Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Calzones

You know what they say about wearing white after Labor Day . . .

. . . And how creamy white sauces coating human mouthal cavities are the exception?


Can I just tell you how hard I love the fall? I do. I’m not going to get all wax-a-laxy about it, but yesterday they were interviewing some dude on NPR about summer reading and how he didn’t get through his list (Uh, me too because my attention span is that of a hummingbird on meth) and he said something that sucker-punched my eardrums. He said something like, “autumn is a time of permission.” Or maybe it was, “you’re allowed to slow down during the fall.” Crap, I’m messing it all up! Obviously I was paying attention.


Anyway, when he said it I thought, “omg my post tomorrow has homemade dough and that’s perfect for fall because I slowed down long enough to actually make it from scratch and get flour on the counters and sticky dough on my rings and I didn’t even miiiiiiiiiiiiiiindaaaa.”

It’s the whole, stop and smell the roses thing, ya know. Even though the roses have long crisped up and died in the drought and there are little bright orange-ish red rose hips in its place.

Oh! Stop and flick the rose hips! PATENT PENDING.


Points are: (you honestly didn’t think I’d have just one, did you?)

a) Leftover chicken is the answer to all life’s problems. Really, shred it up and call it good.

b) Roasted garlic white cream sauce might as well run for mayor of my mouth. I mean are you EVEN seeing all the caressing of the broccoli right there under these words?

c) And get this. This meal is a total “stop and flick the rose hips” venture, AT THE SAME TIME being super quick for school nights. Get the dough made ahead of time, roast the garlic early on, ba.da.bam. It’s like an early autumn miracle!

And let’s just ignore my hillbilly pinching skills.

We’ll call these . . . homey. Natural, rusti – GAH it is seriously sad.

Oh and, prepare to never want to eat anything else ever again for the rest of eternity.

White is SO your mouth’s color.

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Calzones:

What it took for 2 calzones:

for the dough:

* 1 cup warm water
* 1 tsp honey
* 1 package dry active yeast
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp salt

for the filling:

* 1 tsp olive oil
* 1 head garlic
* 2 Tbs. butter
* 2 Tbs. flour
* 1 cup milk
* 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
* 3 cups shredded chicken (leftover is fine! so is a rotis.)
* 2 Tbs. lemon zest
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup water with the honey and dry yeast. Let sit about 3 minutes until the yeast starts to bubble.

In a bigger bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture and the remaining 3/4 cup water. Mix to combine and knead the dough until it’s soft and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.

After an hour, divide the dough into 4 balls. You can throw the leftover two in the freezer if you want, or keep going for 4 calzones. (just increase the filling) Place them into 4 smaller, oiled bowls and let rise another 15 minutes.

Roll out each dough ball until it’s 10-12 inches in diameter, like a pizza. You’re ready for the filling!

While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 425.

Lop the stem end of the garlic off, exposing the cloves. Place inside a small square of aluminum foil, drizzle with oil, fold up and roast 35 minutes.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Once the foam subsides, whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk about 2 minutes, until it starts to brown. Whisk in the milk and keep whisking until it thickens and get creamy. Toss in a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to a small food processor, add the roasted garlic cloves, and blitz until combined and gorgeous. Stick your finger in that. Uuuuuuuuuuugh.

Adjust the oven to 375.

Spoon some of the creamy sauce along the bottom of each crust. Top with shredded chicken and broccoli florets. Spoon more of the sauce (I’d say about 5 Tbs. total in each calzone, or more if you want!) over the chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with the lemon zest.

Roll over the dough, creating a calzone. Transfer ‘zones (sorry) to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each one with a light egg wash or extra-virgin olive oil.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Let rest 5 minutes (faaaaaaaaat chance), slice and devour.

