara dipping. 

Artichoke Salami Stromboli

You can make classic stromboli fillings by combining antipasto and deli basics: stack grated parmesan, finely sliced Provolone, handfuls of baby spinach, artichoke pieces, and salami. The savory stromboli pieces complement toasted walnuts and zesty spinach on the side.

Meat Lover’s Ring

This stromboli riff has a stuffing of salami, deli ham, pepperoni, Italian sausage, and mozzarella. Still, instead of pizza bread, it uses prepared crescent roll dough, which results in a delicate, flaky crust. 

It’s ideal for feeding a large group, whether for a game day or a movie night: slice, dip, and serve.

Whats the Difference Between a Calzone and a Stromboli?

A stromboli and a calzone might be pizza derivatives, but they are not the same. They utilize similar ingredients to achieve different versions of pizza. While there are similarities, it is essential to note that from origin to fillings, they differ. 

Calzone vs. Stromboli
Pizza dough, ricotta Ingredients Pizza dough, mozzarella, tomato sauce
Similar to a taco and ideal for single-serve Shape and Size Similar to a burrito and offers multiple servings. 
Italian Origin Italian-American
No sauce inside but served as a dip Sauce Spread inside

Sealing Technique

One of the primary differences between a calzone and a stromboli is its sealing technique. The pre-baking process, sealing, and folding are what set both of them apart. In simpler words, you can fold a calzone like a taco; conversely, a stromboli is rolled like a burrito. 

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With a calzone, you fold the dough in half and crimp the edges, but with a stromboli, you roll it in a spiral and fold some extra dough over the back. The common thing here is that both are washed with eggs to ensure the dough stays.

Shape and Size 

With the varied sealing techniques, the shape and size of calzone and stromboli are different. To fold a calzone like a taco, you first roll a piece of dough in the form of a circle but not the same for stromboli. 

You can cut an elongated rectangle and then roll it to create a long and skinny pizza cigar. Usually, a stromboli can be cut into pieces for multiple servings, whereas a calzone is preferably a single-serve. Sometimes, you can slice a calzone in half and serve it to two people. 

Country of Origin

Another significant difference between the two is the country of origin of both. Calzone is purely Italian, whereas stromboli is Italian-American. 

With the difference in origin, the taste and fillings change. Most people customize and pick their fillings while making any pizza. Traditionally, people use ricotta cheese for calzones but not for stromboli. 

Stromboli works well with cheese with low moisture, eventually producing a perfectly cooked dough. For the same reasons, people prefer mozzarella for stromboli. The cheese inside calzones is usually a mixture of various types, almost always containing ricotta.


When it comes to sauces, calzones will have no sauce inside the dough. Sauces, preferably salsa, are always served alongside calzones. Even though pieces of stromboli are dip-able, most people prefer spreading them inside it too.

Calzone vs. Stromboli: Which One Will You Choose?

Calzones and strombolis are two of the most beloved Italian dishes. While they’re similar in some ways, it can be challenging for people to differentiate between them. Still, the most notable distinguishing feature can be the shape and eventually taste.

Which one will you choose?


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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