Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins | Yields: 8 hand-held calzones

Top Dogs Tex-Mex Calzones

These are perfect for the busy back-to-school season – make them ahead of time and freeze for a take along, emergency lunch or quick dinner later.

Ingredients

1 (700g) fresh store-bought pizza dough

Original Maple Leaf Top Dogs, diced small

1 small onion, finely chopped

bell pepper (any colour), diced small

cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp (5 mL) cumin

½ tsp (5 mL) chili powder

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup (250 mL) Tex-Mex shredded cheese

¼ cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour (for dusting your work surface and pans)

Egg wash: one egg white and drop of water, whisked together

Directions

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper and dust with all-purpose flour.  On a clean-floured work surface, cut pizza dough into 8 equal pieces.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough pieces into circles to ¼-inch thick.  Place on baking sheets and set aside while making your filling.

Add chopped Top Dogs, onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper into a large bowl.  Combine everything together by mixing with a spoon.

Heat a large skillet with olive oil to medium-high heat.  Add the hot dog mixture and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes.  If there is excess water, drain the mixture using a sieve.

Prepare egg wash.  Add ¼ cup of the hot dog filling to the centre of each dough round. Top mixture with a tablespoon of shredded tex-mex cheese.  Brush edge of half the dough round with egg wash (this will help the calzone stick together).  Fold dough over filling and use a fork to close and secure the filling into the calzone.  Add more shredded cheese to the top of the calzone and then using a knife, cut a few steam vents in the top of each calzone to prevent them from bursting and also to prevent them from getting soggy.  Let cool slightly and then serve.

Make-ahead:  These are great to make ahead of time for lunch or for a quick weeknight dinner. I even make a double batch!  Bake the calzones according to instructions above and then let them cool to room temperature.  Wrap each individual calzone tightly with plastic wrap. Transfer to a plastic freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat from frozen, remove the plastic wrap and discard.  Preheat your oven or toaster oven to
350° F.  Place the calzones in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet until heated through, about 8-10 minutes.  Another option is to thaw the calzone overnight in the refrigerator.  The next day, you can reheat them in a toaster oven for a few minutes or a microwave before serving.

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