Upside-Down Pizza Casserole – Recipe

I have to share this one. It is simple, it is fast, and it is totally and completely delicious (if you like pizza, that is. And, if you do not like pizza, then I am sorry but this is not your tribe). I made this for my smalls this week and they went nuts for it. It immediately moved right up the list of Mason’s favourite foods to secure the #2 spot (meatloaf appears to be immovable from the top position) and the rest of the kids declared it “The BEST! I don’t just like it, I LOVE IT!” So, with those rave reviews, it warrants a share.

Quick note: You can use store-bought/pre-made pizza dough (not the pizza crusts, the dough!) or you can whip up a quick batch at home. I’ll include my quick and dirty pizza dough recipe here at the end, just in case you want to try it. ALSO, this is meant to be eaten with your fingers. It is not a dignified meal, and that is probably another reason why my children loved it so.

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Ingredients:
Pizza toppings – pepperoni, onions, peppers, whatever you normally put on your pizza
Mozzarella cheese, grated, approximately 300g
Italian salad dressing OR Pizza Sauce
One recipe OR one bag of store-bought pizza dough

Directions:
1. Prepare the dough (either make some up or pull the store-bought one from the fridge)
2. Preheat oven to 425°F
3. Lightly grease or spray a 9×13 glass casserole dish
4.Chop up and prepare your toppings.
5. Layer toppings in the casserole dish

My kids are not big "toppings" people. They are boring pizza eaters. But I love them anyway.

My kids are not big “toppings” people. They are boring pizza eaters. But I love them anyway.

6. Cover toppings with excessive amounts of mozzarella cheese

They are, however, all about the cheese. So they redeem themselves. Slightly.

They are, however, all about the cheese. So they redeem themselves. Slightly.

7. Add sauce over the cheese, if using salad dressing, just a quick “Z” shape across the dish should be enough. But, the choice, as with everything else in the this recipe, is yours 😉

We like it nice and saucy, but some people, eh, not so much.

We like it nice and saucy, but some people, eh, not so much.

8. Roll little balls of dough and place them fairly close together in the dish. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese if you like. The dough balls should be between the size of a superball and a ping-pong ball (if they’re too big, you won’t have enough to cover the whole dish, and that could lead to sadness or having to locate more dough).

The first time I made this, it lead to a bit of sadness. This time, while it looks like chaos, there were enough to go around.

The first time I made this, it led to a bit of sadness. Made the dough balls too big. This time, while it looks like chaos, there were enough to go around.

9. Bake in your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the dough sounds hollow when you tap on it and you see sauce or cheese bubbling away.
10. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Do not place the glass dish directly on a countertop or solid surface, the shock could cause the dish to break. And that would result in no pizza casserole. And that can only lead to more sadness. (Or, it could cause injury. Either way, we don’t want either of those things ruining a happy pizza experience).
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11. Now, this is where it could get tricky, but since I’m adverse to tricky, I ignore this step, but if you wanted to, you could try to “flip” the casserole out of the pan and onto some other dish so that it was right-side up again, but I haven’t seen this done, haven’t tried it and so cannot endorse it. I cut around the dough in collections of two to four balls and scoop them out with a serving spoon. THIS IS FINGER FOOD. It will be nearly impossible to eat in a civilized way, but it’s so gooey and delicious, that really doesn’t matter, does it?

12. Enjoy!

Here it is again represented in one picture:
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Quick and Dirty Go-to Pizza Dough Recipe

1 package or 2¼ tsp yeast
1 cup warm (105°F – 115°F) water (takes about 45 seconds in my microwave)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
2½ cups flour (All purpose, whole wheat or a combination thereof)

Directions:
Mix together yeast, water, oil, sugar and salt in a large bowl. (I use my Kitchenaid mixer because, well, LAZY). Let sit for five or so minutes, until the yeast starts to grow a bit and it looks a bit foamy. Add flour and mix in thoroughly, if mixing by hand, 20-30 good turns should do it. If using a mixer, until it forms into a ball, maybe two or so minutes. The dough shouldn’t be too wet and sticky. If it is, add a bit more flour and work in.

This dough is versatile. You can either use it right away, or you can cover it with a clean dish towel for a half hour or so and let it rise a bit then punch it down and use. The benefit to letting it have a bit of rise time is a lighter dough, but I’ve noticed no real difference in the taste.

Roll it out, build your pizza. Bake at 425°F for 20-25 minutes, checking for doneness after 20 minutes and reducing heat to 350°F for the last five minutes.