Whenever I’m not sure what to make for dinner, I ask my kiddos for ideas. And almost every single time as least one of them says Pizza! Don’t get me wrong – I love pizza and could probably eat it everyday. But just like I tell my kids… just because you can, it doesn’t mean that you should. So I try to get creative with the flavors of pizza and turn it into other things. This Meat Lovers Rice turned out even better than expected. It literally tastes like you are eating pizza. And not just pizza without the crust, you don’t even realize it doesn’t have crust.
I am obsessed with Meat Lovers Pizza so that was the main reason I went that route with this one pot rice dish to begin with. But the more I thought about it, I’m not entirely sure you could get away with a supreme option here. I think the veggies might sweat out too much and make it soupy. With just the petite diced tomatoes in this, you get the great flavor of a simple pizza sauce. I think you could probably go all pepperoni if you wanted to, probably need the bigger bag though. Also on the pepperoni, if you can’t find the minis, you could buy regular and quarter them.
One pot meals are ideal for weeknight meals, for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest is that its usually less dishes to clean up after. Another is that you get so much flavor throughout the dish when it’s all cooked together. I also love that they are usually put it all in the pan, put a lid on it, and walk away for a while. This one does require that bigger 12 inch deep saute pan to make it all in one pot. I love my Ninja Kitchen pan, as it can be used for sautéing, frying, boiling, and goes into the oven too! Such a versatile pan.
Just like a pizza, this was a pretty filling and complete meal in itself. I think, also like pizza, the only real good choice for a side would be a salad of some sort. Caesar is the obvious choice to go with pizza flavors and would be totally delicious with this. You could do a regular green salad too, maybe with some carrot, cucumbers, croutons and ranch dressing. I served it on it’s own and with seconds for the big boys, they were good with the amount of food they got.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
Meat Lovers Rice
- 6 slices Bacon cut into ¼inch pieces
- 2 lb Italian Sausage
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- ½ Small White Onion minced
- 3 cups Long Grain Rice
- 1 qt Broth chicken or vegetable
- 1 15oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes
- 2 tsp Italian Seasoning divided
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 8 oz Ham Steak cubed
- 2 cups Parmesan Cheese shredded, divided
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 5oz bag Mini Pepperoni
- 1 cup Mozzarella shredded
- In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add bacon. Cook until crispy and remove to a paper towel covered plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan.
- Add sausage, garlic and onion to the pan. Cook and crumble for 5 minutes. Add rice and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add tomatoes, broth, one teaspoon of Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and cubed ham. Reduce heat to medium, cover pan and let cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid, add 1 cup of shredded parmesan, cooked bacon bits, heavy cream and half of mini pepperonis to the pan. Stir to combine then flatten back out. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, remaining mini pepperonis and remaining Italian seasoning. Recover with lid and let cook another 5 minutes.
Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:
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