Stromboli Vs Calzone: What’s the Difference?

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stromboli vs calzone
Traditional Italian Stromboli stuffed with cheese, salami, green onion and tomato sauce

If you didn’t grow up in an Italian family, you might be wondering what’s the deal with stromboli vs calzone. While these two pizza varieties share many ingredients, they aren’t the same, and now is the time to learn how to tell them apart.

What’s the difference between stromboli vs calzone? The biggest difference between a stromboli and a calzone is how they are sealed. A calzone is folded in a half-moon shape, but a stromboli is rolled in a spiral. Calzones are made with ricotta and served with marinara sauce on the side. Stromboli is made with mozzarella and sauce is baked into it.

Don’t let anyone convince you that stromboli and calzone are the same because they aren’t! Instead, stay with us till the end of this article and learn the difference between stromboli vs calzone once and for all!

Stromboli Vs Calzone Difference

stromboli vs calzone difference

Often confused, both calzone and stromboli are dishes that are a big part of Italian cuisine in the United States. But although they are similar their origin, filling, and sealing techniques are the things that make them completely different.


If you thought that both calzone and stromboli are Italian dishes, you thought wrong! While they do have Italian names, these pizza variations originated in opposite parts of the world.

Calzones originated in the 18th century in Naples Italy and has soon become popular street food because they’re easy to eat while standing. Originally known as calzoni which means “pants legs” the calzone is basically a portable pizza that can be eaten without utensils and while you’re on the go.

Created by Italian Americans, stromboli originated in Philadelphia in the 1950s. It is believed that Nazzareno Romano, owner of Romano’s Pizza, wanted to add something new to his menu which led to the creation of the first-ever stromboli sandwich.

Romano didn’t know how to name his new creation, so one customer suggested “stromboli” as a reference to the newly released movie starring Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini. While the movie Stromboli didn’t impress the masses, stromboli the sandwich gained huge popularity and faithful fans.

Cooking Method

Traditionally, both Stromboli and calzone are baked in a wood-fired oven where the temperature goes over 800°F creating a crispy crust. However, a conventional oven is a good substitute if you aren’t a professional chef and are looking to indulge in food without going to a restaurant.

Depending on the oven and the amount of filling, a calzone usually needs only 10 to 15 minutes of baking time. On the other hand, a stromboli generally needs 20 to 25 minutes to become golden brown and ready to be served on a plate.

Sealing Technique

One of the main differences between a stromboli and calzone is the way they are folded and sealed before baking. A calzone is always folded in a half-moon shape and the edges are pinched and sealed together using a fork.

A stromboli, on the other hand, is rolled in the same way you would roll a burrito. To seal a stromboli, you’ll first have to roll it and then fold the extra dough to prevent fillings from spilling during baking.


Both stromboli and calzone are usually filled with ingredients such as meat, cheese, and vegetables. However, there are a few significant differences when it comes to fillings.

Calzones usually contain the same ingredients as pizza and are always made with ricotta or a blend of cheese that contains ricotta.

On the other hand, a stromboli is made with mozzarella cheese that keeps moisture at a minimum and ensures that the inside of the sandwich is properly cooked.

Another important distinction is that calzones never have tomato sauce inside the dough. A calzone should be dipped in marinara sauce that is always served on the side.

And while you can also dip a stromboli in a sauce, traditionally the sauce is baked in with all other ingredients. A stromboli is also more likely to contain Italian meats and cold cuts such as salami or capicola while calzones are usually made with pizza toppings.


There is a slight difference between calzones and stromboli when it comes to the type of dough they are made of. A stromboli can be made from pizza dough or French bread dough, but calzones are almost always made from pizza dough.


A calzone and a stromboli are always sealed with different techniques which means that they will end up having different shapes. When you make a calzone you start out with a circular shaped dough and end up folding the dough in a half-moon shape.

On the other hand, when you are making a stromboli, the dough should be shaped in an elongated rectangle. As the dough is rolled it ends up creating a long and slim cylindrically shaped sandwich.


Generally, calzones are sized as a single serving, but you can find recipes for two or more servings. Traditionally, a stromboli is meant to be sliced and served for multiple people. 

Kitchen Tools Used

If you ever baked something at home, you know that you’ll probably end up with more dirty dishes than you would for a simple cooked meal. To make a calzone or a stromboli you’ll need:

  • Rolling pin
  • Baking sheet
  • Cooking spray
  • Utensils
  • Measuring cup
  • Bowls

Stromboli Vs Calzone – Which is Easier to Make?

If you want to skip your favorite pizza joint for the night, but still want to eat nice, you should know that a calzone is easier to make than a stromboli. You’ll only need to put cheese and any other ingredients of your liking to the pizza dough, fold it in half and bake until the calzone is golden brown.

Making a stromboli, on the other hand, can be a bit complicated. You’ll need to distribute the ingredients equally, roll the dough, and seal it properly so the fillings stay where they should be.

What’s Better Stromboli or Calzone?

Whether you are a fan of stromboli or you are a fan of calzone is completely up to you. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to food, and it’s pointless to contest that one dish is better than the other.

Knowing and appreciating the differences between stromboli vs calzone can help you decide whatever you are team calzone or team stromboli!


If you are a big fan of pizza, you have probably tried calzone or stromboli at some point. But while they may share certain ingredients, a calzone and a stromboli are two completely different pizza variants.

The biggest difference between stromboli and calzone is the way they are folded and sealed before baking.

A calzone is made with ricotta and served with marinara sauce on the side, a stromboli, on the other hand, always has mozzarella cheese and the sauce is always baked in the sandwich.

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