`Olive Oil Fried Panzarotti (Deep Fried Calzones) - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil Fried Panzarotti (Deep Fried Calzones)

Who thought that calzones could get any better? These deep fried calzones are simply stuffed with the usual favorites; tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, and basil for a crispy on the outside, melty on the inside result.
Olive Oil Fried Panzarotti (Deep Fried Calzones)
By Patterson Watkins
Aug. 16, 2021 14:37 UTC

Panzarottis (or panze­rotti) is a deep-fried turnover or savory pocket’ pas­try with pop­u­lar­ity through­out cen­tral and south­ern Italy. Panzarotti resem­bles small­ish cal­zones and retain some sim­i­lar­i­ties to the famous oven-baked dish. Invented as a way to use up any extra bread dough, our home­made ver­sion is exclu­sively for your very own pan­zarotti party, with left­overs (dough or oth­er­wise) not very likely.

We use and rec­om­mend extra vir­gin olive oil to fry these turnovers at 350°F — well below the smoke point for a high-qual­ity EVOO. You’ll be sur­prised how deli­cious they are.


Olive Oil Fried Panzarotti (Deep Fried Calzones)

Course: AppetizersCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



The dough can be made ahead of time and frozen, then thawed, when ready to build and assem­ble your pan­zarotti. We strongly rec­om­mend fry­ing these in batches and mak­ing sure you have a large enough pot or deep fryer to accom­plish the task. A 6 – 8 qt dutch oven is per­fect.


  • Panzarotti Dough:
  • 2tea­spoons dry active yeast

  • 1 cupwarm water

  • 3 1/2cupsall-pur­pose flour

  • 1 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der

  • 2tea­spoonssalt

  • 1tea­spoongran­u­lated sugar

  • 3 table­spoonsmedium to robust inten­sity extra vir­gin olive oil

  • 2cupstomato sauce (plus more for dip­ping)

  • 3 cupsshred­ded moz­zarella

  • 2 tea­spoonssalt

  • 1cuppep­per­oni slices

  • 1/4cupfresh basil, chopped (plus a lit­tle more for gar­nish)

  • 4 – 6cupsmild to mod­er­ate inten­sity extra vir­gin olive oil


  • Sprinkle yeast over warm water and set aside for 5 – 8 min­utes or until foamy.
  • Place flour, bak­ing soda, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an elec­tric mixer fit­ted with the dough hook attach­ment, stir to com­bine.
  • Add yeast water and 2 table­spoons of olive oil to the flour mix­ture and slowly mix until a rough shaggy’ dough forms. Increase the mixer’s speed to medium and knead the dough for 2 – 3 min­utes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work sur­face and con­tinue to knead until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky. Drizzle another bowl with 1 table­spoon of olive oil, add dough, and cover with plas­tic wrap. Set the bowl aside in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until the dough has dou­bled in size. 
  • Once the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and por­tion it into 8 even pieces, roll those pieces into neat lit­tle dough balls. Working with one por­tion at a time, roll the dough into a cir­cle. 
  • Place 1 table­spoon of tomato sauce in the cen­ter of each cir­cle of dough. Top the tomato sauce with 2 table­spoons of moz­zarella, a light sprin­kle of salt, 3 pep­per­oni slices, and a light sprin­kle of fresh basil.
  • Fold the dough over the fill­ing, form­ing a semi-cir­cle. Pinch the edge of the dough together and then fold the edge of the crust over itself to secure. 
    Repeat the rolling, fill­ing, and seal­ing steps for the remain­der of the dough por­tions.
  • Heat oil in a large dutch oven or deep fryer over medium-high heat. Once the oil reaches 350°F and work­ing in batches, care­fully place cal­zones into the hot oil and fry for 4 – 6 min­utes, flip­ping halfway through, or until golden brown. Remove from the fryer using a slot­ted spoon and set aside on a wire rack to drain.
  • Serve pan­zarotti with addi­tional tomato sauce on the side for dip­ping and gar­nish with basil.

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