First of all, let’s hear it for pizza.
Welcome to our first installment in our Make-Ahead, Freezer-Friendly Series. I’m so excited to share these pizza breads with you because since we first made them, we’ve been making them weekly and eating up all of the extras instead of freezing them for the next week like I keep planning to. Snarf Fest 2014.
These little pizza breads came from Lindsay over at Pinch of Yum. If you’ve never read her blog, please stop what you’re doing right now and fix that situation. We’ve gotten to know Lindsay and her husband Bjork over the last few months (Minneapolis!), and they’re as adorable and hilarious as they seem. Plus, her recipes are over the top wonderful. Funny story–last Wednesday we were supposed to head on over to their house for a little dinner date with them and also get to meet the dynamic duo behind Girl Vs. Dough. We’d been looking forward to this get together for weeks and had spent about 18 hours trying to find a babysitter for that night. We finally did. And then I went into labor and had a baby. Raincheck?
Okay. Back to pizza. These pizza breads are appropriately named: quick. easy. freezer-friendly. They’re basically slightly more work than a Jack’s frozen pizza. Lindsay’s version is like Minnesota in a pizza and includes ground beef, mushrooms, and cheddar. Totally delicious. We’ve made these a few different ways, but today I’m sharing the Liz-and-Eric-Favorite-Pizza-Toppings variety: Italian sausage, bell peppers, onions, and mozzarella. I made these using store-bought pizza sauce because I felt like a giant, lumbering Hippopreggomus the last few weeks, but any homemade pizza sauce will do. Once assembled, these pizza breads can be flash frozen on a cookie sheet and then carefully stored in a freezer-safe container or bag until you’re ready to use them. Busy week coming up? Busy month? Busy life? Take a Saturday afternoon and whip up a double batch of these to freeze. You’ll be pizza-ing the day away in thirty minutes or less.
(recipe from Pinch of Yum )
(yields 8-12 pizza breads - see note below)
The yield of this recipe depends entirely on what kind of bread you use. I used mini ciabatta loaves from our local bakery; they were on the small side, so I ended up with more like a dozen. Larger bread options will obviously yield less.
1 tsp. olive oil
3 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 onion, diced
salt to taste
1 lb. ground Italian sausage
1½ c. pizza sauce (storebought or homemade)
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
8-12 small ciabatta loaves*
*can also use English muffins or baguette pieces
Cook the Veggies:
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the peppers and onions and season with salt; saute for 5-8 minutes or until soft. Drain excess moisture and set aside.
Cook the Meat:
In the same pan, brown the Italian sausage until cooked through, breaking apart with your spoon. Drain off excess grease, and combine with the veggies. Add the pizza sauce and stir to combine. Place in the fridge to cool completely.
Cut the tops off of the ciabatta loaves in a V-shape, leaving plenty of space inside the loaf for filling. (You can reserve the tops in a freezer bag for croutons or soup-toppers.) Remove the filling from the fridge and mix in 1 cup of the cheese. Stuff each loaf with filling, and top with the remaining cheese.
Preheat oven to 400*. Bake until the filling is warm and the bread is crispy on the outside. If they’re frozen, the baking will take longer (more like 20-30 minutes), but if they’re not frozen, it should only take 10-15 minutes.