Traditional recipes

Panzerotti (fried Italian calzone) recipe

Panzerotti (fried Italian calzone) recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Pizza
  • Italian pizza
  • Calzones

Panzerotti are deep fried Italian mini calzones, filled with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan. You can add ham, olives or anchovies for additional flavor, but make sure to not over stuff them or they will open when deep frying.

1 person made this

IngredientsMakes: 35 panzerotti

  • 25g fresh yeast or 7g dried active yeast
  • 300 to 400ml warm sparkling water
  • 2 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 800g strong white bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaped tablespoon salt
  • For the filling
  • 1kg cherry tomatoes
  • 500g mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh or dried oregano, to taste
  • 200g grated Parmesan cheese, as needed
  • sunflower oil for deep frying

MethodPrep:1hr ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:2hr30min curing › Ready in:3hr50min

  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest possible oven setting. When it reaches the temperature, turn the oven off.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in half of the warm water with the sugar. Set to one side until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer place flour. Make a well and add oil, yeast and the remaining water. Mix to make a sticky dough. Transfer on a floured surface, add salt and knead until smooth and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Or fit the stand mixer with the hook, add salt and knead until the dough sticks around the hook.
  4. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with a damp tea towel cloth and place in the warm oven. Let rise for 2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, blanch the cherry tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute and rain. Peel the tomatoes, cut in half and remove the seeds. Drain again to remove any tomato water and chop finely. Place in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, salt and oregano.
  6. Divide the dough into balls the size of a tangerine. Place the pieces on your lightly floured working surface, one a few cm from each other. Cover with a tea towel and a larger towel or a blanket. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  7. Gently stretch out the balls with your hands to make disks of about 15cm in diametre. Add 1 teaspoon of the chopped, drained tomatoes (make sure to squeeze them before, or the panzerotti will get wet and open when deep frying), a few cubes of mozzarella and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan. Fold in the shape of a half moon, then squeeze out the air and seal the edges with your wet finger tips.
  8. Heat the oil until hot and deep fry a few panzerotti at a time until they are golden on both sides. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.


To speed up the preparation, you can use canned plum tomatoes or passata.


Never prepare panzerotti in advance but just a few minutes before deep frying or the water in the mozzarella and tomato will soften up and poke the dough.

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Panzerotti Dough Recipe ( Traditional Italian Panzerotto Dough Recipe )

TRADITIONAL ITALIAN RECIPE: Panzerotti originated in central and southern Italy, especially in Apulia. They are small versions of the Calzone or closed Pizza, but produced with a softer Dough.

The most common fillings are Tomato and Mozzarella, but Spinach, Mushrooms, Baby Corn, and Ham are often used, especially outside Italy.

Another common filling used outside Italy is Onions stir fried in Olive Oil and seasoned with Salted Anchovies and Capers, a seasoning that, mixed with Bread, is also used in Apulia for stuffed bell Peppers.

In the city of Molfetta and the town of Mola di Bari located in the Bari province of the Puglia region, Frittelle (sometimes spelt frittelli) is used as another name for Panzerotti.

The word Pansoti, used in Genoa for a type of Stuffed Pasta, is totally unrelated.

The Calzone al Forno (baked Calzone) is a specialty of the Neapolitan cuisine, yet widespread through Central, and Southern Italy. I'm not a fan of it, they put too much dairy stuff inside. plus, i'm from Milan.

The Dough is the same as the Pizza and the filling is traditionally composed of Mozzarella or Provola, Grated Cheese, Ricotta and Salame.

In Naples, you can taste delightful Calzoni in every Pizzeria, where they are baked in traditional forni a legna (wood fire ovens).

The Panzerotto, typical of the Italian region of Puglia, is simply a variation of the Calzone. or Calzone is a variation of Panzerotto. who knows. Anyway, for Calzone they use the Pizza Dough however, the traditional filling is a mix of Tomatoes and Mozzarella. The Panzerotto can be baked or fried.

Although, a specialty of Puglia, Panzerotti, just like the Calzoni, are found everywhere in Italy, and particularly in the Southern regions.

