Sarasota's Simple Pesto Shrimp Calzones

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“For a quick week night dinner try these shrimp calzones. Gooey cheese, savory pesto, shrimp, and served with a sweet marinara sauce if you want. Add a quick tossed salad, and save some room for some fresh summer fruit for dessert. These can be made on the grill or a pizza stone, but I make them right in the oven to make this as easy as possible. And to make things even easier ... take advantage of shrimp you can buy steamed fresh right at the seafood counter; or even frozen shrimp will work, but not quite as well. Store bought pesto, marinara sauce, and pizza dough and you have dinner in 30 minutes. Now, please make your own crust, pesto, and steam your own shrimp if time allows, but this is just one of those quick dinners I like to have on hand when you need it - or just to tired to cook, but it is so much better and cheaper than take out. You can even use one of those "bagged" lettuce to make a great quick side salad and add your favorite toppings. And remember ... these are my favorite ingredients, but please feel free to add olives, peppers, mushrooms, or other cheeses - use your imagination!”
4 Calzones

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 (8 ounce) canspillsbury pizza dough (I like to have a little leftover and make my calzones a bit bigger. Besides, any leftover pizza doug)
  • 1 lb shrimp, large, tails off and rough chopped
  • 1 small onion, fine diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 14 cup roasted red pepper, chopped (I just used a jar)
  • 1 (3 ounce) jar basil pesto (or any store bought brand and type)
  • 1 cup Fontina cheese, shredded (you could use all mozzarella, but I like the mix of fontina with mozzarella)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated fine
  • 1 tablespoon butter (to saute the shrimp, onion and garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (to brush the pizza crust)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Garnish
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (your favorite brand)


  1. Shrimp -- In a medium size saute pan, add the butter and bring to medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes until tender but not soft. NOTE: At this point if you decide to add any other ingredients, such as peppers, mushrooms or olives, you can add them too. Saute 2-3 minutes until tender. Then add in the shrimp (seasoned with salt and pepper) and cook 1-2 minutes, as they will continue to cook in the calzone - I actually under cook the shrimp so they don't get tough. Immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. Filling -- Once the shrimp have cooled a couple of minutes, add to a medium size bowl along with the pesto, fontina, and mozzarella and lightly toss to combine.
  3. Pizza Dough -- Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and then roll into a 8-9" circles. I like to bake mine on either a pizza stone, or either a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with a non-stick spray. Makes for an easy clean up.
  4. Lay your 4 pizza circles on the baking sheet or whatever you choose to use, and then add the shrimp filling on the crust, a little to the right or left of center. Then fold over the crust to make a half moon and to cover all the filling.
  5. Wet the edge of the pizza crust with a little water. I just use my finger and then press the top and bottom together. Now, you can use your fork or you can use your finger to press the edges together. I just squeeze them and make a little "Pie Crust" like technique. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just as long as the top and bottom is pressed together and sealed well.
  6. Brush the calzones with olive oil and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top. Make 3-4 thin cuts with a knife in the calzone so the steam can escape and the calzone can puff up and get golden brown.
  7. Bake -- Oven, middle shelf to 400 degrees. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Make sure to let them cool about 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Marinara -- Simply heat some marinara in the microwave or stove top and serve with the calzones.
  9. Serve -- A nice crisp salad is all you need. Enjoy!

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