Monday, April 21, 2008

Pizza (not really a) Casserole

When i think casserole, my gag reflex kicks in. I automatically think of a creamy soup, some frozen veg, some protein, and well let's face it, a hot mess coming out of the oven. I personally dislike casseroles...GREATLY!

When i initially read this 'casserole' recipe, i was about to skip it and move on, until i read the ingredient list. HOORAY- no creamy soup, and come on, there's PIZZA in the title, how bad could it be?

Weight Watcher's Deep-Dish Pizza Casserole

But honestly, i made so many changes to this recipe that it came in at 8.5 pts per generous portion, but who cares, it was freakin' GREAT! Here's how i did it.

Meli's Pizza Cass
Serves 6

1 lb of extra lean ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jar of sliced mushrooms, drained
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
Spray of Pam
1 10 oz can refrigerated pizza dough
6 oz of part skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 425.

In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion, garlic until softened, add meat stirring until it's browned.

Drain, if necessary, and return to skillet. Add mushrooms and tomato sauce, and cook until heated through and most of the sauce has been absorbed (you want your meat mixture more on the dry side then the saucy side).

While meat cooks, coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough, and press into bottom and halfway up sides of the baking dish. Pre-bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven, then add a layer of cheese, then a layer of the meat mixture, then top with a layer of cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 12 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

This was so delicious and easily adaptable for anyone's tastes. I actually added some chopped up kalamata olives to my slice. This recipe was an instant hit all around, and will definitely find it's way back on my dinner table again!

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