April 2, 2009

Cooking Light's Deep Dish Pizza Casserole

I know that we just had pizza last week, but when I saw the photo for this recipe in my new Cooking Light cookbook called 5 Ingredients 15 Minutes , I knew I had to try it right away. Just as the title promises, there are only five ingredients and the cook time is less than 15 minutes (not including the time it takes to brown the beef). Overall, this looks like a really yummy and easy recipe.
I am actually going to amend this dish a little and make the Quick Homemade Pizza Crust recipe I used the other night, instead of using the pre-made stuff as suggested. I just can't bring myself to: a) spend extra money on something I can make easily, b) make an extra trip to the store for a "convenience" item, and c) use processed pizza dough that has all sorts of unnatural junk in it.(I am not saying that I would never use store-bought dough...I am just not going to make an extra trip and spend extra money today. If I was in a pinch, I would use it.) Even with my modification, this recipe is still quite easy and fast. I will post the recipe as written and then include the recipe for the Quick Homemade Pizza Dough below it in my notes. It think we are just going to serve this with a side salad and some steamed veggies. This recipe looks really promising, so I hope it delivers.

Cooking Light's Deep Dish Pizza Casserole

1 pound ground round
1 (15 ounce) can chunky Italian-style tomato sauce
Cooking spray
1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough (OR QUICK HOMEMADE DOUGH; See notes below)
6 (1 ounce) slices part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Cook meat in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring until it crumbles. Drain, if necessary, and return to skillet. Add tomato sauce, and cook until heated.

While meat cooks, coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Unroll pizza crust dough, and press into bottom and halfway up sides of baking dish. Line bottom of pizza crust with 3 slices mozzarella cheese. Top with meat mixture. Bake, uncovered at 425 degrees F for 12 minutes.

Top with remaining 3 cheese slices, and bake 5 additional minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Jen's Notes:
Here is the recipe for the dough. This is my friend, Jen A.'s recipe, and it has become my favorite pizza method. Seriously, this is really easy and delicious!!!

Quick Homemade Pizza Dough

For Dough:
1 package of active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning (optional)
1 Tablespoon of garlic powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy (about 10 minutes). Stir in flour, salt, & olive oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan dusted with corn meal. Spread evenly with sauce and cover with toppings in an even layer. Bake 15-20 min. Let cool 5 minutes. Cut and serve!

The Result:
This was fan-freakin'-tastic! Great recipe!!! This is the best, easy casserole that I have tried in quite awhile. We all loved it! I added some spices to the ground beef, such as onion powder, garlic powder, minced onion,Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and some leftover diced onions that I had in the fridge. (I added maybe 1/2 teaspoon each.) I did not have a jar of spaghetti sauce, so I used a can of diced tomatoes, a little water, and a small (8 oz) can of no salt added tomato puree. I had some leftover shredded cheddar cheese from tacos last night, so I threw that on top too. I liked the mozzarella/cheddar combo. What can I say...I just love cheese, period!
The homemade dough was awesome,as well. I actually stretched the dough over the sides of the casserole dish, then loaded in the cheese and meat, and finally rolled the crust top down on top of the filled casserole dish. The crust ended up puffing and browning, forming the edge that I wanted. It turned out perfect...soooo yummy!

This recipe is definitely family-friendly; my son kept taking bites and making "ummmm" noises. In my opinion, earning the approval of an almost three-year-old is certainly a great endorsement for this meal! We had some broccoli and our standard, weeknight salad for side items; which went really well with this dish. I am ridiculously pleased with the results of this meal tonight. We will certainly be making this recipe again and again!

1 comment:

Sarah B. Quick said...

made it tonight- it was a hit!!!!! Thanks for the great recipe and tips!