I know what you’re probably saying. It’s two days before Thanksgiving and this post has nothing to do with the upcoming food inspired holiday. Well I say, “Au contraire my friend”. It has more to do with the holidays than you think. Allow me to indulge.
This recipe may not involve flying birds, fruity condiments, or mashed up tubers, but it’s got a super power that your other holiday fare simply can’t claim stake to. The power to be made the week ahead and frozen until you’re ready to eat it.
And why, might you ask, is this an important feature to have if you’re a holiday food? Let’s examine a bit deeper. Say you’ve got uncle Bob flying in from a far off land. He’s docked at the airport, you’ve picked him up and as he leans back in his car seat the first words out of his mouth are, “What time’s dinner?” No panic for you because you have “said dinner” ready to slide into the oven the minute you get home. And what happens when your cousin Mabel calls you up unexpectedly the day before Thanksgiving to let you know that she will be there 24 hours sooner than planned and would you mind? Of course you don’t mind. You have a dinner whipped up and ready to share. Finally, we all know how busy the holidays can be. After a day out shopping for Christmas presents, attending parties, and just generally being wined and dined (aren’t you the popular gal!) you’re craving a healthy homemade meal but don’t have the energy left to put it together. Bam, pop in the pizza lasagna and grab another swig of libation while it bakes up all golden brown and delicious.
So now that I’ve completely convinced you that this pizzaña, as my kids so affectionately named it, is a tried and true holiday helper, I’m going to share a few additional tips to help your busy end of year schedule run a bit smoother.
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, make ahead meals rock! During the holidays, I always, always have a few homemade freezable meals put together and ready to go in case unexpected company shows up as well as for guests that come from afar and stay for an extended period. Hosting is so much more enjoyable when all that’s required of you is to slide something delicious into the oven.
- How about a tasty and fuss free way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers with family and friends? Warm up a few Pepperidge Farm Stone Artisan Rolls, slice open and have your guests fill their sandwiches full of everything from turkey to cheese to cranberry to stuffing for a handheld second go at Thanksgiving mealtime bliss.
- Take the time to set the table before the guests arrive. The last hour of cooking for a large group is always hectic! If you can have your table set before you even begin preparing the meal (the night before is what works for me), you’ll have one less task to worry about when the bird is finally pulled out and the holiday eating commences.
So what do you say? Are we ready to make this holiday season one meal easier? Let’s do this.
Start out by browning up a little Italian sausage in a large frying pan. My boys are meat lovers when it comes to their savory pies, so they welcome this addition with open mouths and grumbling tummies. When the sausage is cooked about halfway through, add in a few additional pizza toppings. Gotta have my onions. Pizza’s just not the same without them.
Cook the sausage the rest of the way through along with the mushrooms and onions and then add in a few greens. I like to sneak them in wherever and whenever I can.
Turn the heat down and add in some pizza sauce and a cup of chicken broth.
Swivel your spoon around a few times to incorporate all the flavors and get ready to assemble your dinner time treasure.
Start with a spoonful or three of sauce across the bottom of your pan. Notice how I used a one time use aluminum pan. Easy clean up and meal storage that won’t affect your current pan stash for future meals.
Next up, layer noodles, followed by more sauce, followed by ricotta cheese and finished with a little Italian cheese goodness and heavy layer of pepperoni. All good pizzas have pepperoni in the mix. Period.
Repeat the layers and end with sauce, followed by cheese and finished with pepperoni. It’s truly a beautiful sight to behold. The only thing more beautiful….
Is when you pull it out of the oven and it’s ready to be eaten. Mama mia does that look superb.
With the arrival of my family for the week, this blogger’s holiday has officially commenced, so I’ll be taking a much anticipated break. I plan to return bright eyed and bushy tailed on Monday. May you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!
Total Time: 2 hour 30 min
1 Pound Italian Sausage
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Onion, Diced
1 10 Oz. Package Sliced Mushrooms
4 Oz. Fresh Spinach, Roughly Chopped
1 Bunch Basil, Roughly Chopped
20 Oz. Pizza Sauce
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 15 Oz. Container Ricotta Cheese
12 Oz. Italian Cheese Mix (I used quattro formaggio from Trader Joes)
1 16 Oz. Package No Boil Lasagna Noodles
In a large frying pan, cook up the Italian sausage.
when the sausage is cooked up about halfway add in the garlic, onion, and mushrooms.
Cook through and then drop in the spinach and basil. Allow to wilt.
Turn the heat down to low and add in the pizza sauce and the chicken broth.
To layer up the lasagna, start out with a spread of meat sauce across the bottom of your pan.
Add a layer of noodles followed by another layer of sauce, a few plops of ricotta spread across the top, a sprinkle of cheese, and a layer of pepperoni.
Repeat layers and finish with sauce, then cheese, then pepperoni. Sprinkle a dash of oregano across the top if desired.
Place in the oven and cook at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until top is bubbly and hot.
If freezing, cover with tin foil and freeze until ready to bake up.
When ready, heat oven to 350 degrees and place lasagna in the oven covered with foil over the top for 1 hour. After an hour, remove the foil and let the lasagna cook for another 45 minutes to an hour until the top is bubbly and hot.
Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes to set before cutting into it.
Note: I am working in conjunction with Pepperidge Farm and am being compensated for my time. As always all opinions and recipes are my own.