Hot pockeeet! (name that comedian)

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64 Responses to Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Calzones

  1. Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa September 4, 2012 at 8:17 am #
    You read my mind!!! I've calzones on the brain ever since I made a rollable gluten-free pizza crust - perfect for calzonies. Oh and your garlicy sauce? Killer.
  2. Tasha Zee September 4, 2012 at 8:22 am #
    Oh yum totally going to make this ...sometime this week hope you don't mind ;) absolute perfection!
    • Jennifer February 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm #
      Instead of butter I used a little bacon grease, and I added some seasonings. All in all turned out great!
  3. Laurie {Simply Scratch} September 4, 2012 at 8:26 am #
  4. Katie September 4, 2012 at 8:45 am #
    Jim Gaffigan!! This looks approximately one gazillion times better than a hot pocket.
  5. claire @ the realistic nutritionist September 4, 2012 at 9:20 am #
    All I can think of is Seinfeld. "George, I need the calonze. I CAN SMELL THE CALZONES!" hahahah. In other news. I want to date these.
  6. DessertForTwo September 4, 2012 at 9:27 am #
    Gah! Gorgeous! I need 2 of these and that turquoise burlap, please!
  7. abbe101 September 4, 2012 at 10:41 am #
    Oh good grief - BANG goes the diet!
  8. carrian September 4, 2012 at 11:01 am #
    First, Jim Gaffigan, of course. Second, I'm dying to try this for the creamy sauce AND your dough looks lighter than mine. I must try it out.
  9. Tracey Evans September 4, 2012 at 11:29 am #
    Looks soooo delicious and comforting! Oh and I love you hillbilly dough pinching! Looks very rustic ad fallie! Is that a word??? :)
    • Tracey Evans September 4, 2012 at 11:29 am #
      meant AND fallie!!! lol!!
  10. Sues September 4, 2012 at 11:35 am #
    Oh I so agree. I sometimes look forward to winter because it's a perfectly good excuse to say no to all plans and hide under a blanket on the couch. Just me? Also, I always wear white after Labor Day. And especially white sauce.
  11. Kathryn September 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm #
    My boyfriend would love this, all of his favourite things in one dish!
  12. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious September 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm #
    AMAZING! I totally need to make this for me and Jason - he is going to be over the moon for this.
  13. Cookbook Queen September 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm #
    THIS. THIS is what I needed for lunch today!! Where were you???
  14. Chels R. September 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm #
    Yes, PLEASE!
  15. Michelle J September 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm #
    This looks amazing! I am totally going to make this! Thanks for such a great job on your site, I love it and that you do so many veggie recipes! Please keep up the good work!!
  16. Debra September 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm #
    Well....I guess you just solved what to make with last night's leftover Kamado chicken!! Oh, yes!!
  17. Aimee @ ShugarySweets September 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm #
    Oh Bev, can I move in? I'll bake you cook. K? I am craving hot pockets now. Weird.
  18. The Newlywed Chefs September 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm #
    Uh, yum. That rustic crust looks so perfect!
  19. Julie @ Table for Two September 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm #
    this looks amazing. i love the creaminess that you've got going on inside that dough, gurl!
  20. Angela @ AnotherBitePlease September 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm #
    This is my favorite filling in calzones! I hope mine turn out as pretty as yours.
  21. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts September 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm #
    Oh my god - look at all that garlic!! I want to just lick it up!
  22. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. September 4, 2012 at 9:53 pm #
    Oh my sweet heavens! That garlic. I want to eat this every day!
  23. Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out September 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm #
    OMG it's like hand-held pot pie. I WANT IT I NEED IT NOWWWWWW
  24. Kare @ Kitchen Treaty September 5, 2012 at 12:13 am #
    Oh. My goodness. These look seriously so good. I love that they're made from scratch (but there are areas for shortcuts if the need ever arises - like during the other three seasons, I guess!) Perfect for our mixed-diet kitchen; I'll leave the meat out of mine (or maybe sub a little tofu) and remain a seriously happy camper.
  25. Sheila September 5, 2012 at 7:55 am #
    Great cook ahead dinner for a busy night of sports!
  26. JulieD September 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm #
    wow, Bev!! And I love the amount of garlic, woot!
  27. Katie @ Blonde Ambition September 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm #
    Roasted garlic every day, yes please and thank you!
