Butter Chicken Calzones


At their Chicago restaurant Superkhana International, Zeeshan Shah and Yoshi Yamada's decadent, flavor-packed Butter Chicken Calzone takes three days to make; thankfully, they've shared some shortcuts (like a great store-bought butter chicken spice blend and store-bought pizza dough) for this homemade version. Whole-milk yogurt and gently acidic tomatoes team up with warm spices to flavor and tenderize boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the rich calzone filling. Amul is a firm and salty processed Indian cheese; double the mozzarella if it's unavailable. Crimp the calzones firmly to seal.

Butter Chicken Calzone
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Missie Neville Crawford
Active Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Refrigerate Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs 5 mins


Butter Chicken

  • 3 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt  

  • 2.50 tablespoon butter chicken spice blend (such as MDH Butter Chicken Masala) 

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 cup thinly sliced white onion

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1.50 cups undrained canned whole tomatoes

  • .50 cup heavy cream

  • .50 teaspoon kosher salt  

Additional Ingredients  

  • 2.50 pounds fresh prepared pizza dough, at room temperature

  • 3 ounces Amul cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)

  • 3 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)

  • All-purpose flour, if needed for dusting

  • 1 large egg, beaten  

  • 1.50 tablespoons melted ghee

  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)  


Make the butter chicken

  1. Stir together yogurt, spice blend, oil, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-low. Remove chicken from marinade (do not wipe off excess marinade), reserving marinade in bowl. Add chicken to skillet; cook until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Transfer chicken to reserved marinade in bowl. Shred chicken in bowl into large pieces using 2 forks; set aside.

  3. Wipe skillet clean. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until lightly caramelized, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes; bring to a simmer, breaking tomatoes apart using a wooden spoon and scraping bottom of skillet. Simmer, stirring often, until reduced to about 11/3 cups, about 8 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and remaining marinade in bowl. Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream, kosher salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from heat. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Refrigerate until mixture is cold and sauce has thickened, at least 3 hours (or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days).

Make the calzones

  1. Cut pizza dough into 8 (5-ounce) pieces; shape each into a ball. Loosely cover dough balls with plastic wrap; let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Toss together Amul and mozzarella cheeses in a small bowl; set aside.

  2. Roll 1 dough ball into an 8-inch circle on a work surface, lightly dusting with flour if needed to prevent sticking. Pile 1/3 cup chilled chicken mixture onto half of the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Top chicken mixture with 3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) cheese mixture. Lightly brush dough edges with some of the beaten egg. Fold dough over filling without stretching dough to create a half-moon shape; firmly press edges together to seal. Starting at one corner, pinch and roll edge of dough up and over, pinching to seal. Gently transfer calzone to prepared baking sheet. Repeat using remaining dough, chicken, and cheese, arranging calzones evenly on prepared baking sheets. Using kitchen shears, cut 2 (3/4-inch) slits in top of each calzone.

  3. Brush calzones lightly with remaining beaten egg. Bake in preheated oven until crust is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Brush calzones evenly with melted ghee, and sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool 10 minutes.

Make Ahead

Proceed with steps 1 through 5 as directed. Arrange unbaked calzones on 1 baking sheet lined with parchment paper; freeze, uncovered, until hard, about 1 hour. Divide calzones among ziplock plastic freezer bags; seal and freeze up to 1 month. To cook from frozen, preheat oven to 400°F. Place calzones on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Proceed with step 6, increasing cook time to 30 to 35 minutes.


Find MDH Butter Chicken Masala spice blend and Amul cheese at Indian grocery stores or online at desiclik.com.

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