Difference Between Calzone and Stromboli

Everybody likes pizza. The sweet and spicy sauce, mixed with salty, tangy, and stretchy cheese, it’s one of the most popular foods in the world. Both calzones and Stromboli are variations on this iconic food, made with the same ingredients, but with the cultural twists that set them apart.

Calzone vs Stromboli

The main difference between Calzone and Stromboli is that Calzone was first invented in Italy, in the city of Naples, as a single serving dish. Whereas Stromboli was made in the Italian-heavy southern part of Philadelphia, and was named after the Isle of Stromboli in Italy.

Calzone vs Stromboli

Calzone is a single serving dish. It is made with the same dough and ingredients as a regular pizza. The calzone dough is made into a small circle, filled with the ingredients, and then the circle is folded over to make a semi-circle with the filling inside and sealed. There is no tomato sauce in the filling.

Stromboli is also made with the same dough and ingredients as a pizza. The Stromboli dough has more of a rectangular shape and is a bit longer. The filling consists of low moisture Mozzarella cheese and is placed in the middle of the rectangular dough and the whole Stromboli is wrapped into a long cylinder. After baking, the long Stromboli is sliced and served.

Comparison Table Between Calzone and Stromboli

OriginsCalzones are from the Italian city of NaplesStromboli was first made in the Italian neighborhood of South Philadelphia
CheeseThey primarily include Ricotta along with other cheesesOnly low moisture Mozzarella is used
FillingNo tomato sauce inside the CalzoneTomato Sauce can be put inside the Stromboli
ShapeCalzone starts from a circular piece of dough, which is then folded into a half circle with the filling inside and sealed.The piece of dough for Stromboli is more like an elongated rectangle, which is then rolled into a long cylinder with the filling inside and sealed.
ServingCalzone is a single serving dish, dipped in tomato sauce.Stromboli comes out as a long cylinder and it is meant to be sliced and shared between multiple people.

What is Calzone?

A calzone is an Italian dish, originating from the city of Naples. It is made with the same ingredients and dough like a regular pizza. The dough is wrapped into a pocket, which is filled with the meat and vegetable filling and is baked.

The baked Calzone looks like a pocket pizza and is intended to be eaten as a single serving dish. The main difference between a Calzone and a regular pizza, apart from the shape and size, is that a Calzone does not have tomato sauce in the filling.

The filling primarily consists of different kinds of meat, like salami, ham, or even eggs, mixed with different vegetables and cheese, but no tomato sauce.

Instead of putting the tomato sauce inside the calzone, the sauce is taken on the side and the baked calzone is dipped in the sauce and eaten. The sauce can also be poured onto the Calzone, and the whole affair is meant to be a single serving dish, as opposed to a pizza which is mostly shared among people.

Another differentiating factor is the type of cheese used in a Calzone. Ricotta cheese is the primary cheese used in a calzone, along with other cheeses such as Parmesan and sometimes even Pecorino. Different regions of Italy have different ways of making calzones, although using the above three kinds of cheese is the traditional way.

What is Stromboli?

Stromboli is an Italian-American dish that was first made and popularized by the heavily Italian neighborhood of southern Philadelphia. It was first made as an experimental dish to try to make a stuffed pizza, using the same dough and ingredients.

Stromboli, also known as pizza turnover, is a type of rolled, stuffed pizza filled with various Italian cheeses and Italian cold cuts of meat, mixed with vegetables. The Stromboli dough has a long rectangular shape. The dough is filled with a meat and vegetable filling, usually comprising of different vegetables and different Italian meats, such as salami, Capocollo or bresaola, and various Italian cheeses.    

Typically low moisture mozzarella is used as the preferred cheese. This is to make sure the dough doesn’t get soggy as it is turned over. The filled rectangular dough is rolled over, to make a cylindrical dough roll, and then it is baked. The baked Stromboli is sliced into pieces and before serving.

Tomato sauce is one of the key ingredients of a Stromboli and is mixed in the filling and stuffed inside the Stromboli. The dish is meant to be shared among people, similar to pizza, and thus Stromboli is sliced into individual servings where each slice looks like a rolled-over pizza, where the name “pizza turnover” comes from.

Main Differences Between Calzone and Stromboli

  1. Calzone is an Italian dish which was first made in the city of Naples back in the 18th century. It is type of pizza turnover made with the same ingredients. Stromboli is an Italian-American dish which is usually rolled or folded into a cylinder, and then baked.
  2. Calzone is usually served as an individual dish. Stromboli is a long rolled dish and so it is sliced before serving and is shared among people.
  3. There is no tomato sauce inside a calzone. Rather the calzone is dipped into tomato sauce before eating. Usually there is a thin layer of tomato sauce on the inside of Stromboli.
  4.  Calzone is typically made with Ricotta, Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. Stromboli is made exclusively with low moisture mozzarella cheese.
  5. Different parts of Italy have their own variations in making calzones. Primarily only Italian vegetables and cuts of meat are used in Stromboli.  


Both Calzone and Stromboli are iconic food dishes enjoyed in almost all parts of the world. Calzone is a more traditional dish and can be traced back to 18th century Naples. Different parts of Italy have different ways of making calzones, but primarily it consists of meat, vegetables, and cheese.

Stromboli is an Italian-American dish that is made by rolling over the pizza dough filled with the stuffing into a cylinder, which is then baked and sliced before being served. Both dishes are very popular and have become quintessential elements of our culture, which rightfully defines their importance in the food world.


  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/00070701111179960/full/html

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