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I’ve started to realize that I’m stuck on the combination of sausage, butternut squash and rosemary this winter.  It’s so warming and wholesome, I can’t get it out of my head (and belly).  It doesn’t help that my local discount grocery store has had good sales on both sausage and squash.  I’ve made a few risottos, pastas and soups with this flavor combination and I wanted to make something a little different this go around so I settled on calzone with hint of some Greek flavors and a tangy, yogurt dipping sauce.


Like so many other dishes, this one is incredibly versatile.  For a vegetarian take on it you could replace the sausage with a sausage substitute or mushrooms.  Honestly, these calzone would be a wonderful vegetarian dish if you just left out the sausage, there’s plenty of good protein in the ricotta cheese.  You can also change the size and make little empanada-like appetizers or make a few honking big calzone if you have loved ones who thinks bigger is better when it comes to food.

Sausage, Ricotta and Butternut Squash Calzone – with yogurt dipping sauce

Serves 4 – cost approx $.95 per serving


  • pizza dough – enough for one large pizza, you can make it yourself, get prepared dough or mix from the grocery store or ask to buy some at you local pizza joint.  I like to make my own, using Alice Waters’ recipe in ‘The Art of Simple Cooking.’ ($1)
  • 2 Tbs butter ($.15)
  • 2 onions, diced ($.58)
  • 1 1/2 lb butternut squash, approx 2-3 cups, peeled and diced ($.45)
  • 1/2 lb bulk sausage – Italian sausage or country sausage work equally well ($.50 That was a stock-up sale, my freezer has quite a few rolls!)
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry rosemary or 1 tsp fresh
  • pinch cinnamon
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup ricotta ($.50)
  • 2 Tbs parsley, minced, divided use ($.10)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt ($.10)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream ($.15 Another great sale that I took advantage of!)
  • 1/4 tsp dry oregano or 1/2 tsp fresh
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch cumin

Start by melting the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Slowly saute the onions on medium.  If you have a lot of time on your hands, caramelize the onions on low for 45 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.  If you’d like to take the quicker route, lightly brown the onions over medium heat, which should take about 5-10 minutes.  Add in the squash and sausage and stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, add in the pinch of cinnamon and rosemary.  Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes more over medium-low, stirring occasionally.  This step makes sure that the squash is fully cooked.

Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 400 F and take our dough out of the fridge if you have an already prepared dough.  Transfer your wonderful sausage and squash mixture to a bowl and cool slightly.  Stir in the ricotta cheese, salt and pepper to taste and 1 Tbs of parsley.

Cut the pizza dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls.  If you’re making appetizer size calzone, make 16-24 small balls of dough.  Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and place onto a cookie sheet.  Fill with a generous amount of the sausage mixture and seal/crimp the edges.

I like to make two at a time so that I can assemble on the baking sheet.  No carrying a lumpy, raw calzone across the kitchen.

I like to make two at a time so that I can assemble on the baking sheet. No carrying a lumpy, raw calzone across the kitchen.

Make a few ventilation slits in the top.

poke, poke, poke!

poke, poke, poke!

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and perfect.


While the calzone are cooling, throw together the quick yogurt dipping sauce.  Whisk together all remaining ingredients and the reserved parsley.  So much yum.