It’s Friday! Here’s another recipe for one of my family’s favorite freezer friendly meals. (Now say that 5 times fast.) 😉
This Pizza Pasta is sure to be a hit with kids. My girls gobble it right up. And for me, as a 26-year-old kid, this recipe is a great way to hit a craving for pepperoni pizza in a fairly healthy way. Sure, there’s some fat in this recipe, but using mozzarella and turkey pepperoni keeps that in check. Plus, the whole-grain pasta, lean beef, and said cheese and pepperoni all come together to make this meal super high in protein. It’s filling and tasty and easy to throw together.
- 3 boxes whole wheat penne (I use whole wheat pasta in all freezer recipes both for the nutritional quality and because their hearty texture seems to help them do better after freezing, but you can use regular pasta too)
- 2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce
- 2 packages of turkey pepperoni (again, regular here is fine. I just find that I don’t notice a huge difference between regular vs. turkey and it keeps the fat content in this recipe down)
- 3 pounds lean ground beef
- 4 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- Cook your pasta. For any pasta you plan to freeze, always skew a bit to the al dente side (as overcooked pasta can come out mushy once it’s been frozen and thawed).
- Brown and drain hamburger in a large pan or skillet. Mix together with both jars of spaghetti sauce to make a thick, meaty mixture.
- Line your foil pans with a light layer of cooking spray and then divide your pasta evenly into the sprayed pans.
- Next, evenly layer the meat sauce on top of the noodles.
- Spread grated mozzarella on top of the pasta and meat sauce. I do about 1/4 cup per serving.
- Last of all, top the whole thing with a liberal layer of pepperoni.
- If you’re planning to freeze this recipe, you’re done for now. Toss some foil on top and stack them in your freezer for later.
- On the day you’re planning to eat this, pull it out of the freezer several hours in advance (or even the night before if you can think that far ahead). Pasta freezer meals do fine going straight from the freezer to oven, but I find that the texture is slightly better when I can thaw the noodles out first.
- Leave in oven about 60 minutes at 350, or until warmed through. For about 5 minutes at the end, remove the foil and turn your oven on broil to help the pepperoni get nice and toasty around the edges and for the cheese to get bubbly and blistery.
On the Side
This cheesy, meaty pasta is filling enough that I generally just eat a pile of it with a small side of broccoli or green salad. However, sometimes I cook up some freezer-section garlic bread to serve as a side for my husband and kids.
These numbers come from breaking the above recipe into 18 individual servings. I divvy mine into 6 pans and then have each pan serve me, my husband, and leave one more adult-sized serving to split between my kids.
Calories: 540 | Fat: 18g | Protein: 39g | Carbs: 58g