I like quick meals for when we are especially busy. This year has been non-stop going. Really I think we have been home about 5 weeks total out since the end of the February. It helps me not feel so guilty when I actually sit and think about it like that, because otherwise I start beating myself up about how I haven't been cooking anything new or really in depth.
One of my favorite quick meals is French Bread Pizza, because it is really versatile and so easy! I will give you the basic recipe and then give you lots of topping ideas as wells as tips to make it even more easy and quick at the end.
1 loaf of French Bread (about 18 to 20 inches long)
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Slice French Bread in half - length-wise.
- Spread with sauce.
- Top with desired seasonings, cheese, and desired toppings.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes and then slice into big pieces (4 per half) or smaller skinny slices for a party food.
Sauce: Our favorite sauce isn't really sauce, but just a small can of tomato paste. A small can willl cover both halves of the French Bread. Other sauce ideas that I have used before: small can of tomato sauce, store bought pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce, homemade spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes with the liquid drained, a white sauce such as Alfredo or BBQ
Desired Seasonings: If you aren't using a pizza or spaghetti sauce, you might need some seasonings these are my favorite that I add on top of the sauce: A seasoning mix such as Penzeys (which is what I use) or Italian seasoning mix, oregeno, basil, or garlic powder or salt, onion powder or salt, red pepper flakes
Cheese: Mozzarella, colby/jack mix, Asiago, Parmesan, Romano, feta, provolone
Meat: Pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, ham, ground beef, chorizo, chicken, prosciutto, shrimp
Vegetables: Mushrooms, onions, red peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, green peppers, green onions, jalapenos or green chilies, spinach, cherry tomatoes, olives, banana peppers, sweet corn
Other: Pineapple chunks, black beans, fresh basil, garlic,capers
Our Favorite: Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, Black Olive, Red peppers and Onions with Colby/Jack Cheese and Provolone
2nd Favorite: Chicken, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes and with really any cheese and red or white sauce
Southwest: Chicken and/or Chirizo, black beans, spinach, corn, jaapenos or green chilies and topped with colby/jack cheese
Sweet and Sour: Pineapple and ham
BBQ: BBQ Sauce, chicken, onions, bacon, and colby/jack cheese.
* Buy French Bread loaves and on day old bread racks at the grocery store.
* Put loaves in freezer and pull out just an hour or 2 before going to make pizza or make up pizzas with toppings and then wrap for freezer. Store in freezer until ready to put in oven and increase cook time by adding 5 or 10 more minutes. I sometimes take it out 15 to 30 mins before cooking and that seems to make cook time be closer to the orginial 10 minutes in the basic recipe.
* It is really good party food - just slice into thin slices to feed a larger group.
* I like serving with a salad as a side, but good just making them and eating straight out of the oven without a side.