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Spicy Vegan Sausage Calzones with Ricotta and Broccoli Rabe

Spicy vegan sausage calzones with ricotta and broccoli rabe are super savoury, cheesy, meaty, and totally plant-based! Simple to make.
Cuisine Dairy-free, Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword all seasons, beyond meat, broccoli rabe, cashew ricotta, cashews, fall winter, marinara, pizza, pizza dough, rapini, tomato sauce, vegan sausage
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 608kcal

Ingredients

CASHEW RICOTTA (MAKES EXTRA)

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • ¼ cup hot water, plus extra if necessary
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons light miso
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • sea salt, to taste

SPICY VEGAN SAUSAGE CALZONE INGREDIENTS

  • 2 vegan sausages, chopped (see note)
  • ½ bunch broccoli rabe, leaves separated from stalks
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus extra
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ground chilies or chili flakes, to taste
  • 1 lb pizza dough, at room temperature
  • flour for the counter
  • ½ cup marinara sauce

Instructions

  • Make the cashew ricotta. First, drain the cashews. Then, in a food processor, combine the drained cashews, hot water, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, miso, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Run the motor until you have a smooth, ricotta-like texture, scraping the sides down a couple times. Add more water if necessary. Once you have a smooth, slightly grainy ricotta-like texture, scrape the mixture into a bowl and store in the fridge.
  • Heat a small saute pan over medium high heat. Add the chopped vegan sausages to the pan. Stir and saute the pieces until you see some browned edges, about 4-5 minutes. Scrape the cooked sausage bits out onto a paper towel lined plate.
  • Wipe out the pan and set it back on the heat. Chop the broccoli rabe stalks into 1-inch pieces and give the leaves a rough chop as well. Pour the olive oil into the pan and add the chopped broccoli stalk pieces. Stir and saute until stems are bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Add the chopped leaves to the pan and a splash of water. Cover with a lid and cook until the broccoli rabe leaves are wilted and the stalks are tender, about 1 minute. Season again with salt and pepper. Remove the broccoli rabe from the heat, ensuring that all of the water has evaporated. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Divide your pizza dough into 4 portions. Gently shape the portions into circles with your hands. Then, dust your workspace with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the circles of dough out to 6-7 inches in diameter.
  • Retrieve your cashew ricotta from the fridge. Place it near your workspace along with the cooked vegan sausage, marinara, and cooked broccoli rabe. In the center of each dough circle, spoon 2 tablespoons of marinara, ¼ of the cooked vegan sausage, 2 tablespoons of the cashew ricotta, and ¼ of the cooked broccoli rabe. Repeat with remaining dough and ingredients.
  • Fold the dough over the filling, tightly pinching and twisting the edges to seal. Place the calzones on your prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle chili, salt, and pepper on top.
  • Bake the spicy vegan sausage calzones for 25-30 minutes, using the broil function for 2 minutes at the end of the cooking process to brown the top if necessary. Serve the calzones warm or at room temp.

Notes

  • I have a spelt pizza dough recipe here and I also love Flourist’s light wheat dough here. Epicurious has a simple and great one right here.
  • You can substitute the cashews with skinned and sliced almonds, macadamia nuts, or even raw sunflower seeds! I would let the macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds soak for 4 full hours though.
  • I used Beyond Meat’s Hot Italian sausages here. I am not a vegan meat person, but for some reason I can’t get enough of these! Field Roast makes great vegan sausage options too.
  • That cheesy topping on the calzones in the photo is just a cashew that I grated with a Microplane! So cool. You could also make some basic vegan "parm" to sprinkle on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1calzone | Calories: 608kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 26g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g