Monday, May 2, 2016

Pizza Casserole - a weeknight quick recipe

One thing all of us here at the Cafe have in common is that we love writing. We spend hours every day writing, revising, editing, brainstorming, researching...

But that doesn't leave much time for another one of our favorite things: cooking. Especially when a deadline is looming!

So some of my favorite recipes are dinners that go together in thirty minutes or less, and that my hungry guys enjoy. 

This is one of those recipes - 

Pizza Casserole
serves 4


2 cups dry pasta noodles - penne, rigatoni, whatever your family likes
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (15 ounce) tomato sauce
1/2 cup diced pepperoni
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

This is a super easy stove-top meal!

Some of the ingredients didn't get the notice about the
photo shoot!

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a large skillet (I used my 10" deep skillet from Lodge) and drain. Return the meat to the skillet and add the tomato sauce, pepperoni, and seasonings. Cook and stir until heated.

Add the drained, cooked pasta, and stir. If your pasta got done early and has cooled a little, make sure it's heated thoroughly in the sauce before the next step.

Sprinkle the cheeses on top, and then pop a lid on the skillet until the cheese is melted.

One of the downsides of cooking for a blog post is that the family has to wait while I take pictures.

They don't always wait patiently. This is Jacob checking to see if Michael really licked his spoon like he threatened to. The next weapons involved were water glasses. I put the camera away before things got violent!

In other news....

In spite of the constant rain/snow mix we've had for the last week, the weather was gorgeous the week before. Hubby and I took a drive up into the Hills, dreaming about land for sale.

We took a road we hadn't tried before, and our feeling that it's time to buy a 4-wheel drive vehicle was confirmed. But oh! The views!

You can see the road we were traveling on in this picture - it wound through this valley and then up to the top of a ridge.

And we found Pasque flowers blooming! South Dakota's state flower doesn't bloom for long in the spring, so to see one is a treat!

And there were bunches growing on the top of that ridge!

So pretty, and so like the South Dakota prairies - a little wild, a little rough, and with a beauty all their own. :)

One last look from the ridge before heading home....

Are the spring wildflowers blooming where you live? What are your favorite kinds?

Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.

Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books:


  1. Oh, fun to see Pasque flowers because it was Orthodox Easter this weekend! (Pasque means Easter in Italian and Old French. Or, without the capital, it means Passover.)

    The dish looks delicious!

    1. I hadn't thought of that, Mary Jane. Of course these flowers were named after Easter! That's the time of year they bloom. And like crocuses, they push up through the dead and dormant grasses of winter to bloom. :)

  2. You live in a breathtaking part of the country! Love your nature pics. We're actually having spring rain today (rather than snow! what a novelty!) And there are buds on the trees. Finally!!!!

    I need to invest in a fierce skillet like you have -- food always looks better in it. I'm going try a vegetarian version of this pizza. I'll make a baby one in my pathetic little frying pan. LOL

    1. We do live in an awesome part of the country! And we're thankful every day.

      I love my Lodge deep skillet. It has a lid, too. Here's a link to the one I have, but be sure to shop around for the size to fit your cooking life!
      (BTW - they call this a chicken fryer, but I've never fried chicken in mine!)

  3. I love this, Jan. We do the same thing in a casserole dish and use pepperoni and sausage and call it cheap lasagna. Yummy!

    1. There's something about the blend of cheese, tomato sauce and pasta, isn't there? And the sausage would give an extra zing to the flavor...hmmm.... I might have to tweak this recipe - except that I have a freezer full of ground beef!

  4. Jan, my family loves dishes like this, too! And it's crucial this time of year to be able to come up with good, quick food when we're both working inside and outside... and I love pasta, my friend. Oh my stars, I could live on pasta... :)

    Great minds think alike!

    Today we are heading home from visiting Zach and Erin in Phoenix where we've had amazingly nice weather and great fun. It's a very different "look" down here, and I'm so glad I had a chance to see it, so you know that on Thursday you'll be inundated with western pics, Grand Canyon, and big smiles!

    1. Ah! The Grand Canyon! Do you know that it's only a 17 hour drive from here to the Grand Canyon THROUGH COLORADO?!?!?

      Someday we're going to take a road trip :)

      So glad you got to visit Phoenix, and before the spring chores start! I know gardening is going to take up a lot of your time in the coming months. Or at least it will keep Dave busy. :)

  5. Forget the pizza. I'm loving the photos. Oh wait, I'll take some pizza too.

    1. Pizza casserole while looking at beautiful nature photo. That sounds like a wonderful combination!

  6. Wish you were here to cook that for me right now. So hungry! So don't feel like cooking!!!

    1. But this recipe is so quick and easy! You'll have to keep the ingredients on hand so you can whip it up after work. :)

      And if I lived closer, I would bring it over in a casserole!

  7. Yummy food and pretty flowers! Thanks for sharing, Jan!