These individual skull calzones are the perfect, gory, macabre Halloween dinner idea that you need to feed your family and ensure the kids will eat! This recipe is easy – refrigerated pizza crust dough, mini pepperonis, shredded cheese, ricotta cheese, and sauce make these spooky treats even better than the plain personal calzones you get from your local pizza place.
I like to serve the skull calzones with The Devil’s Eggs And Spiders, some Bones And Blood (breadsticks and sauce), and Melted Monster Cookies for dessert. Of course, we need a little something for the adults. No worries, these Boozy Pumpkin Truffles and Pumpkin Pie Martinis are quick to whip up and lend to a festive vibe for the adults!
The key to this kid-friendly Halloween treat is the skull cakelet pan. There are a few different brands out there. I used the Nordicware Skull pan.
The Skull Calzones are very adaptable to your family’s tastes. The addition of ricotta cheese makes them calzones, but if you aren’t a fan, leave it out. You can also swap the pepperoni for Italian sausage – mild or hot. Cook the sausage, breaking up the meat, drain it well, and add to the calzones. You can also play with the cheeses. Parmesan, Fontina, Romano, Provolone, Mozzarella, or any Italian cheese can be used.
- Butter – used to grease the skulls. You could also use cooking spray, but the salty butter tastes amazing.
- Refrigerated pizza dough – I used thin crust so you get the perfect proportion of crust to filling.
- Sliced provolone cheese – I like to line each skull cavity with half of a slice and then top the filling with the other half. I think it helps to keep the filling from seeping out.
- Pizza sauce – I used Rao’s, but any brand works. If you’re an overachiever, use homemade.
- Ricotta cheese – I like using whole milk ricotta. If your ricotta seems watery, drain it by placing cheesecloth or paper towels in the bottom of a fine mesh sieve over a bowl in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to overnight. You’ll be amazed at how much whey drips out. You can use the whey in smoothies!
- Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder – all to flavor the ricotta cheese
- Pepperoni – I like the mini pepperonis, but any size or type you enjoy or have on hand will work.
- Shredded Italian cheese – low moisture mozzarella or shredded Italian blend is my favorite. You can use whatever shredded cheese you have on hand.
- Eggs – this is the ‘glue’ that holds the seams of the dough together.
Steps To Make This Recipe
- Cut the pizza dough in half.
- Stir ½ teaspoon of the Italian Seasoning into the ricotta cheese.
- Grease the cavities of the pan.
- Drape the dough into the skull cavity and press it down lightly.
- Add half a slice of provolone cheese, sauce, ricotta, pepperoni, and shredded cheese.
- Top with remaining half slice of provolone cheese.
- Stretch the dough to cover the top and pinch the seams.
- Brush the top with the egg wash.
- Bake until golden brown on the top.
- Remove from the oven and flip the calzones out of the pan.
- Spoon some sauce in each eye socket on the skulls and top with a little provolone cheese. Allow the cheese to melt from the heat of the skull.
- Serve with additional pizza sauce or the tomato sauce of your choice.
Tips For Making A Perfect Skull Calzone
- Use room-temperature pizza dough to make it easier to stretch and press into the mold.
- If your pizza snaps back after you pull it to fit the mold, your dough is too ‘tight’. Cover it with a tea towel and allow it to rest for about an hour.
- Generously grease your skull molds so your calzone doesn’t stick.
- Don’t overfill the cavities. You should have about 2 tablespoons of filling in each cavity. Too much filling could cause the dough to split and the filling leaking out.
- Be sure to chill the skulls before baking. This will help them to keep their shape and cook more evenly.
- The calzones are done when the tops are golden brown, look dry, and sound hollow when you tap them with a spoon. The skull face will be darker than the tops, so you don’t want to overbake them and burn the faces.
- If your skulls stick a little, use an offset spatula to gently run around the edges of each cavity to help ‘release’ the skulls.
- You can tear pieces of provolone to make the eyes or use the bottom of a drinking straw to punch out the eyes for a more consistent look.
