Stromboli Vs. Calzone – Difference Between Calzone And Stromboli

Sharing is caring!

If you have grown in an Italian household, the terms Stromboli and the calzone aren’t new to you. in fact, You can quickly tell them apart. These two are the same for most people, especially if you haven’t seen and tasted them.

I know most people use the terms interchangeably, which makes it hard to isolate the differences. Basically, these are just pizza variants and particularly the portable choices.

You will mostly find these two variants available in pizza restaurants. I understand if you are the type to confuse these two because they often contain the same ingredients, but you can also cook them in a similar manner.

In this article, we are going to show you the differences between the two.

What is a calzone?

It is a half-moon shaped pizza, or better yet, a crescent-shaped pizza type with the toppings and fillings all encased within the dough. It often features a double folded dough. The term calzone means a pant or trouser leg in Italian.


So while it may be as common as the apple pie in America, it has its roots in maples Italy. In essence, the name indicates that you were supposed to be eating the calzone while traveling.

So the Italians refer to a filled pizza or their pizza ripieno as a calzone. People like it so much because it’s portable since you won’t have things dropping as you eat.  While anyone wants to tell you that a calzone and a pizza are the same, the truth is that they aren’t.

What is Stromboli?

When you want to understand these things easily, you should think of them just like other similar pizza versions. Here you, therefore, have a pizza roll. To understand it easily, picture it as a mixture of both the sandwich and the pizza style that you roll.


For Americans, the filling is significant; that’s why they will have it with a wide range of choices. So the American Stromboli is a versatile meal that you can fill with a lot of ingredients. Most people like it because it’s also the easiest way to feed people.

It is another one of the major meals that Americans love but mostly because this is from here. And even though we say it’s a rolled pizza, it’s usually closer to the sandwich than the pizza. You should know that it contains more meat, cheese sauce, and veggies, just like the calzone above.

It looks more like the Italian hoagie because you lay all the ingredients you need then roll them to make something close to a sandwich.

Understanding the origin

To understand the two meals right, you should also understand where they originated. Contrary to most beliefs, the Stromboli is not from Italy. It’s only the calzone that is from Italy. The calzone, therefore, came into existence back in the 18th century.

Remember, this is also around the time when the pizza came into existence. Soon after, the meal became popular. So the calzone was to become a more portable option of pizza. It’s basically a tiny bodied and fold over pizza that you could eat while standing.

At the time, the people of Naples were quite busy. This is why they made the easy to eat dishes while standing. The unique thing about them then was that you could even eat the meal without needing utensils.

Stromboli, on the other hand, came into existence in the 1950s, and it has its origin in Philadelphia. Nothing is very clear of who really founded it. But we know that the restaurant Romano Italian pizzeria claims to be the first to give it that name. So it’s still possible that an Italian American made this meal.

Notice that it was one of Romano’s customers that came up with the name too. So being an Italian restaurant, the creation featured the Italian ingredients too. Remember, it came from a place where there are so many Italians too.

What does the Stromboli have in, though?

  • The dough

It would be best if you had the dough as it’s the outer part that wraps the fillings in the middle. Most people like to use pizza dough, and that’s perfectly fine.

But if you can use the frozen bread dough, you will have the perfect texture. Everyone likes the gooey nature of the dough with the crisp exterior.

The older generation likes to make the dough from scratch. However, if you don’t want to make it, you can take it to the stores where you have the puff paste and different doughs. When you’re going to use it, though, remember to defrost it first.

  • Pepperoni

Most people think they can use any kind of pepperoni, but that’s never the case. You will need only to use the one from the delis and not really from the pizza counters. People like them because they are full of flavors but then it will also layer nicely.

  • You can add the capicola.

If you like, you could also add the peppery flavor of the capicola. It often just has the unique flavors that will significantly enhance the taste of your Stromboli. Notice too that if you don’t like the capicola, though, you can leave it out.

  • Mozzarella cheese

I like it when you play around with the different types of cheese, but the one must-have is the mozzarella. You see, this is often a milder cheese and thus ideal for you even if the cheese used is something new to you. It will boost the flavors of the meat, not compete it.

  • Pizza seasoning

You know this ingredient will give it the final flavor and finish making it good looking. Notice that this is often the combination of the onion bells, garlic, red pepper, red pepper bell; if you, in fact, find the ones with the herbs additions, the better.

What calzone has

  • Dough

Again here you should know that mostly the people use the pizza dough. However, you should use the bread dough if you want to deliver the perfect texture and taste.  In other places, though, some people like to use potato flour for the dough.

The easiest method, though, is to go for the store-bought choices. So the essential ingredients then feature the use of salt, yeast sugar, and flour. All this will enhance the tastes, and they further have the flour and the olive oil.

  • The cheese

You will need the best cheese to go with the recipe. Again cheese often uses mozzarella cheese, but here you can also use other types. The main one is the ricotta and then the parmesan cheese. Typical of Italians and Americans to play around with the different cheese to create a different flavor.

  • The meats

If you are in America, you will be sure to use the different kinds of meats, but the main one uses Neapolitan salami. This kind of pizza variant often has pork, another one of the rare meats to use in the different pizza.

  • The herb or pizza seasoning

I know what you may think ‘this one for what? Remember this is a type of pizza variant and that it will have most of the ingredients being similar to the different kinds of pizza. So you should use the one that contains the different seasonings and salt.

People like the two types of meals just because of the portable nature and most of all; you can eat it any time anywhere. Remember you want it to be as delicious.

Check the shape and size.

You see, the Stromboli and calzone are often sealed differently, which is why they have different shapes and sizes. So then for the calzone, you will start with a circular shaped dough.

