Today I’m bringing one of my favorite Grandma recipes to the blog.
I mean that literally this a real recipe, from my very real and wonderful Grandma, adapted a weensy bit and now being formally presented to you, blog friends.
We got together with my grandparents not too long ago and my grandma just “happened to have a bag” of these little frozen pizzas in a cooler in her car (obvi), so when lunchtime hit she just turned on the oven and popped these bad boys in for a quick and easy lunch, showing me the beautiful art of providing a family meal that keeps everyone happy without batting an eyelash. Can you say diva? Grandma, you amaze me.
I asked her at least 500 times how she made them again? and the next week I got a sweet card in the mail with the handwritten recipe enclosed. I love you Grandma!
This pizza bread is so-very-friendly. It starts with ground beef, which, upon closer reflection, I cannot think of any other time in the history of Pinch of Yum that I’ve posted a recipe that uses ground beef. I’m not opposed; I eat red meat regularly at restaurants, especially the variety that comes on a buttery toasted bun, topped with melted cheese, crispy bacon, fresh tomato, garlic aioli, and a side of sweet potato fries. But I digress.
Sometimes you need to go back to your roots, and for Bjork and I, our small town Midwestern roots are not found in kale and pomegranates; they are found in this saucy ground beef with some melted cheese baked into crusty bread. Ohmygosh, yes.
To give this recipe a veggie boost and/or use up the produce that was hiding away in the corner of the crisper drawer, I decided to go halvsies on the meat and veggies. So half of the filling mixture is ground beef, half is sauteed bell peppers and mushrooms, and it’s all pizza-sauced up and mixed with cheese and stuffed into little ciabatta loaves. Served with a simple green salad with some ranch dressing and a big tall glass of milk? Gahhh. The nostalgia is hitting me right in the face and I adore it.
Good news: Want more veggies? Add ’em. Meat only? Extra sauce? Less cheese? (psh.) Some pepperoni for the kids? Ok fine, for you? You can do it all. It’s so adaptable which is one of the many reasons that we may be eating this for the next three months during our extended moving season.
Oh, because by the way, we DID buy a house, and yes, we ARE still planning to live there. Oh my word. It’s just been a crazy long process with de-winterization issues, unpaid water bills, and dishwasher leaks requiring all new flooring at our current house. Fun fun. I would consider this entire fall, from September to December, to be “moving season” – all the more reason to make this recipe once a week and plan to eat individual sized pizza breads for dinner every night.
So the beauty of these pizza breads is that you can freeze them. Duh, right? But then after they are frozen and you put them all in a large container labeled “YUMMY YUM”, they are ready for you one at a time. So if you only need to heat up, say, three because the rest of your family is out for the night and you’re super hungry (just sayin), you can just heat up the three and leave the rest for another time. No need to reheat and do the leftovers thing again. They are just ready for you when you’re ready for them. No more, no less, just right.
And just for fun because it’s Monday: here are a few other samplings of some other Grandma recipes from both Gma R and Gma M:
In other words, Yum.
Grandmas just know.
Quick and Easy Pizza Bread – perfect for freezing so you can make individual servings later. Lotsa veggies, kid-friendly, total comfort food.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 cups chopped bell peppers (I used green, yellow, and red)
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- salt to taste
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 small ciabatta loaves
- Veggies: Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the peppers and saute for 5 minutes; add the mushrooms and season with salt. Saute until soft. Drain excess moisture and set aside.
- Hamburger: Brown the hamburger with a little bit of water. Season with salt and pepper or a little seasoning salt. Break apart thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Drain off the excess moisture and combine with the veggies. Add the pizza sauce and stir to combine. Place in the fridge to cool.
- Assembling: Cut the tops off of the ciabatta loaves in a V-shape, leaving plenty of space inside the loaf for filling. Remove the filling from the fridge and mix in the cheese – if you add it while it’s hot, the cheese melts and sort of just disappears. Stuff each loaf with filling, and top with extra cheese if you want.
- Baking: Bake at 400 degrees 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.
My Grandma uses English muffins for the bread, and keeps them in the freezer for quick and easy dinners! The English muffins bake up nice and crispy and are super low maintenance. Win win! I’ve used English muffins, baguettes, and mini ciabatta loaves – all are perfect for a quick individual frozen meal because you can make a lot of them, but then just bake one or two at a time. When I use ciabatta loaves, I reserve the bread tops and save them for soup dippers.