Chef John's Ham and Cheese Calzones


Today calzones are most commonly stuffed with the exact same toppings that go on a pizza which, besides the crust issue, was one of my main problems with it. I mean, why not just fold a pizza in half, and call it a day? So, I decided to do what I hear is a more traditional filling featuring ricotta, fresh mozzarella, and ham. The result was as enjoyable as it was surprising.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
4 calzones


  • 24 ounces prepared pizza dough

  • 8 slices prosciutto

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese, drained

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 ½ cups finely diced smoked ham

  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced, drained on paper towels

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 2 cups marinara sauce for dipping, heated (Optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Divide dough into 4 equal portions; shape each into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, flatten each dough ball into a flat circle and roll out into an 8- or 9-inch circle.

  3. Place 2 prosciutto slices on one half of each circle of dough, leaving a 1-inch empty border. Spoon ricotta cheese on prosciutto. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Top with chopped ham, mozzarella slices, and a drizzle of olive oil.

  4. Moisten edge of dough with a bit of water using your fingertip. Fold the empty half of the dough over the filling and lightly seal edges. Crimp the edges up to completely seal the calzone.

  5. Sprinkle lined baking sheet with cornmeal. Transfer calzones to baking sheet. Cut several small slits in the top of the crust with the tip of a knife to allow for venting.

  6. Beat egg with water to make egg wash. Brush the calzones with egg wash. Dust with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Remove excess cornmeal and grated cheese from around calzones to avoid smoke from the hot oven.

  7. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Serve with heated marinara sauce for dipping.

    close up view of a Ham and Cheese Calzone on a baking sheet
    Chef John

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

895 Calories
35g Fat
100g Carbs
41g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 895
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 3340mg 145%
Total Carbohydrate 100g 36%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 20mg 102%
Calcium 274mg 21%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 603mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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