“I have more than enough quick-and-easy dinner recipes.” Said no one ever! Without a doubt, the need to keep the quickies coming is feedback that I receive often…and the irony on how much time I spend working to make meals that are not only fast, but healthy and delicious, isn’t lost on me!
A handful of fridge and pantry staples make this family favorite equal parts easy and satisfying. My kids would happily nosh on these pizza knock-offs every night, yet my husband and I are always happy to eat them, too. My favorite part is the speedy “special sauce” that takes the place of traditional pizza sauce.
As an added benefit, these protein-rich pizzas offer built-in portion control. To ramp up your daily allotment of veggies and round out the meal, pair with a simple salad or green veggie of choice.
Yield: 3 servings (1 whole pita per serving)
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 3 pitas*
- 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) cheddar cheese, shredded
- Optional toppings: 6 grape tomatoes, thinly sliced; 6 dill pickle chips, quartered; shredded lettuce (a few tablespoons per pita)
- Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- While the oven preheats, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and onion, and sauté until the beef is browned and the onion is tender. Crumble the meat and sprinkle with the steak seasoning as the mixture cooks. Remove the pan from heat.
- For the sauce: combine the mayonnaise and ketchup in a small bowl, stirring to fully blend. Spread the mixture evenly over the pita rounds, leaving a small border. Distribute the beef mixture evenly over the sauce on each pita, and then evenly sprinkle the cheeses over the beef. If using, top with the tomato slices and pickles.
- Carefully transfer to the baking sheet or stone and bake for 8 minutes, give or take a minute or two, or until the pizzas are hot throughout and the cheese is completely melted. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with lettuce, if using. Cut the pizzas into 4 wedges each and enjoy.
- *Standard white or whole wheat pitas with a 6-inch diameter may be used. When baked, white pitas will crisp slightly more than whole wheat. This recipe may also be made on a single crust or flatbread (gluten-free if necessary) with a 10-to 11-inch diameter. Feel free to make minor adjustments to cheese and toppings when varying the crust size.