Quick Pseudo Italian Dinners

I hesitate to call either of these “recipes” because they are more like meal ideas than anything else. But they are both super delicious and both always big hits with other people. So I wanted to share them with you guys! πŸ™‚

French Bread Pizza.JPG

So first up, French Bread Pizza. Friends, this is simple. So simple. Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread in half length ways. Cut into “individual size” portions (3″-4″) and then take a heavy tray and attempt to flatten the bread as much as possible by pressing down on the bread and compressing it. I learned this tip from Serious EatsΒ (see link for photos of what I’m talking about) and it makes a huge difference in keeping the sides of the bread from being too curled. Pre-bake bread at 350 degrees for about 7-8 minutes and then remove from oven. Top with your favorite sauce (our recipe here!), cheese, and any desired toppings. Bake for another 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Bada boom bada bing! Dinner is served!

Baked Spaghetti.JPG

If French Bread Pizza is simple, then Baked Spaghetti is practically effortless. Especially if you have leftover spaghetti and pasta sauce from a previous night. It’s really up to you how much trouble you want to go to. You can even use jarred sauce and pre-shredded cheese and this meal takes on new levels of simplicity.

For us, we usually make this with leftover spaghetti sauce (our favorite recipe here!) that we tossed in the freezer after a meal. I’ll pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw overnight and the next day all I have to do is boil my spaghetti noodles and shred my mozzarella cheese (I don’t know why, but I think the block cheese that you shred melts better than the pre-shredded stuff). I combine the cooked pasta with the spaghetti sauce and pour it into a 13×9″ pan then top with a little extra layer of sauce and then shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and turn oven to broil. Put pan back in the oven and watch carefully so the minute the cheese begins to bubble and turn brown, you can pull it out. Or if you don’t like bubbly cheese, you can skip that last step.

So yes, two super simple meals. Neither of which are even really Italian. More Italian-flavor inspired. πŸ˜‰ But they are delicious and simple and crowd pleasers therefore definitely worth sharing in my book! πŸ™‚

Do you ever make baked spaghetti or French bread pizza?

Do you have a favorite meal idea that isn’t really a recipe, but is always a hit?
Love Rach


22 responses to “Quick Pseudo Italian Dinners

  1. Every recipe you have put on your blog makes my mouth water…and these are no exception! Yummmm! Great post! xoxo

    • I’m glad to hear it! I’ve been on quite the recipe sharing kick lately so it’s good to know you are enjoying them! πŸ™‚

  2. We recently tried french bread pizza for the first time! Jake wasn’t a fan (but then again, he’s super picky and doesn’t like food that mixes together–he would rather eat his bread separate from his cheese and separate from his sauce), but we really liked it! We even chopped some fresh basil for the top!

    • ​Mmm… I LOVE fresh basil so that’s a definitely winner! Totally understandable that Jake wasn’t a huge fan since he likes his food separate. French Bread Pizza actually wasn’t a favorite of mine growing up because I didn’t like how crunchy the bread would get. It was like a giant bite of crunchy bread with only a little sauce and toppings in each bite. Compressing it down makes a huge difference for me! I’m so glad I learned that from Serious Eats! πŸ™‚ ​

  3. Yum! I love the look of both these easy meals.

  4. We’ve actually never made french bread pizza but it looks delicious. And I’m not usually a big fan of spaghetti but I would love some baked spaghetti.

    • If you try the French Bread Pizza recipe, I highly recommend following the Serious Eat’s suggestions of compressing the bread before you put toppings on it. It makes a huge difference! And girl, baked spaghetti is always a winner for me! πŸ™‚

  5. Oh my gosh I love baked spaghetti! So amazing. ❀

  6. My fiancΓ© would love these recipes! Pizza is one of his favorite foods.

  7. Quick/easy and looks tasty. I’ve never tried baked spaghetti

  8. Both the baked spaghetti and the French bread pizza look really good!

  9. These look amazing and I am a HUGE fan of simple! Thanks for the ideas!

  10. Mmmm, this looks SO good! I love anything Italian inspired!

    We make what we call “Parmalana” which is a made up name for what is essentially regular lasagna with chicken swapped out for the beef. We call it parmalana because when I first went to make it, I tried to explain it to Jesse “like chicken parmigiana lasagna” but it came out as “like parmalana lasagna” and the name stuck πŸ˜›

    • Haha! I love it! What a cute name (and a great story behind it). That’s totally the sort of name that would stick in our family too. πŸ™‚

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