Monday, August 22, 2016

Smoky barbecue calzone with aubergine and peppers

Many thanks for your lovely comments on my last post. It's safe to say that parenthood is a whole new world, with many ups and downs, and that I have a new appreciation for the effects of persistent sleep deprivation. However, Mini Bite is delightful and I am learning to ride out the challenging moments and savour the cute, lovely, satisfying ones.

This post shares a recipe from before we had a newborn. I am definitely not rolling out dough or finely chopping vegetables at the moment! However, I hope I can re-create this one day because it was a meal we both enjoyed and I absolutely loved the smoky vegetable filling.

This is quite a twist on traditional calzone as the smoky barbecue tones replace traditional Italian flavours, and I also made the dough with half regular and half besan (chickpea) flour. As shown in the top photo, I liked the filling so much that I added some of the leftover mix to my plate as a side. It would also work beautifully in a vegan bolognese or as a stuffing for jacket potatoes. In fact, I think it would work beautifully in most forms. For this reason, I have listed the ingredient quantities I used in the recipe below, even though you will end up with more filling than you need for two calzones.

I enjoyed my calzone without cheese but did add cheese to Mr Bite's. It's easy to customise each calzone to taste - cheeseless, dairy cheese or a vegan alternative.

Smoky barbecue calzone with aubergine and peppers
A delicious vegan twist on calzone with a versatile vegetable filling
Makes approximately 3 cups of the smoky barbecue filling, enough for 2 calzones plus approximate 1 cup leftover

Allow approximately 1 hour advance preparation time for the calzone dough

Author: Bite-sized thoughts

Print recipe

For the calzone dough (makes 2 calzones)
1 tsp dried yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup warm water
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup besan (chickpea) flour

For the smoky barbecue filling (makes approximately 3 cups)
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 small aubergine (eggplant), finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1-1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp maple syrup or equivalent liquid sweetener
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp dried paprika

Cheese or vegan cheese, optional

To make the dough, combine the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a cup or mug and set aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the flours to a mixing bowl. When the yeast is ready, add it to the flour along with the additional 1/8 cup water. Mix to form a dough and then knead for several minutes until well combined and elastic. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 40 - 60 minutes while the dough rises.
Make the filling mix while your dough is rising. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add the onion, aubergine, pepper and apple cider vinegar. Saute for approximately 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened and the onion slightly browned. Reduce heat to low and add the remaining ingredients. Allow to cook over low heat, stirring as needed, until the dough is ready.

Before rolling out your dough, pre-heat the oven to 160'C (320'F) and prepare two baking trays.

When the dough has risen, punch it back and knead for a few minutes before dividing into two. Roll each half on a floured, non-stick surface, to give a triangle shape approximately 2 cm thick. Place each piece on a baking tray.

Place approximately 1 cup of the vegetable filling into half of the calzone triangle, leaving a few centimetres of dough clear at the edge. Add cheese if using. Fold over the other half of the dough and press the edges together to seal.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until golden.

Are you a calzone fan? What about smoky flavours?


  1. What a delicious and healthy meal. I will have to pin this for later.
    Thanks so much for sharing
    Gourmet Getaways

  2. before you know it, mini bite will be helping you make these :-) they sound delicious - I often have leftover filling but always find uses for it

    1. I can't wait for her to be old enough to do things like that! Or even just sit and watch me :-)

  3. The smoky bbq filling sounds amazing. I would have never thought of this in a calzone - great idea. I used to LOVE calzones in my pre-vegan days. I may have to try making this gluten-free =)

    1. I imagine it would be easy to use GF flour!

  4. I am glad that everything is going well :) We love making calzones, as it makes a nice change from pizza.

  5. This sounds delicious. I love the idea of using it for bolognaise or perhaps lasagna fillings too! They won't be little forever, soon mini Bite will be pottering around the kitchen with you! x

    1. It's hard to imagine her reaching that stage! Mind you, I can't believe she's 2.5 weeks old so I can see how time flies.


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