Freezer English Muffin Pizzas

By Ann Fulton

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Simple ingredients are assembled into meaty pizzas that bake straight from the freezer for easy, satisfying meals whenever needed!

Simple ingredients are assembled into meaty pizzas that can be baked straight from the freezer for easy, satisfying meals whenever needed. Loved by kids and adults alike, these are not your ordinary English muffin pizzas!

They make a great pre-trick-or-treat meal, too!

 

Do English muffin pizzas bring back memories for you?

With three easy ingredients and perfectly portioned for one person, English muffin pizzas should probably be considered the original “personal pizza.”

As a young girl, I loved them as a filling after school snack that I was able to make for myself. 

When we didn’t have English muffins, I tried them with the whole wheat bread my family used for sandwiches. They weren’t quite the same. Undeterred, in a different desperate moment, I used ketchup instead of pizza sauce.

Sometimes, the ingredients matter–especially when there are so few of them. (That is to say, I don’t recommend ketchup!) And sometimes, an extra ingredient or two can elevate an old standby in new and exciting ways. 

Such is the case for the following recipe, which offers a heartier variation on the traditional sauce-and-cheese rendition. 

Simple ingredients are assembled into meaty pizzas that bake straight from the freezer for easy, satisfying meals whenever needed!

Better yet, a big batch of the savory, open-faced sandwiches may be prepped in advance and frozen. And conveniently, they can be baked straight from the freezer–no need to thaw–meaning a quick meal is truly accessible whenever needed. 

The only real cooking involved in the assembly portion of this recipe is browning the meat mixture. You may use all ground beef, although I often use the mushroom/beef option. The variation replaces a portion of the meat with finely diced mushrooms, which are sautéed first to release their moisture and then cooked until golden and, well, meaty!

Again, you may use all ground beef. If ease is the main focus, the all-beef method will eliminate a few steps.

Simple ingredients are assembled into meaty pizzas that bake straight from the freezer for easy, satisfying meals whenever needed!

Though it’s nearly impossible to tell, this is the optional beef-mushroom mix.

The mushroom mix, however, may appeal to those who are looking to reduce their meat consumption in an enjoyable way. The use of mushrooms also supplies additional nutrients and enhances the flavor with their naturally-occurring glutamates, which are what give the cooked mushrooms (and other foods like tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese) their savory, umami-rich taste. 

Funny enough, when my son, Christian, was younger, he did not like mushrooms one little bit. Yet he adored these pizzas when made with the mushroom-enhanced beef.

Rather than tasting mushroomy, he thought the pizzas somehow tasted meatier. If you try them that way, I’d love to know if you agree. 

Simple ingredients are assembled into meaty pizzas that bake straight from the freezer for easy, satisfying meals whenever needed!

The bottom layer of cheese prevents the sauce from soaking in and making the toasted muffins soggy. For the sake of stocking my freezer, I like to prep a big batch, although the recipe may be scaled down. 

Simple ingredients are assembled into meaty pizzas that bake straight from the freezer for easy, satisfying meals whenever needed!

The meaty layer provides filling protein and exceptional flavor. These are far heartier than the English muffin pizzas many of us grew up on!

Simple ingredients are assembled into meaty pizzas that bake straight from the freezer for easy, satisfying meals whenever needed!

Once assembled, the pizzas may be baked immediately or frozen for later use. Conveniently, the frozen muffins can be baked without thawing first.

Simple ingredients are assembled into meaty pizzas that bake straight from the freezer for easy, satisfying meals whenever needed!

The pizzas are satisfying on their own, although you could round out the meal with a side salad, raw veggies, or even applesauce. Optionally, I often bolster a simple soup meal with a single pizza.

Crunchy, meaty, cheesy, and saucy, the English muffin pizza we knew as kids just got a delicious upgrade! 

Freezer English Muffin Pizzas
Yield: 24 pizzas (recipe easily scales up or down)
Taking the time to prepare these pizzas in advance will reward you with a speedy meal on a busy night. You may bake them straight from the freezer and pair with your favorite veggies or a salad for a well-rounded meal. Kids often enjoy them with their favorite raw veggies or apple slices.

