I love those recipes you can make in 30 minutes. But one of the reasons they are so simple and quick to make is that they feed, at most, four people. And most often, that’s four people who are on a diet or who otherwise want one single serving.
That’s not my family. On weeknights, I have four growing children, each with super metabolisms that keep them ravenous all day long. That makes six of us sitting down to break bread. Every other weekend adds anywhere from one to three young adults to the table. When I’m completely on the ball, I have nutritious, elegant meals planned out and prepared. But when I’m in my natural state of chaos, you can find me staring blankly at into a picked-over pantry or empty refrigerator, willing food to just magically appear. Grocery shopping is not my most favorite errand, so I tend to wait until it reaches a critical point before I go. It’s that procrastination thing I’m still working on.
Failure to plan can be a blessing of sorts, as it forces you to be creative. My husband calls these types of recipes “Cupboard Casseroles”, because they combine whatever you can find into a one-dish meal. They are traditionally unrepeatable, because neither of us ever remembers what we actually put into it. But last night’s dinner worked so well, I had to blog it so others in the same predicament–feeding a large family fast–could add this to their arsenal.
And so I present…
2 boxes Mrs. T’s Mini-Pierogies (flavor of your choice; I had potato and cheese on hand)
2 14oz jars pizza sauce (tomato sauce could probably work in a pinch)
1 8oz package of sliced pepperoni (the meatless pepperoni also works well, if you are vegan)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Fresh basil, oregano flakes, and garlic powder to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400º. Lightly grease a 13×9 casserole dish.
2. Open pierogies and spread out evenly on bottom of casserole dish. You may have to break them apart or put them in a colander and run cold water over them if they are frozen together in a lump.
3. Pour both jars of sauce over pierogies, spread evenly with silicone spatula.
4. Generously layer pepperoni over sauce. Some people prefer their pepperoni over the cheese, but I like the cheese to melt onto it. You could also substitute other toppings if you wish–black olives, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.
5. Spread the cheese over the top of the pepperoni. Season to your liking. (I love garlic, so I sprinkle that generously.)
6. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Serve with a spoon and some nice green veggies on the side. It fed all six of us with nothing left over. Depending on the appetite of your family, you may want to add another box of mini-pierogies.