Recommendations For Additional Fillings
- Cooked sausage
- Cooked chicken
- Chopped meatballs
- Caramelized onion
- Cooked, chopped bell peppers
- Sliced black olives
- Chopped mushrooms
- Diced ham
Suggestions For Filling Combinations
Not a fan of calzone filling or want more flavors? No problem! Let your mind go crazy and think about the ingredients in a pizza pocket, hot pocket, or your favorite sandwich.
- Chopped ham, shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese, and spinach for an all-American skull.
- Taco meat, shredded cheddar cheese, cooked corn kernels, and a small dollop of salsa for a Mexican skull.
- Chopped steak, provolone cheese, cooked onions, green pepper, and mushrooms for a Philly cheesesteak skull.
- Crumbled crispy bacon, cream cheese, cooked, chopped jalapeno peppers for a Jalapeno popper skull.
- Minced Italian deli meats (think a mixture of Capacolla, Salami, mortadella, or boiled ham), chopped pickled banana peppers, provolone cheese, a teaspoon of Italian dressing, and a pinch of Oregano for an Italian sub skull.
- Chopped cooked chicken, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, onions, and bell peppers for a Barbecued Chicken skull.
- Cooked, diced sweet potatoes, seasoned black beans, red enchilada sauce, and crumbled Mexican cheese for a vegetarian skull.
- Chopped ham, SPAM, or crispy bacon, chopped pineapple, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and cheddar cheese for a Hawaiian pizza skull.
- Soft scrambled egg, cooked sausage or bacon, cooked hashbrown potatoes, and cheddar cheese for a breakfast skull.
How Do I Store Leftovers And Reheat Them?
Store leftover skulls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can reheat them either in a 350-degree oven until warm through – about 7 minutes in my oven; or in the microwave by wrapping the skull in a damp paper towel and warming it on medium power for about 1 ½ minutes or until hot.
You can also freeze the skulls by wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and then placing the wrapped skulls in a zip-top freezer bag. Store in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat them in a 300-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until hot.
- Skull baking pan – I used Nordicware, but other brands also work. You may have to adjust the cooking time.
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
If you liked this recipe, please repin!
These individual skull calzones are the perfect, gory, macabre, Halloween dinner idea that you need to feed your family and ensure the kids will eat! This recipe is easy – refrigerated pizza crust dough, mini pepperonis, shredded cheese, ricotta cheese, and sauce make these spooky treats even better than the plain personal calzones you get from your local pizza place.
2 tablespoons melted butter, to grease the pan
3 rolls Pillsbury thin-crust pizza dough, room temperature
¾ cups ricotta cheese
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
7 slices provolone cheese, sliced into halves (1 slice will be used to make the eyes)
¾ cup pizza sauce, more for the eyes
1 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
1 egg beat into 1 teaspoon of water (egg wash)
Cut each pizza dough sheet in half.
In a medium bowl, stir the ricotta cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder until well combined. Set aside
Drape the dough into the skull cavity and press gently into the contours of the pan.
Press half of a provolone slice into the bottom of the skull. You may need to cut the half into quarters so it fits better.
Top the provolone with 2 tablespoons pizza sauce and 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese. Spread the sauce and cheese across the bottom of the skull.
Sprinkle a little of the Italian seasoning over the sauce and ricotta.
Add about 1/2 tablespoon of mini pepperonis and 1/2 tablespoon of shredded cheese.
Press the remaining half of the provolone slice on top and press down gently to compress the filling.
Use kitchen shears to trim off any excess dough. Pinch the seams together to cover the fillings. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to fill all 6 cavities.
Brush the top with the egg wash to seal the seams.
Place in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the skulls for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the skulls to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
Remove the skulls from the pan. If they stick a bit, use an offset spatula and run around the edges of the pan cavities.
Spoon some pizza sauce into each eye socket of the skulls and top with a small piece of provolone cheese. Allow the cheese to melt from the heat of the skull calzone.
Serve with a side of pizza sauce for dipping.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: skull calzones, individual calzones, calzone recipes, pepperoni, Halloween dinner, Halloween party food, Halloween appetizer, kid-friendly