My boys are some picky eaters, I’ve got to say. They have three main food groups – pizza, macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. At snack time, they will dig in to either yogurt or string cheese. I’ve learned to concoct some really simple but healthy meals using some of their favorite things.
For instance, we sometimes take the chicken nuggets, add a tiny bit of tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella to create mini chicken parmesan! It may not work for an Italian restaurant, but it gets them to try new things, and for that we are always thankful.
But one of the failsafe meals I make for them is this Easy Cheesy Pizza Pasta. Incorporating all of their favorite pizza toppings, as well as some hidden veggies and their favorite Crystal Farms String Cheese sticks, this is one thing I know they’ll always eat.
This meal couldn’t be easier to make, and for that reason I usually have the kids help me out with it. It makes them even more excited to eat their dinner if they’ve had a hand in preparing it. If you want to try it yourself, just grab your favorite pasta, all your favorite pizza toppings, some sauce and a casserole dish! Here’s what we did for ours.
1/2 C sundried tomatoes
1 C baby pepperoni
1 C mushrooms
1 C sliced black olives
1/2 C sliced peppers
1 C pizza sauce
1/2 C cream
1 lb pasta
16 Crystal Farms string cheese sticks
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and then set a pan of water on to boil. Cook your pasta just a little al dente, according to the instructions.
Chop half of your Crystal Farms string cheese sticks into small pieces and set aside. With the other half, slice them into long strings and set aside.
Once your pasta is cooked, drain and put back into the pan. Add all of your chopped cheese, meat and veggies, as well as your pizza sauce and the cream. Stir it all together.
Dump the whole lot into a casserole dish. I used a foil casserole because my real one was in the dishwasher! Place the long cheese strings across the top of your dish and then place the whole thing in the oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Plate and enjoy!
This recipe is so versatile because you can add pretty much anything to it to make it exactly what you want. You can even use white sauce instead of pizza sauce and include meats such as chicken, ham or sausage! It turns out great every single time.