Stromboli vs Calzone Pizza – What’s The Difference?

In Italian cuisine, both Calzones and Stromboli are pizza derivatives. One can say that they are two different versions of pizza that utilize the same ingredients.

Calzone pizza dough has been sealed around a filling to create a portable meal, while in a Stromboli it’s on top, so you can lick your fingers when eating them.

The different types of portable pizzas have notable differences such as unique ingredients, sealing techniques, and fillings that set them apart from each other.

What Is A Stromboli? (Strom-Bowl-E)

Stromboli and calzone are both types of pizzas that originated in Italy. They are both food made with pizza dough that is rolled into a flatbread and then filled with various toppings such as salami, other meats, veggies and different cheeses.

The delicious Italian food called “Stromboli” was likely created in the ’50s by Italian-Americans living near Philadelphia.

The first time this name came up was at Romano’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, which still operates today under its original location on Frankford Avenue near Girard Station (a popular pizza place).

Fun Facts About Stromboli:

Legend has it that the owner of this restaurant, Nazzareno Romano, was struggling to think up a name for his new sandwich. A customer sitting next to him suggested Stromboli, which is the Italian word for “loudmouth.” They say this is how Stromboli originated.

The nickname refers back to an off-screen romance between two married actors in Hollywood at one time – Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini.

What Is A Calzone? (Cal-Zone-Eh)

Calzones are Italian food through and through. They were invented in Naples, way back when people didn’t have time to sit down for a meal because they needed something quick that could be eaten as you walked around town.

Fun Facts About Calzones:

In Naples, Italy, it was a tradition to eat pizza with a knife and fork. But not until calzones became popular did people start eating their food on the go – hence why we call this portable pizza a “calzone”, which means pant leg or trouser leg in Italian.

Difference Between Stromboli And a Calzone

  • The difference between a stromboli and a calzone is that a stromboli is made with pizza dough while a calzone is made with pasta dough or bread dough.
  • Another difference between stromboli and calzone is the way the dough is rolled. Stromboli is rolled into a log shape, while calzone is more like a folded pizza having a half – moon shape.
  • A stromboli is also usually filled with meats and cheeses, while a calzone typically has a tomato sauce filling. 
  • Another difference between the two pizzas is the sauce. Stromboli typically has a tomato sauce, while calzone usually has a white sauce made with ricotta cheese. The toppings are also different. Stromboli typically has pepperoni and other meats, while calzone typically has more vegetables.
  • Finally, a calzone is folded in half while a stromboli is not. One is shaped like a burrito and the other one like a taco.

Italian Stromboli Pizza Vs Calzone : Techniques For Sealing The Pizza Dough

Calzones — much like tacos — are stuffed and folded into a half-moon shape before cooking them. The Stromboli, on the other hand, is filled with yummy ingredients and flavorful pizza sauce, and then it is rolled up tightly into the shape of a burrito before being baked.

The major difference between Calzone vs Stromboli? Well according to an article by Bon Appétit it’s how they’re sealed!


Looking for simple baked Stromboli recipes? Consider cooking the following :

  • Stromboli Rings with Cheesy Chicken and Spinach
  • Stromboli with prosciutto and Gruyere
  • Sandwiches with Stromboli

Difference Between a Calzone and Stromboli Pizza Filling

Both Calzone and a Stromboli have a filling of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese (with or without ricotta), bell peppers, and many other kinds of vegetables.

Calzone Filling

Calzones are baked with the same ingredients used as pizza toppings. It can be ordered without meat if required, which would possibly make it a healthier option than other Italian dishes such as lasagna.

Ricotta, spinach and broccoli are some typical vegetarian ingredients often stuffed into a calzone.

Stromboli Filling

The filling of a Stromboli is typically made with cheese such as provolone and mozzarella, as well as Italian meats like cured or uncured pepperoni, salami, ham and capocollo. 

The low-moisture version preferred by most chefs keeps moisture at bay to keep this dish light enough for lunch or dinner without being overwhelmed by marinara sauce that overloads your face while you eat.

Stromboli vs Calzone : Placement Of The Sauce

In the world of baked pizza, sauce placement can make a big difference between one dish and another.

There are many ways to enjoy a delicious baked pizza, but one of the most traditional is by having it with sauce on top and inside.

The glory of this dish lies in its simplicity, yet there’s so much flavor packed into each bite.

When it comes to the sauce placement of the calzone and a Stromboli, the sauce of a Stromboli is typically baked inside the dough together with pepperoni or salami for example, whereas with calzones the sauce is usually served on the side much like a dipping sauce.

Calzone vs Stromboli : Shape And Size

Calzones and Stromboli are a delicious, quick, and easy dinner option for those who don’t have much time. To make them you’ll need some dough – which can be made from flour or semolina mixed with water – and your favorite pizza toppings!

The shapes of the two pizzas differ. One can say that the Stromboli is a rolled pizza and the calzone is a folded pizza.

Shaping a Calzone

The shaping techniques mean that calzone starters come in many shapes; when making one specifically meant to fold together into an enclosing shell (the “calzone”), start by rolling out balls of this mixture until they form circles, then cut across both ways once.

Shaping a Stromboli

When shaping dough to make a Stromboli, you elongate the rectangle and roll it into a long skinny cylinder, so it resembles a little Debbie Swiss roll or cinnamon roll packed with delicious cheeses from Italy and other fillings. This shape can be sliced up for multiple people.

How to Make Stromboli and Fold It

Materials Needed

  • Using an oiled bowl
  • Towels
  • An Oven
  • Baking sheet or pizza stone
  • Rolling pin

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12×8 inch rectangle.

3. Spread the sauce over the dough. Sprinkle it with mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, pepperoni and ham or meat of your choice.

4. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the 8-inch side, folding a bit of extra dough back over it. It is recommended to give the dough an egg wash to properly seal it. Cut into 1-inch slices and place them on a greased baking sheet.

5. Bake the pizza at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cooking time depends on the size of the Stromboli.


Overall, whether you choose Stromboli vs calzone, they are both delicious pizzas that are worth trying.

However, there are many recipes out there, but if you are looking for something that is stuffed with a bit more flavor, then I would recommend trying a Stromboli.

If you are looking for something with a bit more of a crunch, then I would recommend trying a traditional Italian calzone.

Whichever you choose, you are sure to enjoy it! Thank you for reading our take on Stromboli vs Calzone.

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