Panzerotti are tasty fried pockets of pizza dough stuffed with any variety of fillings. Our recipe includes directions for a tomato and mozzarella combination, as well as a prosciutto and mozzarella combo. These are perfect with a side of marinara for dipping, but are also great on their own!
As much as we love pizza, we also enjoy the variety of non-pizza meals that can be made with homemade pizza dough.
And Italian panzerotti are one of our favorites!
Think of them as the smaller deep-fried cousin to calzone.
While our calzone recipe includes ricotta cheese and are baked, these fried panzerotti are stuffed two ways.
The first version are filled with tomato, mozzarella, and Romano cheese while the other is even simpler with a prosciutto and mozzarella filling.
While they’re delicious with a side of marinara for dipping, they’re just as good on their own!
How to make it
First, make the dough
- To make the dough, place 9 ounces (260g) of cold water into a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine 3 1/4 cups (406g) of bread flour, 1/2 teaspoon (2g) of instant dry yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoons (8g) of fine sea salt, and 1 teaspoon (6g) of sugar, and mix until incorporated.
- Begin to add the dry ingredients a little at a time to the water and mix thoroughly to form a dry rough mass. Pour the 1 tablespoon (14g) of olive oil over the dough, mix again, and place the rough shaggy dough onto a work surface.
- Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, place a clean inverted bowl over the dough and wait for 30-45 minutes before resuming. Return to kneading making sure to knead for at least a total of 5-7 minutes.
- Place the bowl over the dough once more and allow it to sit for 30-40 minutes to warm up before forming the dough balls. After 40 minutes divide the dough ball into 10 equal-sized portions (roughly 2 1/2 ounces or 70g) and roll each one into a ball. Place the balls in a lightly oiled proofing box or onto an oiled baking sheet. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Next, make the panzerotti
- The next day, take the dough out of the fridge 90 minutes before making the panzerotti and allow it to come to room temperature. While you wait, drain 1 cup of crushed plum tomatoes to remove excess water and season them with kosher salt to taste and a 1/2 teaspoon of Sicilian oregano. Cube 10 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese and set aside. If the cheese is very wet, pat the cubes dry to remove some of the excess water. Flour a large work surface and begin to press the dough using your fingertips.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough balls into small circles roughly 4 inches in size.
- Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce onto each circle leaving at least 1-inch uncovered. Add 3-4 small cubes of mozzarella and a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano. Repeat the process for the remaining 4 circles of dough. Note: Half of the dough balls were filled with sauce and cheese and the other half with prosciutto. Feel free to fill the dough with whatever you like though!
- For the remaining 5 balls of dough, repeat the process of rolling them out into 4-inch circles. Place 1 slice of prosciutto in the middle of the circle and top with 3-4 cubes of mozzarella.
- For all 10 circles fold the dough over and pinch the panzerotti shut with a fork, or by folding it back onto itself. If the dough is too dry and doesn’t stick, use a thin layer of water to moisten the edges. Take your time and ensure the panzerotti are completely sealed. Note: I’m using a clean spackle knife. It is a great tool to get right under any type of pizza dough or pastry. Just put a little flour onto the blade and grab the panzerotti!
- Place all panzerotti on a baking tray and move to the freezer while you set up your oil station. Note: In step 6 above, you can see how each panzerotti was closed up with a different technique. No matter which way you do it, they must be sealed very well!
- Heat a deep heavy pot or pan with at least 3 inches high of vegetable oil to 370f. For temperature accuracy, we recommend using a candy or oil thermometer.
- When the oil reaches 370f, begin frying by gently placing the panzerotti into the oil.
- Work in batches frying only 2-3 at a time to not overcrowd the pan. Fry the panzerotti until golden, about 3-4 minutes total, making sure to flip them over halfway so both sides are the same color. Note: You can baste the top with oil as they are frying to achieve an even color.
- Remove the panzerotti from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain on paper towels or a wire rack. They can be kept warm in a 300f oven while you finish the remaining batches. Serve right away with a side of marinara for dipping and enjoy!
- Cold fermentation. Fermenting the dough in the fridge overnight is important for maximum flavor. You can ferment it for up to 72 hours for even greater flavor. Alternatively, you can use store-bought dough, or dough from a local pizzeria.
