Mama Cozzi’s Philly Cheese Steak Calzone

A calzone is a folded pizza, stuffed with meat and cheese and baked. Not to be confused with a stromboli, calzones are popular in certain Italian-themed restaurants as well as many larger-inventory grocers. Aldi sells calzones as well. As best as we can tell, some of the calzones are full-time Regular Buys while others are ALDI Finds (Special Buys) that are only in stores occasionally. We’re not sure if there are differences in availability depending on region. What we can tell you is that, in our area, the Philly Cheese Steak Calzone we’re talking about here is an ALDI Find.

Mama Cozzi's Philly Cheese Steak Calzone

A Mama Cozzi’s calzone comes in a calzone-shaped plastic clamshell package in the store’s frozen section. It contains one calzone, with instructions and nutrition on the back.

There are two ways to prepare the calzone, with variations on each depending on whether your calzone is frozen or refrigerated. Keep in mind that the refrigerated instructions are faster, so if you know you’ll be eating it in the near future, move it to the fridge so it can thaw.

The first cooking method is the oven. If the calzone is refrigerated, the instructions say you are to preheat the oven to 375-400 degrees. (Why the temperature isn’t specific, we don’t know.) From there, remove the product from the package, place it on a baking sheet in the middle rack, and bake for 10-14 minutes or until the center reaches 160 degrees. If your calzone is frozen, baking requires wrapping the calzone in foil and baking at 375 degrees for 60 minutes.

The second cooking method is a microwave. If the calzone is refrigerated, heating it up requires microwaving on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, then letting it cool before serving. If the calzone is frozen, you first need to defrost it in the microwave for 3 1/2 minutes, then cook on high for 1 1/2 minutes before letting cool.

Because of time constraints, we microwaved the calzone, although we had been able to defrost it in the refrigerator ahead of time. In our case, we needed the full 1 1/2 minutes (and maybe a bit more) to heat it through from refrigerated.

Taste-wise, it’s okay. We’ve never found frozen processed pastries to be particularly special, and this one is no exception. The components for a good calzone are all there, but the flavors aren’t as rich as something you’d get from a restaurant or cafe.

Nutritionally, this has two hallmarks of processed food: high sodium and an insanely long ingredients list. The calories and fat don’t look too bad … until you realize this is supposed to be two servings, at which point it looms a little larger. The whole calzone contains 380 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 800 mg of sodium. The sodium content, by the way, makes up about 1/3 of your recommended daily allowance.

Mama Cozzi's Philly Cheese Steak Calzone

Nutrition information and ingredients. (Click to enlarge.)

The Verdict:

It’s better than a Hot Pocket, but it’s also still a processed pastry, which means the Mama Cozzi’s Philly Cheese Steak Calzone is decent but not great. If you need a quick entree, this isn’t a bad option, but it’s no substitute for the real thing from a restaurant. It’s also not the healthiest thing, either.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Editor-in-Chief of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at www.joshuaajohnston.com.

11 Comments

  1. I tried the Mama Cozzi’s Philly Cheese Steak Calzone and ending up returning it. My second bite had a nasty “alien” piece of gristle and the rest was mostly dough with not enough filling. It made me long for a good Philly cheesesteak,which I had the next day. Aldi did honor the “twice as nice” guarantee,which I got the cheese calzone which I haven’t tried yet.

  2. Thanks for including the ingredient list. 🙂

  3. I was hungry for Philly beef and cheese and have enjoyed other products by this company. Very disappointed is putting it mildly. Mostly bread and very very little beef. I doubt there was 2 ounces in the whole calzone much less half of it. My husband thought the dark stuff was mushrooms in his so that gives you an idea of the flavor or lack thereof I will give this Product a 2 thumbs down.

  4. Just wanted to say. Wished it was stuffed with more ingredients. Instead just in middle and so much dough.

  5. When I first tried mama cozzi’s pepoeroni and cheese calzones the crust tasted like and had the texture of pizza dough, but when I bought them later they tasted more bread like. They obviously change their dough ingredients. Also the cheese (and pepperoni) is in a big lump in the middle, not evenly distributed, so lots of bread bites until you get to the cheezy lump in the middle. I have to cut them open, remove the cheese and pepperoni, cut the cheese into pieces, and evenly distribute both so that after baked I taste bread, cheese, and pepperoni in most bites. I still buy them and go through the hassle, but it would be great if they wont back to the old crust ingredients, and had the ingredients more evenly distributed.

  6. I couldn’t find a public forum on which I could share my experience, but the world needs to know. Please let it be known that while I am not a food critic, nor am I (currently) a chef, I do have a background in culinary that at least gives me a good idea of when food should taste good.

    I’d seen the Mama Cozzi’s calzones in the Aldi that I shop roughly once a week- it’s a ten minute walk from my house, so I just go there whenever I want to cook one of my big meals or buy eggs. In other words, I’d seen them pretty frequently. They sit right next to the meat shelves. Finally, today I thought “Hey, I’m gonna treat myself to a really cheap lunch.”

    Boy were those words prophetic.

    Two minutes to microwave, and I had a plateful of steamy oregano-dusted goodness in front of me. Now, I want to be clear here- I’m a pretty big person. Some might say beefy. I take big bites, and my first bite is always the biggest because I want to ensure I have the full experience of the dish before I start really digging in. Let this disillusion you from the possibility that I had taken a meager sample when I say this: My first bite was entirely bread.

    Chewy, a little too salty, basically sprinkled with herbs on the surface. I thought I was going to choke. It was an enormous mouthful, and it was all bread. When I finally managed to gulp it down, I could see the barest hint of grease in my next bite: Finally, filling! I dug right in with another forkful, and found myself slicing into what was, more or less, a mozzarella and pepperoni sponge cake.

    Seriously, guys? No tomato sauce? How is this a calzone? Setting aside for a moment the fact that you put on the shelves flavors such as philly cheesesteak and buffalo chicken- I assumed that this was justified as “Well, Domino’s put it on a pizza, why can’t we”- you just can’t do that. You can’t. A calzone without tomato sauce is like a parisian without extremely high standards of manners and a glass of wine. That is to say, you can still call them a parisian, but will anyone believe you? Similarly, I don’t believe this is a calzone. The pepperonis are layered like a wrap inside the dough around a cheese center that, while promised to be a blend of mozzarella, ricotta, provolone, parmesan and romano, was more likely 50/50 mozzarella and provolone with just a dash of one of the other three. Bad news, guys: If I can’t taste the parmesan, you definitely didn’t put it in there. It’s a strong cheese. I don’t know how many meager shavings you added to a 15-gallon vat, but it wasn’t enough.

    So let this be a warning to you all: Do not buy the Mama Cozzi’s pepperoni calzone. If you really want to experience their pizza dough in calzone form, just fold a thawed pizza in half or something. Anything would be better than this.

    • By the way, before some thick-skulled contrarian grabs me by the jowls and says “Calzones can’t have tomato sauce inside,” yes they can. They don’t have to, but if you’ve only got cheese and pepperoni, then as they say at the Heinz taste-testing plant- that’s some incredibly weak sauce.

  7. Can anyone tell me if the little tag with the slash then date is the expiration date or sell by date? Thank you.

  8. Carole Turngren

    The Calzones I just bought today at Aldi were not refrigerated or frozen as the ad says they come! Are they still okay to try? Now I’m thinking of just tossing them!

    • They were sitting at room temperature? If so, I’d return them. Calzones usually need to be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.