Ham & Cheese Calzones – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

A delicious ham and cheese filling wrapped in a buttery almond flour crust. A low carb, gluten-free version of a classic! This post is sponsored by Smithfield.

Low Carb Ham and Cheese Calzones

I find ham kind of intimidating and I know I can’t be alone. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes great and it’s ridiculously easy to cook at home. But your typical ham is absolutely enormous and enough to feed an army. I do not have an army in my house, although I do have three children who like to battle with each other daily and sometimes I actually feel like I am in a war zone. But their little bellies can only hold so much, even if it’s something they really love to eat. And we are rarely entertaining enough people to consume the majority of a large ham in one evening. So it’s the vast amounts of leftovers that intimidate me. I am a creative person with my L.O.’s (my husband’s pet name for leftovers) but a ham can really stretch the limits of my creativity.

Low Carb Gluten-Free Calzones

The folks at Smithfield have come up with a solution for us ham-loving small families. They call these small boneless hams “Anytime Favorites” and I’ve started to see them popping up in my local grocery stores. They are only a few pounds each, and are pre-sliced and ready to be warmed up and served. Even a small family could eat the majority of one in a single meal. It makes ham a much more accessible meal option than saving them exclusively for holidays and special occasions. And depending on the size of your family, you may still have a few, manageable L.O.’s to play with.

Low Carb Calzones with Ham and Cheese

Because I do like ham leftovers and I do like to find ways to incorporate them into some fun recipes. This time I decided to get really creative and see if I could make low carb, gluten-free calzones. Because who doesn’t love a good crusty calzone? And ham and cheese just seemed like a delicious calzone filling. I thought the dough from my Bacon & Brie Tartlets might be just the right thing and hold together enough to be folded over the filling and crimped together. I increased it by 50% because I wanted BIG hearty calzones, stuffed with lots of cheese and ham. I made mine with a mix of cheddar and Swiss because that’s what I had on hand, but you can make yours with whatever cheese you love best.

And if you want a delicious marinara sauce to dip your calzones into, check out my 15 Minute Tomato Sauce on the Swerve website. It’s perfect for the cheesy, hammy goodness and the buttery crust of these low carb, gluten-free calzones.

Almond Flour Calzones with Ham and Cheese

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Smithfield. All recipes, photography, thoughts, opinions, random tangents and incoherent ramblings are my own.

Ham & Cheese Calzones – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Yield: 2 large calzones

Serving Size: 1/4 of one calzone (these are very filling!)

Ham & Cheese Calzones – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

A delicious ham and cheese filling wrapped in a buttery almond flour crust. A low carb, gluten-free version of a classic!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups Honeyville almond flour
  • 6 tbsp coconut flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/3 cup unflavoured whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 cups shredded cheese of choice (Swiss, Cheddar, Mozzarella or a combination)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups chopped Smithfield ham
  • 1 egg yolk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, whey protein, coconut flour, baking powder, garlic and xanthan gum.
  3. Add eggs and melted butter and mix until dough comes together.
  4. Divide dough in half. Turn out first half onto a large piece of parchment paper and pat into a rough circle. Top with another piece of parchment paper and roll out into a large circle, about 12 inches in diameter (roll it out quite thinly). Remove top piece of parchment.
  5. Sprinkle one half of the circle with about 1 & 1/2 cups of shredded cheese and 3/4 cup of chopped ham, leaving a 3/4 inch border for sealing the calzone.
  6. Use the parchment paper to lift and gently fold the other half of the dough over the cheese and ham filling. Pinch the edges to seal and crimp it with your fingers to create a nice edge.
  7. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Transfer calzones, still on the parchment on to baking sheets (or one large one, if you have it).
  8. Mix egg yolk in a small bowl and brush over the calzones.
  9. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Notes

Serves 8. Each serving has 15 g of carbs and 8 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 7 g.

573 Calories; 46g Fat (70.5% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 159mg Cholesterol; 877mg Sodium

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2014/04/ham-cheese-calzones-low-carb-and-gluten-free.html

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Comments

  1. Maureen says

    These look absolutely delicious!! What do you think of dividing the dough into 4? Then I could split each one between two and everybody gets some of the yummy corner section :) . Would you change the bake time?
    Thanks

    • Carolyn says

      Yes, you could make them smaller without a problem. I think the bake time would be close to the same, actually. I’d start at 18 minutes or so and keep checking to see when it’s nicely browned. It’s possible you can pack more filling in too!

