It’s fair to say that I love pizza. I think most people do. It has to have great flavor and the crust is a big factor. While all that is great, this well loved food can wreak havoc on the waistline and is not always as satisfying once your three to four slices in.
This pizza casserole is a big favorite of mine. It’s filling has the right amount of calories, and big taste. You can change it up and use things like pineapple and ham, cooked center cut bacon,or a different variety of vegetables, or cheeses. If you follow points, take into account those changes and values.
Make it yours! Send me some pics of your creations. I would love to see them.
THIN CRUST DEEP DISH PIZZA CASSEROLE
(5 Smart Points per serving)
• 1 can Pillsbury, thin crust pizza dough
• Cooking spray
• 1 Jenny O, lean sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 (15oz) can of diced fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
• 1 Tbsp tomato paste
• 1 medium onion,, thinly sliced
• ½ bell pepper, thinly sliced (any color you like)
• 1 C sliced baby Bella mushrooms
• 2 C fresh baby spinach
• 6 oz part skim Mozzarella cheese, shredded
• Dried Italian herbs, fresh basil, or other fresh herbs of choice
1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees
2. Gather, and measure all the ingredients
3. Spray a 13×9 casserole with cooking spray
4. Open and unroll the pizza crust and press into the bottom and midway up the sides of the baking dish. Set aside.
5. Prep all the vegies and set aside. (use veg that you like in any combination)
6. Cook the sausage and the garlic in the same skillet over medium high heat until it is browned, crumbling it as it cooks. (If using ham or other pre-cooked meats just go to step 7 and add the minced garlic)
7. Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomatoes and tomato paste, stirring frequently. Continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated.
8. Pour the sausage, tomato, and garlic mixture over the crust.
9. Then evenly distribute the vegetables over the top. (If using pre-cooked meat add here)
10. Bake uncovered for about 12 minutes.
11. Top with the cheese and sprinkle some Italian herbs over it. Continue to bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is brown. If using fresh basil or other fresh herbs, put them on after removing from the oven.
12. Cool 5 minutes, cut into 6 portions. Serve with a spatula.
NOTE: If you prefer your vegetables more on the soft side, you can saute them in a tsp of olive oil. I will warn you that the onions and mushrooms will produce a lot of water which may make your crust a bit soggy. You can also steam them in a small amount of chicken broth but don’t overcook them. This will not change the points value.