Kieshja, or Sausage Calzone

My mom made this for dinner often when I was growing up. She still makes it even today and everyone loves it.  It was one of those dinners she created on her own and named it "Kieshja." I am not really sure how to spell it since she made up the name, but phonetically spelling it I came up with Kieshja. Basically, it is a sausage calzone. It is delicious. It is bursting with flavors. It is EASY to make. And now I have changed it up a bit to be a little healthier for you - whole wheat dough, low fat cheese and chicken sausage. My mom always make it with regular pork sausage but it is so chock full of flavor that making it with chicken sausage doesn't take away that great flavor, just the extra fat and calories.
recipe from my mom, Michele Scearbo
1 whole wheat pizza dough (make your own - recipe here, or buy pre-made pizza dough in the bakery section of your grocery store)
1/2 yellow onion
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 12 oz package sweet Italian style chicken sausage
1 small 6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
non stick cooking spray

Heat the olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium heat.
Dice the onion and add to the hot oil in the pan.
Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until translucent and soft.
Remove the casing from your sausage using a pair of kitchen shears or a small paring knife.
Cut a strip up one side of the sausage and use your fingers to peal the casing off.
Keep going until all the casings have been removed.
Cut the sausage into small rounds.
Add the sausage rounds to the onions in the pan, and use a spatula or wooden spoon to break the rounds up into crumbles.  This will get easier to do as it browns.
Brown the sausage until it is all cooked and crumbles into small pieces.  Move the sausage and onions into a bowl to cool.
Let the mixture cool slightly.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add the tomato paste to the sausage.
Mix together well.
Now get the dough ready...
Roll it out into a large rectangle.
Put the sausage mixture on the center of the rolled out dough.
Spread the mixture out evenly over the dough, leaving an inch border around the edges.
Grate your cheese.
Sprinkle your cheddar and mozzarella cheeses over the top.
Roll up, jelly roll style, tucking in the sides as you go.
Continue rolling until the seams meet and pinch them shut together.
Transfer the roll carefully to a lined baking sheet and cut small vents in the top of the calzone.
Spray the entire top with non sticking cooking spray, or brush the top with more olive oil or a egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water).  Totally your choice!
Bake for about 35 minutes at 350 degree, until the top is golden brown and the inside sounds hollow when your knock on the crust. 
Cool slightly, and then cut into thick slices on a slight diagonal.
Doesn't that look delicious?  It is.  For real.  And now guilt free.  Thanks Mom!


  1. Craig loves sausage. And I love doughy calzone things. The name is making me laugh - does your mom have a way she's spell it? How do you say it - is the 'ja' a 'ya' or a "ja"? If I say the first part like "kielbasa" than I end up with "kisha" or "kishja" or it could be "keesha" which makes me think of Ke$ha. So I laugh. You'll have to clear this up for me.

  2. Too funny! We had the same sausage on Sunday (grilled it). :) Thanks for sharing the Calzone tutorial, Andrea. I'm putting your recipe on my menu for next week -- num!



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