The Panzerotto is sometime also called Calzone Fritto (Fried Calzone), but i wouldn't buy it outside with that name, because they might fry the Pizza Dough, which i personally do not like fied.

Fried Panzerotti are one of my favorite treats my mother used to make once every 3 months (she never fried much. She always told us to be unhealthy. She is a wonderful chef and mom).

Friggitorie (local shop selling fried food) selling hot Panzerotti, Crocchè di Papate (Potatoes Croquettes) and Pastacresciuta (Fried Dough) are still in many corner of Naples.

The recipe below is the Original Version of Puglia's Panzerotti, however, you can create your own filling, based on your own likes. Get creative! Get Messy!

Calzone Recipe ( Traditional Neapolitan Fried Pizza )

TRADITIONAL ITALIAN RECIPE: Calzone is an Italian fried or oven baked folded pizza very similar to the American Strombili that originated in Naples in the 18th century.

This is the Traditional Neapolitan Calzone Recipe, and is made from a regular Pizza dough, stuffed with Ricotta, Ham and Cheese. In this specific recipe the Egg is not needed. As it always happens, every region has its own version.

The Panzerotti, is often mistaken for the much larger Calzone. They look alike and they’re both from Italy. The panzerotti however, is thought to have started in a small area of Apulia – a southern area next to the Adriatic Sea like a on-the-go meal, while Calzone is a sit-down meal born in Naples.

While very similar, the main difference remain the Dough. Calzone and Panzerotti have very different recipes.

Skill Level: Time: 8 Hours
Price: Makes: 4 Pizze

Ciccioli Neapolitans, Cicoli or Pork Greaves
( alternative: Ham )

Fior di Latte Mozzarella Cheese

San Marzano Tomato Sauce
( Passata )

Ciccioli Neapolitans, Cicoli or Pork Greaves
( alternative: Ham )

Fior di Latte Mozzarella Cheese

San Marzano Tomato Sauce
( Passata )

2 teaspoons Brewer's Yeast

1 teaspoon Sugar
( optional )

Ciccioli Neapolitans, Cicoli or Pork Greaves
( alternative: Ham )

Fior di Latte Mozzarella Cheese

San Marzano Tomato Sauce
( Passata )

01 - Place the Flour on the left side of your container, we've used a traditional Kneading Trough ( Madia in Italian ) also known as Bread Trough or Artesa, but you can use a very large bowl or a deep oven dish.

02 - Pour half of the Water on the right side of the Madia.

03 - Gently dissolve the Sea Salt in the Water.

04 - Add the Yeast into the Flour by crumbling it with your fingers.

05 - Slowly start mixing everything.

06 - Add the remaining Water.

07 - Knead the Dough with your hands and then only using the pressure of your fists fold it multiple times. This should take you about 15 minutes.

( Watch the video above to understand how to knead and have a better idea of the final consistency of the Dough )

08 - Move the Dough back in your container and cover with cling film or a clean kitchen tower, and let it rest for at least 2 hours at room temperature 25C / 77F.

09 - Cut the Dough in smaller portions with the same technique you cut Mozzarella ( watch video ). Each portion should be 150gr / 5.29oz

10 - Place the Dough balls in a large container, cover with cling film and let it rest for an extra 6 hours.

11 - Place the Dough on a floured counter and put some Flour on top of the Dough, and start spreading out the Dough to a 20cm / 8in disk in diameter.

12 - Spread a spoon of Ricotta Cheese as base.

13 - Add some Mozzarella or Provola Cheese.

14 - Now Add some Ciccioli Neapolitans.

15 - Sprinkle some Black Pepper on top.

16 - Add a spoon of fresh Tomato Sauce.

17 - Gently fold the Dough in half over the filling, and compress or crimp the edge of the Calzone ( DO NOT USE WATER TO SEAL IT ).

18 - Repeat with remaining Calzoni.

19 - Preheat some Oil in a deep-fryer to 170-180C / 338-356F.

20 - Once the Oil has reached the right temperature, carefully place one Calzone at the time, and cook for about 3-5 minutes turning it from time to time, or until both sides turn Golden.

21 - Remove from Oil and place on paper towel.

22 - Let cool for a couple minutes before serving.