While you may "eyeball" the amount of cheese and beef as you assemble the pizzas, the measurements provide a good estimate as to the total amounts needed.
Ingredients
  • 12 English muffins, split so you have 24 halves (may use a gluten-free variety, if needed)
  • 1½ pounds ground beef (or 1 pound ground beef and ½ pound mushrooms; see notes for mushroom option)
  • ½ a large onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon each black pepper and garlic powder
  • 1 15-ounce can pizza sauce (you will use a total of about 1⅓ cups)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella, plus extra for garnish, if desired (finely shredded works well)
Steps
  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  2. Place the muffin halves on two baking sheets and bake for 7-9 minutes or until well toasted. I like them to be on the crunchy side. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling well as you stir, another 5 minutes or until browned. While the beef is cooking, sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (See the mushroom option in notes below.)
  4. Top each muffin half with one slightly rounded tablespoon of cheese. Then drizzle or carefully spread 2 – 2½ teaspoons of the pizza sauce over the cheese. (If you are tempted to go heavier on the sauce, you will need to go heavier on the cheese to create a barrier that prevents the extra sauce from making the bread mushy.) Finally, top with a slightly rounded tablespoon of the beef mixture, and sprinkle with a little more cheese, if desired.
  5. If you would like to eat some right away, bake in the preheated oven for 4-5 minutes or until the pizzas are heated through and the cheese is melted.
  6. Alternatively, place the pizzas on a baking sheet and freeze, uncovered, for several hours. Once frozen, remove from the freezer, wrap individually in plastic wrap or foil, and store in the freezer until ready to use. Bake, frozen, in an oven preheated to 350℉ for approximately 20 minutes or until hot throughout.
Notes

If you would like to try the mushroom/beef option, start by quartering the mushrooms and pulsing them in a food processor until the mixture resembles large crumbs. You may chop the onion this way, too. Otherwise, you may mince the mushrooms by hand. The food processor just makes quick work of this job.

Next, sauté the onion and the mushrooms in a couple teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the moisture has cooked out of the mushrooms and the mixture is starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. At this point, add the ground beef and sauté, stirring and breaking up the meat, for another 5 minutes or until the meat is browned. While the beef is cooking, sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Cooking the mushrooms and onions first allows them to really caramelize and develop great flavor.

Tried this recipe?Post a picture on instagram and we will repost it! Mention @fountainavenuekitchen or tag #fountainavenuekitchen!
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

In this old prep picture, I used whole wheat English muffins.

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Comments

  1. Cindy
    (5/5)

    These are such a great idea and I’ve made them several times when friends came over. Great with soup or salad for an easy meal that I can make ahead. Always a hit!

    Reply
  2. Dotti

    Thank you so much for the recipes! I have just replaced all the flours I need for your gluten free flour blend, telling my grandson I’ll soon be making some goodies! I’m not sure you saw the question I asked the other day by email. My question is about Lemon Squares. It is a very old recipe, a crust layer to be baked for 20 minutes, then the lemon layer added, all baked for 25 more minutes.

    I have a question about Lemon Squares. I’ve used the all-purpose flour for the first layer, always with good results. When I started to use the gluten free blend, it turned out more crumbly and I’m wondering what you would suggest I do with the gluten free blend to keep from the less than satisfied result?

    Thank you for your answer and for again sending recipes.
    Dotti

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Dotti, I received your email and replied. Maybe it ended up in your spam file? Without having tried the lemon square recipe (but yum!), the crumbling makes me think there is too much flour. If it’s compacted, that could lead to too much compared to the ingredients it is mixed with. Do you fluff the flour up, spoon it into the measuring cup, and then level with the straight edge of a knife? Also, if using a kitchen scale, I always use the weight of the all-purpose flour, as GF blends can be heavier, which can lead to more flour by weight. Lastly, if you’re mixing your own blend, always be sure to add the xanthan gum if using in place of all-purpose flour. I hope something here helps. If you have further questions, please let me know and we can get to the bottom of this!

      Reply