With kids back in school, here’s a way for moms and Mr. moms to free up even more time with meal planning. A one dish casserole made early in the day or the night before makes dinner quick and easy. Plus, you can easily modify this recipe depending on your kids' tastes. There are no shortage of ingredients you can substitute for the pepperoni. This pizza casserole and other simple, one pot meals were again inspired by suggestions from my facebook friends. So, a big thanks to Paula Howland Cree, Angela DiAnna, Mary Guzzardo-Cunningham and Steve Knox for their contributions.
15” loaf French Bread, cut into 1” cubes, about 6 cups
2 cu Finely Shredded Italian Cheese Blend
5 med Plum Tomatoes, halved and squeeze to remove the juice, then chop
1 cu Cooked Meat or Fresh Vegetables (like pepperoni, sausage, broccoli)
1/4 cu Fresh Basil, roughly chopped
1 tbl Fresh Thyme, roughly chopped
2 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
1 1/4 cu Skim Milk
15 oz container Cholesterol Free Egg Substitute
1/2 cu Low Fat Sour Cream
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Fresh Basil, roughly chopped for garnish (optional)
Jarred Pasta Sauce, any flavor that you like, as a condiment sauce (optional)
In a large bowl, mix together bread, about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, the chopped tomatoes, meat (or vegetables), basil, thyme and garlic. Pour ingredients into a lightly greased 9x12 casserole dish. Set aside. In the same bowl, whisk together skim milk, egg substitute, sour cream, salt and pepper. Pour liquid over bread mixture. Gently fold mixture over once to moisten all the bread. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Tightly cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
To bake, remove casserole from refrigerate and let it warm to room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Loosen aluminum and tent it over casserole and bake for 30 minutes. Remove aluminum and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes until mixture is set and nicely browned on top.
Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Top each serving with basil.
As an option, heat about 1/4 cup, per serving, of your favorite pasta sauce and spread it on a plate and top it with a serving of pizza casserole.