- Dough Rising: The first phase: remove the dough from the mixer, and place it on a surface in the pizzeria where it can be left to rest for 2 hours, covered from a damp cloth. In this manner, the dough’s surface cannot become harden, nor can it form a crust from the evaporation of the moisture released from the dough. The dough is left for the 2 hours rising in the form of a ball, which must be made by the pizzaiolo exclusively by hand.

With the aid of a spatula, cut from the mixture into smaller portions, which are then shaped onto a ball. For “Pizza Napoletana”, the dough balls must weigh between the 180 and the 250 g.

The second phase of the dough rising: Once the individual dough balls are formed, they are left in “rising boxes” for a second rising, which lasts from 4 to 6 hours. By controlling storage temperature, these dough balls can then be used at any time within the following 6 hours.

- Leftover Sauce can be used for dipping or it can be pourded on top of the Calzone.

Different Fillings

Back when I was growing up mom would just make pizza dough and we didn't really have many different fillings.

You can really adapt these to your favorite pizza toppings and place them inside the dough then fry them.

I really love to experiment. There are a few not mentioned in the recipe I can tell you that are delicious combinations.

Ripieno di Pomodoro e Mozzarella


4 oz mozzarella cheese, chopped

2 cups of canned San Marzano tomatoes, chopped

3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil to fry

Pour the chopped pomodori (tomatoes) into a strainer sitting over a bowl and let drain the water until ready to use.

When you are ready to stuff the calzone and panzerotti, transfer the tomatoes into a dry bowl, add the mozzarella, the oil, the salt and, the oregano and mix together.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup diced pepperoni
  • ½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 egg, beaten

To Make Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the oil, sugar and salt mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, until dough is smooth and workable. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it is elastic. Lay dough in a bowl containing 1 teaspoon olive oil, then flip the dough, cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until almost doubled.

To Make Filling: While dough is rising, combine the ricotta cheese, Cheddar cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and basil leaves in a large bowl. Mix well, cover bowl and refrigerate to chill.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

When dough is ready, punch it down and separate it into 2 equal parts. Roll parts out into thin circles on a lightly floured surface. Fill each circle with 1/2 of the cheese/meat filling and fold over, securing edges by folding in and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with egg and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Panzerotti (fried dough pockets)

Panzerotti are filled thin bread pockets typical of Puglia, the most traditional filling being tomato and mozzarella. Small, deep-fried, addictive!



Skill level

One of the best places in the coastal city of Bari to buy panzerotti is il Focacciaro di Pino Ambruoso. I went there in the middle of winter and the shop was fi lled to bursting point with people, not only trying to get out of the cold as I had thought, but waiting for the next batch of panzerotti to be cooked.


  • 250 g (9 oz/1⅔ cups) 00 weak (cake) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250 g (9 oz/2 cups) semolina
  • 5 g (¼ oz) instant dried yeast
  • 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) tepid water
  • 3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) tinned chopped tomatoes, well-drained
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 350 g (12½ oz) aged mozzarella or scamorza, diced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 1.5 hours

To make the dough, place the flour, semolina and yeast in a large bowl and whisk briefly. Tip the mixture onto a clean work surface and make a well in the centre. Combine the water, oil and milk in a jug, then pour about half into the well. Using a fork or your fingers, start working the dry ingredients into the liquid. Slowly add the remaining liquid and continue bringing the ingredients together until it starts to form a stretchy smooth ball of dough. Sprinkle over the salt and knead the dough for a few more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draught-free place for at least 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Break off 40 g (1½ oz) balls of dough and place on a floured baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and set aside to rise for a further 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the drained chopped tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, dried oregano and a good pinch of salt in a bowl and give it a good stir.

On a well-floured work surface, roll out one ball of dough at a time to a 13–14 cm (5–5½ in) circle. Place 2 teaspoons of the tomato mixture in the centre and place 2 heaped teaspoons of cheese on top. Fold the dough in half to form a semi-circle, then press the edges firmly together. Pleat the edge of the dough to make a raised scalloped edge. Transfer to a lightly floured surface or some baking paper and cover with a clean tea towel. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Heat 5 cm (2 in) of oil in a heavy-based saucepan (or use a deep fryer) to 180°C (350°F). Test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a cube of bread. If it starts to turn golden in 5 seconds, the oil is ready. Fry the panzerotti 1–2 at a time (depending on the size of your pan), turning once, for about 4 minutes, until golden. They will puff up quite a bit as they fry. Drain on kitchen towel and repeat with the remaining panzerotti. Serve warm.

