I was searching for some creative meals to freeze for future meals when I came across a recipe for pizza casserole. My toddler son will eat anything but my husband is the picky eater. He doesn’t like to eat chicken more than once or twice a week and he could eat pizza every day, and he pretty much does. This seemed like something he would really enjoy and I thought it would be a great meal to make for families with kids (who mostly seem to love pizza).
It was so delicious! I was immediately glad that I made the recipe for 2 pans so we have another one in reserve. As with any casserole, you can substitute, add, or omit ingredients as you fit. If you love lots of toppings on your pizza, add some sausage, olives, green peppers, and whatever else! I used pepperoni but if you omitted it and just had the cheese it would still be just as great.
The recipe is for 2 – 9 x 13 size pans. The idea behind it is to wrap one and stick it in the freezer and then bake the other one for dinner that night. One pan should easily feed 4-6 people. Our household of 4 adults and 1 toddler ate one pan and there was still about 1/4 left. If you don’t have room in your freezer or you just want to cook one pan, use half of the ingredients and still bake for the same amount of time.
tip: I find cooking in the disposable baking pans are much more convenient (and you don’t have to put your nice baking dishes in the freezer). Walmart and some dollar stores usually have good deals on these pans and you can usually wash and reuse them a couple of times, just to get your money’s worth!
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
garlic powder to taste
2 jars (24-28 oz) of spaghetti sauce (I used a 3 cheese blend)
1 16 oz package of spiral pasta (like rotini)
4 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
About 8 oz of pepperoni
* Cook spiral pasta until softened (but not mushy)
* While pasta is cooking, brown ground beef in another pan
* Drain excess grease and add chopped onion. Cook to soften onions. Add garlic powder (optional)
* Once pasta is finished cooking, drain and set aside
* Combine cooked ground beef mixture with pasta in a large bowl
* Add both jars of pasta sauce and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Mix well
* Divide contents of mixture into 2 separate 9 x 13 dishes
* Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella over each pan, and add pepperoni or other desired ingredients
* Wrap and cover one pan and put in freezer
* Place other pan in oven preheated at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted
* Serve with Parmesan cheese (if desired)
To cook other pan: Thaw overnight in refrigerator and bake preheated at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.