Thursday, December 20

Chipotle Pizza Casserole: make ahead meal

Here is a picture of a slightly spicy, stringy melted cheese, familiar pepperoni pizza flavors of tomato, and pepperoni all put together with a few hidden and not so hidden veggies into one easy pasta dish. Aka.. how to get your family to eat at least 3 veggies in one meal (or more if you use a homemade veggie tomato sauce).

When I saw this recipe I knew it would be a great vehicle to add in some extra veggies to my family's diet. I also liked the idea of having something that tasted like pizza! I was right. My son and husband gobbled this right down. Casseroles or anything with cheese is great for adding whatever veggie you want your family to eat. Cheese has magical powers. My son and husband are great veggie eaters but the mom part of me always wants to push it a little bit more. The original recipe did have the spinach but by adding some homemade pizza sauce (made with veggies) and some frozen broccoli - it makes the dish even that much healthier. The original recipe can be found here. We ate this while watching the Christmas Carole movie with George C Scott.... perfect. Something slightly spicy and comforting at Christmas. 


1 pound or a whole box of tube pasta like ziti

1/2 pound of ground turkey
4 cups (28 oz) of homemade or store bought pizza sauce
1 Tbs olive oil
3 1/2 oz frozen broccoli
1/4 tsp salt
5 oz of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
4 tsp Italian seasonings
2 tsp minced garlic
3 oz of shredded jack cheese + 4 oz of shredded jack cheese + 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup of water
3 1/4 oz (1 package of pepperoni)
1 chipotle in 1/2 tsp adobe sauce, finely diced 
1/4 cup white wine
fresh basil (optional) for garnish
save a little handful of shredded cheese (optional) for garnish


1. Cook pasta according to directions

2. In a skillet cook the ground turkey in the olive oil.... half way through cooking add the minced garlic. Deglaze the skillet with a 1/4 cup of white wine. Scrap up any bits of meat from the pan. 

3. In a large bowl combine cooked ground turkey, frozen spinach separated a bit with fingers or a fork, frozen broccoli, all the seasonings, pasta or pizza sauce, chipotle and 1 cup of shredded cheese

4. Drain the pasta, and fold it into the bowl with the other ingredients into the bowl. 

5. Preheat oven to 300 degrees

6. The orginal recipe said to spray the baking dishes but I didn't think this was necessary with nonstick cooking spray. Dump all the bowl's contents into 2 baking dishes or 1 very large one. I used a 8 inch square and rectangle glass baking dishes. Top each baking dish with the remaining cheese. 3 oz of cheese for the square, and 4 oz for the rectangle. 

7. Bake both dishes for 25 minutes uncovered, and then increase the heat to 350 for more 5 minutes 

8. Eat and enjoy. Let the pans cool completely if storing. Wrap with clear plastic wrap and foil or use a lid. Then fridge or freeze the second pan of pizza casserole for later in the week or month. Easy make ahead meal. 

Cheers for yummy winter casserole dishes and stuff you can make once and eat twice!

From my kitchen to yours! 

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