This recipe is from Italian Street Food. (Smith Street Books). Photography by Paola Bacchia.

A brief history of the panzerotto

In Bari, everyone calls it ‘panzerotto.’ In Salento, they say ‘calzone’ and in Campania, ‘pizza fritta.’ The ingredients, however, are the same, despite its many variations. And even if the original panzerotto was born among the alleys that saw Antonio Cassano’s first soccer ball kicks, sometime between the 16th and 17th century. And yet, the panzerotto might be even older than that, having shared a similar history to pizza. A true panzerotto alla barese, in fact, is made with pizza dough stuffed with mozzarella and tomato, closed into a half-moon shape and fried. Baked, the panzerotto tastes just as good, but the olive oil from the countryside of Bari makes the fried version especially delicious. To skip frying it would basically be considered an abomination for panzerotto purists everywhere!

The Chew: Panzerotti Recipe Ingredients

The Chew’s latest viewer recipe contest crowned a Panzerotti Recipe as its tailgate winner, and you can make your own fried Hot Pocket calzones at home.

The very pregnant Daphne Oz was not shy about indulging in these Panzerotti. “They’re like a delicious deep fried Hot Pocket,” Clinton Kelly said.

  • Pizza Dough
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Onions
  • Ground Beef
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Provolone Cheese
  • Capicola
  • Prosciutto
  • Ham
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni

Panzarotti, Calzones, Fried Bread & Sopapillas

The same basic stand mixer bread dough used to make loaf bread and focaccia can be used to make deep fried southern Italian panzarotti (spelled panzerotti in Italian). An uncle first introduced me to panzarotti in 1968. At first I thought it was an oversized warm doughnut. After taking a bite I discovered it was filled with melted mozzarella cheese, diced tomato and prosciutto. Considering it has about the same number of calories as two doughnuts, I’d prefer panzarotti to doughnuts any day. You can save calories by baking them for individual calzones. Panzarotti has has up to 50 percent less sodium than microwaved pocket sandwiches.


  • Basic Bread Dough
  • 10 oz. (280 g) cubed fresh or shredded dry mozzarella
  • 5 slices (70 g) prosciutto cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • 1 medium Roma tomato diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Vegetable oil or regular olive oil for deep frying

Method of Preparation

Step 1

Step 2

Punch down bread dough and break off pieces about 3-inches in diameter. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or lightly oiled.

Step 3

Use your fingers to shape dough into 6-inch diameter circles about 1/4-inch thick.

Step 4

Place in the center of each circle 3-4 pieces of tomato, 3 slices of prosciutto and about 2 tablespoons (30ml) of cheese. Do not overstuff or dough will tear.

Step 5

Pick up one edge and fold dough over filling to form a semi-circle. Press along the edge to completely seal the panzarotti.

Step 6

In a large heavy skillet or wok, heat 1 to 2 inches of oil to 350 to 370°F (176-188°C). Fry 2 to 3 panzarotti at a time depending on skillet size 2 to 3 minutes per side or until deep golden color. Transfer to paper towel lined plate or pan. Cool 5 minutes before eating.

Step 7

Cook's Tip: To keep panzarotti warm while frying the remaining panzarotti, place in a 200°F (93°C) oven. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in a 300°F (150°C) oven 10 minutes or until heated through.

Step 8

For fried bread, fry the circles of dough in Step 3 1-2 minutes per side or until deep golden color.

Step 9

For Sopapillas, cut dough circles using a sharp knife or pizza cutter in to quarters or shape dough into rectangles and cut into 4 pieces. Fry about 1 minute per side or until lightly browned. Do not over fry or they will be tough.

Step 10

For baked calzones, preheat oven to 400°F (205°C) and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden color. Cool 5 minutes and serve

Watch the video: Panzerotti or Calzone - Everyday Italian Cooking with Giulia (January 2022).