  28. Megan (Braise The Roof) September 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm #
    Jim Gaffigan! "Have you tried the Hot Pocket flavored Hot Pocket? Tastes like a Hot Pocket." I love him. And you for making these- yummmm.
  29. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel September 6, 2012 at 6:00 am #
    Mmm total perfection! Especially love those shots from above!
  30. Diane, A Broad September 6, 2012 at 10:39 am #
    Oh man yum. Also: mouthal, heh.
  31. Jessie {Life As A Strawberry} September 8, 2012 at 11:29 am #
    I need this in my life. Like, IMMEDIATELY.
  32. Kevin (Closet Cooking) September 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm #
    These calzones sound so good!
  33. Shelly September 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm #
    It's a hot pocket hot pocket! My mouth won't be like lava will it? :) Jim Gaffigan, who is from Indiana which is where I reside, and my 10 year old had to write about a famous Hoosier last year, so we chose him. :) Definitely going to make these! Hoooooot Pocket!
  34. Jenna September 15, 2012 at 9:34 am #
    We made these last night, and have decided it's a great Friday evening meal, especially for fall and the rush before a football game. Putting this one on our regular rotation!
  35. Lindsay September 16, 2012 at 8:08 am #
    I was wondering if I could substitute soy milk in this recipe or something else for the milk in the filling. Thanks!
    • Bev Weidner September 16, 2012 at 8:09 am #
      Hi, Lindsay! I TOTALLY bet you could. It should thicken up the very same as milk. Let me know how it turns out!
  36. Simone October 24, 2012 at 2:06 am #
    I made 4 last night. Yummy. I would have used more sauce. Which is really the best part if this recipe. Also I used olive oil for the outside. I think the egg wash would be much prettier. Thanks for this. It was fun to make. I impressed myself, because I wasn't sure I could make the dough.
    • Leslie November 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm #
      Made this tonight for dinner and my girls loved it. I think next time I will also use an egg wash instead of the oil to make it look a little prettier too. I didn't use the garlic b/c I burnt them in the oven :( so sprinkled some of my garlic garlic and it was still pretty tasty. Thanks for the recipe.
  37. Jami November 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm #
    I made these tonight for dinner and my kids thought they were fabulous! The each ate 1.5 calzones!!!! I added some mozzarella to the filling and thought they were YUM-O. I was unsure b/c the dough was super sticky. Definitely a repeat! Thanks :)
  38. Soggy bread November 28, 2012 at 7:36 am #
    Hey... Attempted you recipe today but the pastry dough didn't turn out that well. It ended up bread like instead :S
  39. Kyle June 15, 2013 at 11:46 pm #
    I just wasted so much effort and time on this recipe. I just realized that this recipe was joke. Shame on me. This was the most disgusting thing I have ever put in my mouth!! Not very funny whoever posted this. I knew from the get go something was off.
  40. Mr. Karl B. Hensel (Dolce) March 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm #
    Looks wonderful. Can not wait to prepare for my hard working wife. She deserves the best and this looks as though it will rank up there with the best. Assuming I do not forget the skills instilled into me by all the Italian woman in my family ( mother, grandmother and aunts) I use to hang out with as a little guy and watch and learn. Say what you want guys and it may not be jewelry and flowers but a way to a woman's heart is by sharing in the joy of preparing a fine meal for her to enjoy after a stressful day at work. Trust me. If I could not create a dish or prepare one. I would still be single at 54.
  41. kathy beach July 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm #
    Tried 3x to make copy. nothing happened
  42. Judy Sandbach September 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm #
    Made this today! Was so wonderful :-) I doubled the sauce recipe and shredded an Italian cheese before folding. Baked on a pizza stone at 375 degrees. My family and I loved it! Thank you for sharing your recipe!
  43. Elizabeth November 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm #
    I just made this tonight and it was amazing!!!! I added some mozzarella cuz I'm one of those people that thinks cheese makes everythanggg better!!!! Will def make again!
  44. Anonymous June 6, 2016 at 10:15 am #
    so kool
  45. Kyle K February 5, 2018 at 4:35 pm #
    Sounds delicious! How would the dough work in a bread machine?
  46. Sherrie April 11, 2018 at 10:11 pm #
    We loved these! I added mozzarella cheese to the sauce and used sugar instead of honey in the dough. I brushed the tops with olive oil as suggested (I've tried egg washes and butter in the past with pizza calzones) and the olive oil gave it the best baked crust of them all for me. This is definitely going on my master meal list! Thanks.
    • Sherrie April 11, 2018 at 10:17 pm #
      I also cooked them at 450 degrees for 13-15 minutes as I have been doing with my pizza calzones.


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