Recently, I have been thinking about how great it would be to do catering. I have also been cooking for friends quite a bit, which I love. Both things involve cooking for a crowd, which can be hard to do. The more I do it, the more fun it gets. It is hard to think up original recipes for large groups sometimes, so I am really excited to share this one. This week I needed a meal to feed 14 friends. I didn’t want to do chili again, so I began to brainstorm and search the web. Casserole recipes are great for large groups and pizza is great for parties, which makes this pizza casserole the ultimate party dish. The original recipe that I found, form Country Kitchen Cooking, used pasta instead of breadsticks. Since I work at Noodles & Company, I decided against using the pasta. I think the breadsticks give it much more flavor. I made my green bean casserole to go with the meal and help my ski bum friends get some nutrients into their dinner. This spin off pizza is easier to make and won’t keep you in the kitchen for the entire party!
- 2 lbs ground turkey (or beef)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- black pepper
- 2 yellow onions (diced)
- 2 red bell peppers (diced)
- 3 (8 oz) can tomato sauce (lower sodium)
- 2 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce
- 4 tubes Pillsbury breadsticks
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 1 package sliced pepperoni (or Turkey pepperoni)
- 1 bag fresh spinach leaves (optional)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
- Place ground turkey in a large pot and season with 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dried oregano, and black pepper.
- Brown the meat and drain the excess liquid.
- Add the onions and red peppers and cook over medium-high heat until soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add 1 jar of pizza sauce, 3 cans of tomato sauce, and the other tsp of garlic powder and stir until combined. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 9 x 13″ casserole dishes. Layer 1 tube of breadsticks across the bottom of each dish, making sure to pinch the gaps together.
- Bake the layer of breadsticks until almost cooked through (about 8-10 minutes).
- Remove breadsticks from the oven and sprinkle a layer of mozzarella cheese over each casserole dish.
- Spread a layer the turkey (or beef) mixture over the breadsticks, followed by a layer of spinach, a layer of cheese, and a layer of pepperoni. If you have extra meat, add an additional layer on top of the pepperoni.
- Top with another layer of cheese, using up the rest of the mozzarella, then cover with another layer of breadsticks.
- Cover the top layer of breadsticks with the last jar of pizza sauce and sprinkle each casserole with parmesan cheese and dried oregano.
- Bake on 350F until the top layer of breadsticks are cooked through and golden (about 20-25 minutes).
Excited Friends =)