Food & Recipes

Make-Ahead Pizza Casserole

by Rosemary Black

Make-Ahead Pizza Casserole

Prepare this Italian-inspired dish in the morning and have a stress-free dinner at night

Saturday: Pizza Casserole

Prep: 15 minutes
Resting and baking time: About 4 hours
Serves: 6

What You'll Need:

Cooking spray
1/2 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 lb prosciutto, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, cored and diced
6 cups cubed French or Italian bread (about 1)
5 eggs
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, toss together the mozzarella, prosciutto, tomatoes and bread. Arrange the bread mixture evenly in the baking pan.
3. Using the same bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the milk, sour cream, oregano, basil and garlic powder. Beat well.
4. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, tilting the baking pan from side to side to soak all the bread cubes evenly. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate at least three hours, or overnight.
5. Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes; heat oven to 350°F. Uncover the casserole and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on top. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese before serving, if desired. Serve with a green salad and your favorite vinaigrette.

Per serving: Calories
Quickie-side suggestion: Serve with a tossed green salad with an Italian vinaigrette, along with zucchini sautéed with garlic and olive oil.
Ideas for picky eaters: Make it a white pizza by omitting the tomatoes. Skip the chopped prosciutto if your kid's not down with meat. Or you can cheese it up by melting extra mozz on top.

Sunday: Easter Ham

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 160°F; plan on about 30 minutes per pound
Serves: 8 to 10 (Don't miss the left-overs recipe on the next page!)

What You'll Need:

1 (6-lb) ham, shank or rump cut
1 cup (packed) light-brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 small can (about 8 oz) crushed pineapple with syrup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp mustard
Whole cloves

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place the ham, fat side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part (but away from the bone), and place ham in oven.
2. While the ham is roasting, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, mix the light-brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, pineapple, lemon juice and mustard. Cook over medium heat until it boils and becomes thick; stir frequently.
3. A half hour before the ham is done, remove it from the oven and drain off any drippings. Remove any loose skin.
4. Score the fat surface diagonally in one direction and then the other to create diamonds. Insert cloves into the points; brush the surface with glaze.
5. Return the ham to the oven until the internal temperature is 160°F.
6. Allow the ham to rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Serve with green beans, mashed potatoes and fruit salad.

Per serving (6 oz): 210 calories, 10.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 1,023 mg sodium, 60 mg cholesterol
Ideas for picky eaters: Cut some of the cooked ham into chunks and slide them onto wooden skewers, alternating with pineapple chunks or your child's favorite fruit.

Monday through Friday: 5 meals ready in minutes


Rotini with ham and cabbage: Sautee some chopped onion till it's soft; add in shredded cabbage and leftover (or deli) ham. Heat through, then toss with cooked pasta and about a half cup of chicken broth and some parmesan cheese.


Honey-mustard chicken: Mix equal parts honey, coarse-grain mustard and Dijon. Coat both sides of thinly sliced chicken breasts and bake at 350°F about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.


Beef and macaroni: Brown 1 pound ground beef with some chopped onion, green pepper and garlic. Stir in a can of chicken broth, 2 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce and half a pound of elbow macaroni. Cover, and let simmer till pasta is soft.


Crunchy French toast: Breakfast for dinner! Beat 4 eggs, 2 cups milk, 3 Tbsp brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Soak bread, then dip into crushed cornflakes. Fry in melted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Serve with applesauce or a fresh fruit salad.


Spanish rice: Cook a box of instant rice according to package directions. Brown 1 pound ground turkey with 2 cloves crushed garlic. Stir in a jar of your favorite chunky pasta sauce, and heat well. Add the rice, along with cubed cheddar cheese. Stir over medium heat until the cheese melts.

Need ideas for the rest of the month? Check out all the dishes at