  2. Sarah G says

    So, do two calzones feed 8 very hungry people or are these more fitting for a light lunch for 8 moderately hungry people? Weird question, I know.

    They look awesomely delicious and I’m so excited!

    • Carolyn says

      Well, it’s pretty filling stuff. My 6’7″ hungry husband had two sections and was surprised find himself quite full afterward. It’s a lot of calories and fat per serving. You could do 8 with a salad as a “light” lunch (I put quotes because I don’t think it’s very light!) or 6 larger servings as a heavier dinner.

  3. Louanne says

    Wow! Just wow! Do you think the dough would hold up to traditional fillings, ie, tomato sauce, Italian sausage, etc?

    • Carolyn says

      Yes, I think it would. Just make sure your tomato sauce is not too watery. Should be thick, like pizza sauce.

  4. Sean says

    Very nice. But what does the whey powder do, and are there any substitutes? If I use Cabot cheddar and find a way around the whey (Uhm, sorry…) this would also be lactose free and my wife could enjoy it.

    Thanks!

    • Carolyn says

      Whey protein helps the dough rise a bit, like real pizza or calzone dough (since gluten is a protein, you need something to make up for it. But you can use other protein powders, like hemp or even powdered egg white (found in the baking aisle in many grocery stores).

  5. Sean says

    Please go ahead and delete one of the two posts – I originally tried to post from my iPad and it didn’t give me the “comment awaiting moderation” response. Only saw that when I tried again from my PC.

    Thank you!

  6. Cassandra says

    Just removed our calzone from the oven and I can confirm it is ridiculously delicious. OMG. Easy, too, even with my not-good-at-fractions attempt to halve the recipe. A+, will nom again.

  7. Sean says

    Definitely as good as it looks! Made this for the family last night. Substituting powdered egg whites for the whey and using Cabot sharp cheddar, with just a touch of the 15 minute tomato sauce on the inside as well, it came in as low carb, lactose free, gluten free… are rare combination for such a tasty dish. Less than a day later and I’m already getting asked what other fillings I will try next.

    Thank you VERY much for the great recipe!

  8. A. Marie says

    Firstly, thank you so much for creating this site. You make living LC seem doable!

    I have a substantial amount of weight to lose, and have opted for the LCHF approach. I recently ordered my flours, and protein powder and tried this recipe out as soon as they came. Can I say, I wasn’t too thrilled with the calzone crust at first. It did grow on me though! But after using the whey protein in another recipe, I realized that it was the taste of the protein that wasn’t really meshing with my palate. I bought the non organic version that you recommended on here. Do you know if there is a powder that doesn’t have as strong as a taste?

    • Carolyn says

      I don’t find it has a strong taste (I don’t taste it at all) but every palate is different. Other people recommend Designer Whey or Jay Robb. You might try those ones.

      • Sean says

        I had good luck with powdered egg whites – both my wife (gluten intolerant) and son (basic omnivore) liked the recipe a lot and want me to do it again. No whey taste there.

  9. Holli says

    Carolyn,
    I can’t wait to make this, I was reading the comments and want to ask you: Does the egg white powder really work in place of the protein powder? And I was going to try to use what I have which is Bob’s Red Mill almond/ meal/flour. Do you think it will work out ok? Oh yah, where can one find egg white powder? I’ve never heard of it. Thanks for your help!

    • Carolyn says

      Egg white powder can be found in the baking aisle in many stores (make sure the brand is not sweetened). I got mine at Whole Foods. But I don’t think Bob’s will work in this case, you really need a finer grind for this recipe.

  10. Holli says

    Hi Carolyn,
    me again! Looked up egg white powder online, sounds good but what I want to ask you is if this can be substituted anywhere you use the whey protein powder in your recipes? Has anyone ever found egg white powder at a grocery store or is it just online?

    • Carolyn says

      I found mine at Whole Foods but I’ve also seen it in one of my local regular grocery chains. And yes, you should be able to sub it whenever I use whey protein as they contain about the same amount of protein per serving. The brand I use is Deb El.

  11. Karen Franco says

    question: A lot of recipes call for whey protein powder. Is that the one that makes a drink, or just bulk powder? I cannot tolerate whey, so, I would just get a plant -based protein powder, but, I need to know which type to get. Also, is it important to the recipe, or is it just to add protein?

    • Carolyn says

      It is important to the recipe, as it replaced the protein in gluten and helps things rise and hold their shape. But you can use any kind of dry protein, even powdered egg whites.

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