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Upside down pizza pie bake

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The Runaway Spoon

(Read caption) Ground beef, Italian sausage, and pepperoni make this pizza pie bake a meat-lover's treat.

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An easy weeknight treat is a great recipe to have on hand. I love this version of a a classic pizza casserole, updated my way with no jarred sauces or chemical laden boxed mixes. 

This is a real family pleaser, better than greasy delivery and easier than making or rolling out dough. A mix of beef and Italian sausage with fun bites of pepperoni up the pizza factor.

If your diners will stand it, you can sauté some shredded carrots, bell peppers and onion with the meat to add a little touch of vegetables. Or sprinkle a little red pepper in with the filling if you like spice.  You could even use ground turkey and turkey or chicken Italian sausage.

Upside down pizza pie bake
Serves 4 

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage (or links with casing removed)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

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1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup diced pepperoni*

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Break the beef and sausage into a large skillet and cook until browned and no longer pink, breaking up into small pieces as you go. When the meat is cooked, stir in the garlic and the oregano and stir to combine. Stir in the pepperoni. Add the tomato sauce and 2 tablespoons flour and stir until thoroughly combined and thick.

2. Spread the meat mixture a well-greased 8-inch square baking dish. Leave to cool slightly, then spread the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the eggs, milk and olive oil together in a small bowl, then add the flour and whisk until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the batter over the top of the meat and cheese and spread to cover the top completely. Sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake the pizza for 35 to 40 minutes until puffy, golden, and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and let the dish sit for 5 minutes. Loosen the sides of the pizza with a thin knife, then invert it onto a platter. Cut into squares and serve immediately.

* The last time I made this, I found some “mini” pepperoni rounds at the grocery. They are perfect for this recipe, and cute to boot!

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