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Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken & Pesto Calzone

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Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken & Pesto Calzone

If you live near a Trader Joes, turns out you can be less than an hour from this INSANELY amazing calzone, which is perfect for a healthier game day snack, week night meal or potluck dish!
Servings 6

Ingredients

CALZONE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 batch basil pesto below(or 1 1/2 cups store bought pesto!)
  • 1 lb whole wheat pizza dough
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets cut into small 1" pieces
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 ounces grated white cheddar cheese or gouda I use TJs goat gouda slices
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter

PESTO INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves packed
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinchblack pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste optional
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

CALZONE

  • Make Basil Pesto and set aside (if making). Take dough out of the fridge and allow to rest on the counter. Cut chicken into 1" pieces (the smaller the better!). Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add avocado oil. When oil moves quickly around the pan, add chicken and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Cook chicken until no pink remains, 4-5 minutes. At this point, if there is excess liquid in the skillet, drain it. Too much water will prevent searing. Continue to cook the chicken, stirring only every few minutes and allowing it to brown. We want to get some brown bits on the pan as well, so don't be afraid to let it "burn" a little. This should take about 15 minutes. When chicken is golden brown around the edges, transfer it to a colander in the sink.
  • Add a splash of water to the pan (still on medium-medium low heat) and use a spatula to scrape off the brown bits, making a little brown "sauce". Add broccoli, remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, remaining teaspoon black pepper and onion powder. Cook broccoli, stirring every few minutes, until it is knife-tender but still firm, approximately 6-8 minutes. Stir chicken into the broccoli, turn off pan and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375 and line two large baking sheets with nonstick parchment paper. Place dough on parchment and gently knead into 13x9 shaped rectangles. It's ok if you make little tears in the dough, just pinch it back together. FOR EACH CALZONE: Spread your 3/4 cup pesto (homemade or store bought) evenly over dough. Then along one half of the dough (long-ways), crumble half of the goat cheese. Top with half of the chicken/broccoli mixture. Finally, top with half of the shredded cheese or 4 1-ounce slices.
  • Carefully, pull the half of dough that only has pesto over the half with fillings. Pinch dough halves together, closing your calzone. I find it helpful to wet my fingers a bit and smooth the seam together. Use a sharp knife to cut diagonal slits along the top (see pictures). Brush 1 tablespoon butter over each calzone. Bake calzones for 25 minutes, or until you can see the cheese bubbling through the slits and dough is slightly firm to touch. Allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing. You also want to use a very sharp knife to slice. Calzone will keep for 4 days in the fridge if the chicken was fresh upon use. To reheat, place in the oven at 300 degrees until you see the cheese bubbling again.

PESTO

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until it forms a pesto consistency--you can make it as smooth or chunky as you like.
Course: Appetizer, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: comfort food, family dinner, family friendly, healthy, healthy dinner, healthy recipe, healthy takeout, Quick & Easy, Quick Meal, Sauce
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