Easy Pizza Rice Casserole – Take a Real Lunch

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sargento Foods, Inc. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Getting tired of cold sandwiches and canned soup for lunch?  Sargento Cheese is encouraging us to take a real lunch.  Mid-day meals don't have to be hurried, grab-whatever-you-can-find affairs.  Slow down and plan a real lunch.

This Easy Pizza Rice Casserole uses a few quick ingredients.  If you have leftover rice, it's even quicker.  The Italian Sausage and zucchini make for a hearty lunch.  The dish gets topped with slices of Sargento provolone cheese.  Who can resist a cheese topped casserole?  

Pizza Rice Casserole can be made for lunch at home, but it also travels well if you're sharing at the office.  Or if you need to pack it up, use a soup thermos to keep it hot until lunch time.  Guaranteed to cause lunch-envy in everyone around you!

Pair this casserole with a green salad tossed with oil and vinegar dressing.  

I adapted this recipe from the More with Less Cookbook.  I used instant brown rice, to make things quicker.  Instant brown rice has all the nutrition of the long-cooking variety, but can be made in 5 or 10 minutes.  I also added chopped zucchini and swapped out the ground beef for more flavorful Italian sausage.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 cups instant brown rice

  • 1 3/4 cups water

  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 zucchini, chopped

  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce

  • 1/2 tsp oregano

  • 16 oz cottage cheese

  • 5 slices Sargento provolone cheese

  1. Cook brown rice in water according to package directions.

  2. Brown sausage, onion and garlic in skillet over medium heat until sausage is cooked fully.

  3. Add zucchini to the skillet 5 or 7 minutes before sausage is done.

  4. Drain meat and rinse with hot water to remove extra grease.

  5. Return meat to the skillet.

  6. Stir in tomato sauce and oregano.

  7. Stir cottage cheese into cooked rice.

  8. Pour rice into greased casserole dish.

  9. Top with meat mixture.

  10. Place Sargento cheese slices over top of meat.

  11. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until hot.

Sargento Natural Cheese comes in many varieties.  My cheese drawer almost always has several types.  We especially love the ultra-thin slices.

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What's your favorite kind of real lunch?

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Chicken and Zucchini Pasta – 75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

I love this Chicken and Zucchini Pasta dish from Crystal & Co.  It’s a great way to have a veggie packed meal and still use the crockpot.  If you’ve got zucchini and tomatoes to use in your garden, this is the recipe for you. And if not, pick some up at the store.  Crystal used canned tomatoes and I would likely do the same.  I hoard our fresh ones to eat sliced on sandwiches or on the plate.

Chicken Zucchini and Bowties in the slow cooker

I know my family would love this meal.  We have a weakness for pasta in a creamy sauce.  Bonus points if the recipe includes chicken too.  And I love it if it’s got veggies.

Click here to see the recipe for Chicken and Zucchini Pasta in the Slow Cooker on Crystal and Co.

If you love using your slow cooker, check out our All Slow Cooker Weekly Meal Plan.  It’s got all the planning done for you (including the grocery list) so you can go enjoy summer!

75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Meals EatAtHomeCooks

 

Ingredient Spotlight: Zucchini 2012

What kind of gardener can’t grow zucchini?

Me.

I guess that’s not technically true.  Our zucchini plant yielded the one, small squash, then promptly shriveled and died.  The plants all around it still look good, so I’m not sure what caused the problem.

Hopefully, you’ve had better success with your garden.  Or maybe you have generous neighbors who are good gardeners.  Either way, here are some fun zucchini recipes to make use of the harvest.

What are your favorite zucchini recipes?  Link as many as you like below, just be sure to include a link back to Eat at Home.  You can use the button below, if you like.

 

 

Gazpacho – Or what to do with zucchini from the neighbors

The fantastic thing about this soup is that it’s really just a bowl full of raw veggies.  But it tastes divine.  So good, you could just eat and eat it.  So good for you that you can do just that with no guilt.

It’s perfect for a hot, summer evening because it’s eaten cold.  I have to admit that freaked my kids out.  They did eat it, but they weren’t sure they liked cold soup.  Jim and I loved it though.

I adapted my recipe from Pioneer Woman, adding red bell pepper, jalepeno and parsley just because they were hanging out in my fridge.  I don’t own a food processor, so I used my pitiful blender that has been partially melted in the dishwasher.  It worked fine, so I guess I still don’t have an excuse to buy a food processor.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more...]

Ingredient Spotlight: Zucchini

It’s that time of year!

I’ve never planted zucchini.  It seems kind of silly, when others are trying to get rid of their excess.  Besides, our garden doesn’t grow very well and it would be seriously embarrassing if we discovered that we can’t even grow zucchini!

Here are some of my favorite recipes using this prolific veggie:  [Read more...]

How to Freeze Zucchini

This is the giant zucchini that was gifted to me the other day.  I turned part of it into Zucchini Carrot Cake.

The rest got shredded up and frozen.

Just pop the shredded zucchini into a Ziploc bag.  Don’t forget to label the bags.  I froze mine in 2 cup quantities.  I got 6 cups out of this one zucchini!

Now I can use the shreds for more cake or bread or even in soups and stews.

Zucchini Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A neighbor gifted me with a giant zucchini the other day.  My first inclination was to make zucchini bread, but then I ran across this recipe in one of my Amish cookbooks.

I’m pretty sure that the 3 cups of veggies in this cake off set the naughtiness of the cream cheese frosting.

The only change I made to the recipe was to bake it in a jelly roll pan instead of a 9×13 size.  I would also like to say that I did shred the carrots and zucchini the way the Amish would.  I don’t have a food processor, but I want one.  I want much.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more...]

Garden Rotini with Grilled Zucchini and Chicken

garden rotini with grilled zucchini and chicken done

Oh, my merciful heavens!  This was so very delicious.

Inspired by the grilled zucchini and a container of gorgonzola cheese, I quickly pulled this together for dinner one night.  Five of us were home to eat and we all loved it.  My oldest daughter worked late and came in after we had gone to bed.  She scrounged in the fridge and found the leftovers.  She said she ate some cold before she realized it was meant to be served hot, but it tasted good both ways.

I also used homemade seasoned salt in this dish.  If you haven’t made any of it yet, please take a couple minutes to stir a batch together.  Your taste buds will thank you.

[Read more...]

Grilled Zucchini

grilled zucchini done

Two things I have been loving lately – our new grill and homemade seasoned salt.  I love the grill because it doesn’t burn everything like the old one did.  And I love the seasoned salt because it makes nearly everything taste better.

Even zucchini.

I like zucchini, but it’s not something that I would normally take a second helping of.  But grilled zucchini tasted so good, I wanted to keep eating it.  And it’s so simple to make.

[Read more...]

Lemon Pepper Tilapia with Veggies on the Grill

tilapia with veggies in foil done

I’ve done tilapia in a foil packet before, but this time I wanted to use the grill and more veggies.  Instead of making individual packets, I made a large one.  The fish and vegetables cooked perfectly in just 15-20 minutes.  Even though the foil was charred around the edges, the food didn’t burn at all.

[Read more...]

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