Make One; Freeze One

spaghetti pie bite

It is embarrassing how little food preparation I have done for my family in recent weeks. TheRoomDad has completely taken over weekend meals and school lunches. The best I have been able to do for weeknight meals is scrambled eggs and grilled cheese. He practically fell off his chair when I told him I was headed to the grocery store and had decided to make Spaghetti Pie for Sunday dinner.

My original Spaghetti Pie recipe came from the Beyond Parsley cookbook, but there are many Spaghetti Pie options if you run a Google search. Over time, I have adjusted my recipe slightly because I always make a double batch, so we can eat one pie and freeze one for later. The only reason I considered making Spaghetti Pie this Sunday was because it had the benefit of an extra freezable pie, so I could avoid preparing dinner on another night in the future.

spaghetti pie baked

Crust Ingredients (for 2 pies)

  • 2 boxes (16 oz.) thin spaghetti cooked and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 T. butter
  • 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 t. dried basil

Meat Sauce Ingredients (for 2 pies)

  • ~1 lb. ground beef (find a package that is close to 1 lb.)
  • ~1 lb. Italian sausage (1 package)
  • 1 28-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 2 t. sugar
  • 2 t. dried basil
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 c. white wine

Other Ingredients and Equipment (for 2 pies)

  • 1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
  • 2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 10-inch pie plates (can be disposable)

Directions

  • Make the crust first. Combine the cooked spaghetti with the other “crust” ingredients while the pasta is warm. Chop mixture with two knives until ingredients are well combined and spaghetti is in small sections. Put the two knives in the center of the ingredients and pull in opposite directions to chop the pasta. Repeat the knife movement moving the pan around, so all noodles are cut into small pieces.

spaghetti pie mixing noodles

  • Press half of the pasta mixture into each pie plate making sure the pasta covers the bottom and sides of the pie plates and set aside.

spaghetti pie crust

  • To make the filling, brown ground beef, sausage, and onion together. Drain the fat. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and heat thoroughly.

spaghetti pie sauce

  • Put the ricotta in a small bowl and add 1 to 2 T. warm water and mix together, so the ricotta will be easy to spread.
  • To assemble the pies, spread about half of the ricotta cheese on each pie “crust.” You may have some leftover ricotta.

spaghetti pie ricotta filling

  • Top the ricotta with meat sauce on each pie.

spaghetti pie assembly

  • Sprinkle 1 cup shredded mozzarella on each pie.

spaghetti pie cheese topping

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Freezing and Reheating Directions

  • Before baking, cover pie completely with foil wrapping around the bottom as well. I like to use the disposable pie pans that come with lids. I attach the plastic lid, then wrap completely in foil.

spaghetti pie freezing

  • Put covered Spaghetti Pie in the freezer.
  • When ready to eat, thaw the pie in the refrigerator overnight keeping the covering on it.
  • Remove all coverings before baking. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown on top.
  • The pie can be reheated straight from the freezer. Remove any plastic covering and cover the top with foil only. Bake at 350 or 375 degrees until thawed in the center (test with a knife). Remove the foil covering and continue baking until golden brown on top and bubbly on the edges.

Notes

  • I think you could assemble the layers in a casserole dish rather than a pie pan and make a spaghetti casserole type thing.
  • Leftovers taste very good reheated.
  • These pies make great gifts for a new neighbor or a friend with a sick family member, new baby, etc. I have also given these pies to my children’s teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week with freezing and reheating instructions!

spaghetti pie slice

Do you have a recipe that you always double, so you can set a serving aside for later?

Snacky Dinner

turkey quesadilla slices

I so enjoy making party food, cooking a big dish for a group, or assembling appetizers and class snack foods, but I avoid the daily grind of cooking family dinner that will be eaten in 3.7 minutes followed by kitchen clean-up like the plague (and don’t even get me started on packing school lunches).

If TheRoomDad has taken care of the grocery shopping, I can be persuaded to make fast dinners during the week that have minimal clean up. I have a recipe for turkey apple quesadillas that is acceptable as a mid-week meal. It is an odd combination of ingredients, but the adults and children at my house love them. The other nice thing about the recipe is the fact that all of the key food groups are in one bite, so I don’t have the pressure of having to come up with a side dish TOO. Utensils are not required to eat this “meal”, and we really don’t have to have plates either, so clean-up is a breeze.

Have you developed a resistance to making weeknight dinners night after night after night, or is it just me?

turkey quesadilla slices 3

Ingredients

  • Dijon mustard (I use Grey Poupon)
  • honey
  • flour tortillas (any size– I like large then folded in half when heating)
  • Munster cheese slices (our grocery’s deli section has pre-sliced packs. Cut or break each slice into halves or thirds when assembling the quesadilla)
  • Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced (or another tart, green apple)
  • deli turkey, thinly sliced

turkey quesadilla slices 2

Directions

  • Mix equal parts honey and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. I start with 1 tablespoon each of mustard and honey. That is usually enough for 4 quesadillas (4 large tortillas folded in half).

turkey quesadilla honey mustard

  • If using the large tortillas, spread the honey mustard on half of the tortilla.

turkey quesadilla spread and apples

  • Layer 1 1/2 slices of Munster on the honey mustard spread. Since I cut the deli slices into smaller strips, I place ~3 1/2-slices across the half of the tortilla with the honey mustard.
  • Add 1-2 slices of turkey on top of the cheese.
  • Place several apple slices on the turkey.

turkey quesadillas assembly

  • Top the apple slices with 1/2 to 1 cheese slice.
  • Fold the tortilla in half to close.
  • Spray a skillet with Pam and using medium heat, cook the quesadilla on both sides until the cheese is melted, and the tortilla is browned.

turkey quesadilla cooking

  • Remove from heat, cut in thirds or quarters, and serve immediately.

turkey quesadillas finished

Notes

  • You can purchase a “brick” of Munster cheese and grate the cheese instead of using slices.