If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Author Unknown

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pizza Casserole w/ Ground Beef

Make-ahead dinners, I am all about them! Sure, my evenings are pretty free to be able to make a nice dinner every night, but sometimes it's nice to see that time where you need to stop what you are doing to prep for dinner, cook dinner, clean up from cooking dinner, then clean up after dinner...blah blah blah...come and go. It's nice to think to yourself, "dinner is already done, the clean up was done yesterday and all I need to do is pop it in the oven (and let my husband do the clean up after haha)"

This casserole was not intended as a make-ahead but it worked out that way as other plans came up instead, (like making that Triple Chocolate Cheesecake from yesterdays post late at night at my friends house!) 

Pizza Casserole w/ Ground Beef 
          adapted from unknown source

8oz ground beef
1 C chopped onion
14oz pizza sauce (I made Simple Pizza Sauce and weighed out the 14oz needed)--worth it over store bought 
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 oz dry rotini noodles
2oz pepperoni slices
1-1/4 C shredded Italian cheese blend
Italian seasoning, to taste/sprinkled over top

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Cook ground beef with onion until onions are tender and beef is cooked through over medium-high heat, 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions, drain.

Add pizza sauce to meat mixture, add salt and pepper. Fold in the pasta, transfer to a greased 9" round pan. Top with cheese and pepperoni (full 2 oz or just what you would on a pizza). Generously sprinkle with Italian seasoning ( I used basil, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder).

Cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge until ready to make, uncover before baking

Bake 30 minutes, if desired put under broiler for a few minutes to get the topping nice and golden brown--yum! Allow to cool about 5 minutes before cutting into.

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