- Weighing the ingredients. Whether you’re making homemade dough or using store-bought, you’ll still want to make sure each dough balls are equal in size. We strongly recommend using a kitchen scale to ensure each dough ball is ~2.4 ounces or 70 grams. We also recommend using the scale to weigh all dough ingredients to ensure accuracy.
- Stand mixer. If you prefer to use a stand mixer to make your dough, knead with a dough hook on low speed for ~5 minutes before balling the dough.
- Frying. To ensure the oil reaches the proper temperature, we recommend using a candy or oil thermometer for the best results.
- Filling. We illustrate two different types of fillings for these panzerotti: prosciutto and mozzarella, and tomato and mozzarella. Other fillings could include different cheeses, veggies, or even ragu.
More pizza dough recipes
In addition to the calzone and New York pizza mentioned above, here are a few more of our favorite recipes using homemade pizza dough.
- Sausage and broccoli rabe rolls – pizza dough-filled rolls baked until golden and topped with sesame seeds.
- Pizza fritta – fried pizza dough topped with savory or sweet toppings.
- Stromboli – pizza dough rolled with ham, pepperoni, and provolone and baked until golden.
If you’ve enjoyed this panzerotti recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and leave a review.
For the dough
- 3 1/4 cups (406 grams) bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) instant dry yeast I use SAF brand
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) granulated sugar
- 9 ounces (260 grams) cold water
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) olive oil plus a touch more for proofing container
For the panzerotti
- 10 2 1/2 ounce (70 grams) dough balls from above recipe
- 1 cup crushed plum tomatoes drained
- kosher salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Sicilian dried oregano or Italian oregano
- 3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano grated
- 10 ounces fresh mozzarella cubed
- 5 slices prosciutto
For the dough
- Place water into a bowl large enough to hold both the water and all the dry ingredients and still have room to spare. Mix together dry ingredients in another bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to water a bit at a time and mix thoroughly to form a dry rough mass. Pour the oil over the dough, mix again, and place the rough shaggy dough onto a work surface.
- Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, place a clean bowl inverted over the dough and wait for 30-45 minutes before resuming. Return to kneading (just make sure to knead for at least a total of 5-7 minutes).
- Place the bowl over the dough once more and let sit for 30-40 minutes to warm up before forming the dough balls.
- After 40 minutes divide the dough into 10 equal-sized portions and roll each into a ball. Place the balls in a lightly oiled proofing box or onto an oiled baking sheet. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
For the panzerotti
- Take the dough out of the fridge for 90 minutes prior to use.
- Season the drained crushed tomatoes with the oregano and salt to taste.
- Flour a large work surface and roll 5 of the balls into small circles roughly 4 inches in size.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce onto each circle leaving at least 1-inch uncovered. Add 3-4 small cubes of mozzarella and a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano. Fold the dough over and pinch the panzerotti shut with a fork or by folding it back over onto itself. If the dough is too dry and doesn't stick, spread a thin layer of water to moisten the edges. Take your time and make sure the panzerotti are completely sealed.
- Repeat the dough rolling process for the next 5 dough balls but this time fill them with 3-4 cubes of mozzarella and 1 slice of prosciutto each, making sure to keep both in the center of the dough so that the panzerotti can be adequately sealed. Place all of the panzerotti on a baking tray and into the freezer to set up while preparing the oil.
- Heat a deep heavy pot or pan with at least 3 inches high of vegetable oil to 370f.
- When the oil reaches 370f begin frying by gently placing the panzerotti into the oil. Work in batches (2-3 per fry) to not overcrowd the pot and fry until golden (3-4 minutes total time) making sure to flip them over so that both sides get the same golden color.
- Place the fried panzerotti onto paper towels or a wire rack to drain. They can be kept warm in a 300f oven while finishing the remaining batches. Serve right away. Enjoy!
- The dough can be cold fermented for as little as 12 hours in the fridge but is much better after a longer period. 24 to 72 hours is recommended.
- Use any fillings you like! Just close them up tightly and fry until golden.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and the panzerotti can be reheated at 350f on a baking sheet until hot. About 10 minutes.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.