Next, then you will have to fold the circular-shaped dough to make a semicircular one. Of course, every calzone serves one person.

For the Stromboli shape, you start with the rectangular-shaped dough. Next, place the toppings and then roll it into a long cylindrical shaped pizza. Now a single one, though, will be sliced to serve several people.

The time it takes to prepare it.

These are easiest to cook foodstuffs but mostly because they take a shorter time to cook. Remember you will be baking it in the oven and only for about 20-30minutes.

So, of course, it will take a shorter time to prepare, making it a go-to choice. For those who are so busy to cook, then this is one of the best choices.  The secret is, therefore, to cook under 400°F.

Calzone is also a fantastic meal that you will only cook in about 30 minutes under about 400°F-500°F. Generally, therefore you should expect to cook the foodstuffs in fewer minutes. When it comes to cooking, remember it will mostly depend on the filling you have. If you think it will take longer to cook the fillings, give it that time it needs.

Sealing techniques

Here is the main difference between the two because you get to seal them very differently. The easiest way to make you understand is that the calzone takes the shape and appearance of a taco while the Stromboli takes the burrito’s appearance.

So the latter is rolled while the preceding calzone you fold them. Therefore, for the calzone, you will notice they pinch the edges and then use the fork to seal it thoroughly. in the case of the Stromboli, once you roll the dough, fold its part to make sure the fillings and the content don’t spill off.

The fillings

As earlier discussed, the fillings you use in both the calzone and the Stromboli are more about the flavors and the love for the different tastes. Generally, they will have veggies, meats, herbs, but also cheese.

The calzone, for instance, has ingredients that are similar to the pizza one. Often the difference occurs when it comes to the calzone that uses the ricotta cheese, but the Stromboli does not because it uses mozzarella cheese.

The calzone will use a blend of cheese, but the main one is the ricotta.

Check the sauce

This is a question you have to ask because pizza has sauce, and if these two are the same as the pizza, then it’s a legitimate query.

The calzone doesn’t use the sauce in the dough; instead, you will need to dip it in a sauce when eating it. Similarly, you can use the dipping sauce for the Stromboli. But Stromboli unlined the calzone; you use other sauces in the dough.

So then, what does the Stromboli look like for the Italians?

When you are talking about the Stromboli in Italy, it’s all about layers. It features the use of cold cuts, different veggies, and marina sauce. They make sure that they limit the number of ingredients that can go into each layer you use.

Also, the place you keep the ingredients matter. Remember, the Stromboli is best if it looks good because you can expect it to taste good.

Stromboli vs calzone vs panzerotti

You may feel like these are almost the same, but they will give you the Italian food experience.


These are some of the tiniest tarts that are usually around 9 inches’ diameter. They are all the sandwich-sized options of jewels. Now, these are often fried, unlike the other two that you will bake. Make sure it cooks under 325°F.

Panzerotti is versatile, allowing you to use different toppings, but mostly you will also use the pizza sauce. Remember, though, that the panzerotti develops steam as you are frying, and therefore you should remove this steam inside once you finish cooking.

You should know that this will mostly act as a regular alternative to your pizza or calzone. This one again is one you eat on the move.

Stromboli Calzone panzerotti
Origin Philadelphia- US Naples Italy Central and southern Italy
Cooking method Baked Oven-baked Fried
Fillings It has mostly veggies, mozzarella cheese

Cold cuts- salami, Italian meats, salami, bresaola, capicollo.

It contains different kinds of cheese like ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan pecorino. You will have other cold meats like ham and salami; they sometimes also have eggs. You are sure to have the same options you have when you use the pizza toppings. It mostly contains mozzarella and tomato.
Tomato sauce Can be on the inside It’s on the side for dipping This is on the inside.
Shape Crescent moon Rolled kind semicircular
The size Large Medium Sandwich size.

Calzone vs. Pizza

You should know that the calzone is a type of pizza, and the persons making it had a definite intention to make sure you can use it on the move. The main difference is that it’s inside out where the bread is outside and not inside.

Remember that you won’t need to use the cutlery when you are eating pizza, but you can use the cutlery when eating the calzone. They are also different in shapes and appearance.


Is calzone a sandwich?

Anyone would like to call it a sandwich because it has a tiny in size and shape. Besides, anyone can eat it on the go. You also have it covering the toppings with the paste bread. So the only reason anyone would refer to it as the sandwich is because of its physical features.

Do calzones have sauce inside?

No, they don’t have the sauce inside, but it won’t be dry either. Often you need to add a sauce on the side to dip in.

How many calories in a calzone?

It will mostly depend on the content of the toppings too. But generally speaking, the calzone is not one of the very healthy food you can use.

  • The sausage calzone

They often contain the same calories as most other meat calzones. But it will depend on the content of the flour and the other ingredient like the oil generally, though the calzone, in this case, will have about 485 calories per serving.

  • Vegetarian Calzone

Again it matters the ingredients you add to your calzone. You will typically have 522 calories per serving.

  • Pepperoni Calzone

Again here then it will depend on the ingredients. Generally, though, the calzone often contains 601 calories per serving.

Which is better between the calzone and the Stromboli?

I know I’m not about to start this war here, too, just because it will never come to an end. To me, they are both excellent; it’s all about your personal preferences, though.

Most Italians from Italy will tell you that the calzone is best, but those from America might say they prefer Stromboli. This has more to do with the taste preference and not that one type is better than the other.

If you asked me, though, I would say I prefer the calzone just because I love using different cheese styles. They use and blend easily in different flavors.

This doesn’t, however, mean that I don’t use or like Stromboli either. So I will ask you to try them both if you never have and then decide which one you like best.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment