Pizza Frittata

So, what’s better than pizza? If your answer is pizza, you are definitely right. And if you’re confused, look no further than this AWESOME breakfast, lunch, dinner, or brinner recipe for PIZZA Frittata! Woohoo. Welcome to deliciousness, folks!

Pizza Frittata | thepajamachef.com

Whenever I’m in a bind with my menu plan for the week, I turn to one of my standbys: black beans and rice [cheap and tasty], breakfast for dinner [indulgent because this usually turns into pancakes for dinner], or a frittata [easy, cheap, and totally customizable]. What do these dishes have in common? They are all cheap [read: so I can spend more cash $$$$ on fun ingredients like mini chocolate chips], all things that I love [convenient, right?], and made from pantry staples that I always have around. Problem is… Ben gets really tired of all those dishes, really fast. Especially frittatas. Probably cause I stuff them full of my favorite veggies like kale and bell peppers. Ha ha, poor guy. But because I love him so, sometimes I experiment.

Pizza Frittata | thepajamachef.com

Experiments can be good or bad, and occasionally, they can be excellent, as was the case with this PIZZA Frittata. Sorry for shouting, I’m just excited. This frittata tasted just like a pizza, except instead of a chewy, carb-licious crust, you’ve got a soft egg base. It doesn’t taste like eggs, so don’t you worry–these aren’t pizza eggs. All you can taste are the flavors of pizza: garlic and onion, herbs, tomatoes, and cheeeeeseLots of flavorful cheese! Our pizza toppings included fire roasted red peppers and pepperoni, but feel free to sub out for your favorites. I think italian sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, or ham would be pretty tasty in the future too.

Pizza Frittata | thepajamachef.com

Though this frittata is a bit more work than the typical frittatas I make, it’s definitely worth it and makes a great anytime meal with some fruit or a salad. Hope you enjoy! :)

one year ago: Pumpkin Cornbread
two years ago: Honey Whole Wheat English Muffins
three years ago: Pumpkin French Toast Sandwich

Pizza Frittata [adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine, July/August 2012]
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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fire roasted red peppers, chopped [from a jar]
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano [or several tablespoons fresh oregano]
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley [or several tablespoons fresh chopped parsley]
  • 3 ounces grated Mozzarella cheese, halved
  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese, halved
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce, halved
  • 12 pieces pepperoni

Directions:

In a 10 inch skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat.

While oil is heating, whisk together eggs, milk, oregano, parsley, half of both cheeses, and half of the tomato sauce.

When oil is hot, add onion and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Season with pepper, then add red peppers to skillet.

Pour egg mixture over vegetables, then evenly top with pepperoni. Allow to cook for a couple minutes, until the bottom of the frittata starts to set, then use a thin spatula to lift the edge of the frittata. This allows the uncooked egg to transfer below to cook. Cook for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.

When eggs are almost set, drizzle with remaining tomato sauce and top with remaining cheese. Place in the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Cool briefly before cutting, then serve warm.

Time: 40 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.

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Skinny Southwest Chicken Dip

love dip. I am made for dip. In my younger years, if I wasn’t ordering chicken fingers at a restaurant, it was some kind of dip. Instant high school/college dinner! Yes! While I don’t do that very often anymore, I do love me some dips for group appetizers. Snacky foods just bring people together because they’re always coming back for more! I made this Skinny Southwest Chicken Dip for the last big church event Ben and I went to in Bloomington, soon before moving to Nashville. This dip was a big hit with everyone, and I can see it being perfect for football parties this fall too!

skinny southwest chicken dip | thepajamachef.com

When I told people the name of the dip, I intentionally didn’t emphasize the “skinny” bit. See, people tend to equate skinny with not flavorful, boring, or blah. This dip is anything BUT! The skinny bit comes from the dip’s greek yogurt base, replacing the usual suspects like mayo or sour cream. I love greek yogurt for what it is–yogurt. I could eat yogurt [greek or not] day in and day out without complaint. I love the stuff! But subbing greek yogurt for mayo or sour cream in dips and such really freaks me out. I love those other creamy things for their unique flavors and plain greek yogurt is NOT the same. But in some things, when there’s lots of other stuff going on… use the healthy, creamy, protein-packed alternative without fear. </rant> :)

skinny southwest chicken dip | thepajamachef.com

The seasoning for this creamy chicken, bean, and veggie dip was originally a flavorful blend of chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. But since I was making this for a crowd–and using the church’s dollar–I didn’t want to buy three new jars of spices. So I just bought one–an amped up Southwest Mrs. Dash. Seasoning blends can get a bad rap, but for dishes like this they are a fabulous bargain. [P.S. I also like to add those blends to roasted potatoes, hot rice, or even a wrap/grilled cheese.] Taco seasoning would be an equally great alternative, or you could go back to the original recipe and use the suggested blend, plus some cayenne for a ‘lil kick. However you season this dip, the Southwest/Mexican seasonings pair amazingly well with the chicken, black beans, and veggies. Be sure to make this dip ahead of time so the flavors have time to marry in the fridge before being scooped up with a salty tortilla chip. I liked it best on day number 2! Enjoy!

Skinny Southwest Chicken Dip [adapted from Yellow Bliss Road]
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Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning [or taco seasoning, or chili powder + garlic powder + onion powder + cayenne]
  • 1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 15 ounce bag frozen corn
  • 1 cup fresh sweet peppers, diced
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, Southwest Chipotle seasoning, chicken, corn, and peppers. Then slowly stir in black beans and tomatoes. Refrigerate for one hour or more [overnight is best] prior to serving with tortilla chips.

Time: 10 minutes.

Yield: 5-6 cups.

Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto + Summer Vegetables

I’ve tried so many non-basil pestos this summer. It has been absolutely great! Though I love love love this kale pesto, I think I have found a new favorite… and it’s really fun. This pesto is made from two of my favorite herbs and my favorite nut. Already sounds like a winner, huh?

Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto + Summer Vegetables | thepajamachef.com

Mint, parsley, and pistachio. YUM! It’s pretty much the most awesome combination ever. Though I can’t take credit for it [Cooking Light wins here], I can take credit for the addition of some fun summer vegetables. Tossing tomatoes, zucchini, and red bell peppers in with a herby, nutty pesto make this dish SO filling and incredibly flavorful. Mint is an herb that I love to use in iced tea and the occasional fruit salad, but I loved how it worked in this fresh, savory pasta.

Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto + Summer Vegetables | thepajamachef.com

Topping everything off with some asiago cheese is highly recommended too, but I won’t cry if you use Parmesan instead. Asiago is just my ultimate cheese pick though! Normally I have a 50/50 track record with “topping” dishes off with whatever suggestion a recipe makes, but it’s essential to this dish since the pesto doesn’t include cheese. I almost added some but decided not to once I gave it a taste. Totally unnecessary with all the fresh flavor in that pesto. Hope you try this pasta out before the summer’s up. I know I’ll be making it again soon!

one year ago… Peaches and Cream Pancakes
two years ago… Roasted Tomato Sauce

three years ago… Cran-Oat Muffins

Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto + Summer Vegetables [adapted from Cooking Light]
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, shelled dry-roast pistachios, plus 4 teaspoons for sprinkling [divided]
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces dried fettuccine [or 9 ounces fresh fettuccine]
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced [about 1 cup]
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ounce freshly shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In a food processor, combine mint, parsley, 1/4 cup pistachios, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pulse several times to combine, then stream in 3 tablespoons olive oil, scraping the sides if necessary.

Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add zucchini and peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add tomatoes and heat until pasta is ready.

When pasta is fully cooked, return to pot and toss with pesto. Add vegetables and toss again, then serve with cheese and pistachios.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.

Linked up with: Tuesday Talent Show.

Mexican Rice

Oh my goodness. This RICE! Normally, rice is Ben’s obsession, but this time, it’s mine. This Mexican Rice is seriously amazing. It’s the closest restaurant-style replica recipe that I have ever successfully made. Ben agreed, and thought this was better than something you could get at a restaurant. And for a guy who likes to eat out, that’s saying something!! So many recipes online or in cookbooks claim to be restaurant-worthy, but most of the time, they’re lying. Well this one? Not so much. It’s just like the rice you’d get at your favorite local hole in the wall Mexican place.

Mexican Rice | The Pajama Chef

When I first saw that the recipe called for three jalapenos, I have to admit that I was a little nervous [even considering my recent love of spice]. But really, I needn’t have been afraid–this rice had the perfect amount of kick. Not too spicy, not too bland. Stirring in cilantro at the end and adding a squeeze of lime juice to each serving definitely balanced out the flavors and gave the rice a little something special.

Mexican Rice | The Pajama Chef

At first glance, this Mexican Rice recipe might look a bit intimidating. Even if it has good flavor, isn’t it a bit overkill to go through all these steps of rinsing and sautéing the rice, then cooking it on the stove and in the oven? NO! Not at all. Don’t skip a step–each is necessary to make this light and fluffy without a bit of gloopy, gloppiness that can all too easily happen when a bunch of stuff is added to rice. The texture isn’t sticky or mushy. It’s just perfect. And when paired with homemade tacos and refried beans, well, it’s just like eating at a restaurant  But at home, for a fraction of the cost… and with all the leftovers you could want. :) I know I’ll be making this rice over and over again for many tacos nights in our future, and I hope you will too. Enjoy!

Mexican Rice | The Pajama Chef

Mexican Rice [from Food.com]
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Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes [15 ounces]
  • 1 medium onion [yellow or white]
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 medium jalapenos, minced and divided [deseed as desired--I deseeded two]
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, wedged

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor or blender, combine tomatoes and onion. Puree until smooth, then pour into a measuring cup and reserve 2 cups. Discard excess [or save for something else, like salsa, or eat with a spoon...].

Add oil to a large [10-12 inch] straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven [with a tight fitting lid] and set over medium-high heat. While oil is heating up, place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water for about 2 minutes or until water runs clear. This is similar to rinsing quinoa–it removes the starch from the rice to make it nice and fluffy. Do not omit this step! Shake rice to remove excess water.

Next, drop a few grains of rice in the oil. If they sizzle it is ready. Add rice to oil and cook for 6-8 minutes, constantly stirring, until rice is lightly golden and translucent. Reduce heat a little if the oil starts to splatter, and add up to another 2 tablespoons of oil if it seems too dry.

Reduce heat to medium, then add 2 jalapenos and garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Stir in pureed tomatoes and onions and chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove and stir well.  Return to oven for another 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven and stir in remaining jalapeno and cilantro. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze on each serving before enjoying.

Time: 55 minutes [20 minutes active].

Yield: 8-10 servings.

Notes: You can use 12 ounces fresh ripe tomatoes but since I made this before tomato season, I opted for canned. If you use fresh tomatoes, the recipe recommends supplementing with salsa if you need to get up to 2 cups AND to add 1 tablespoon tomato paste to the mix as well.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

Taco Pizza

Some people are pizza purists, and some people are me. I like trying the most ridiculous and random types of pizza ever. My most recent favorite at a local pizza place? Pecans, sweet onion marmalade, gorgonzola and fresh rosemary. So, so good. That is definitely a combo I will be ordering again and maybe even recreating at home! And I am sure it’ll be nothing but good. But for now, this Taco Pizza I made from Budget Bytes is my favoritest homemade pizza of all time. A high honor, and for good reason.

Taco Pizza | The Pajama Chef

Tacos and pizza are amazing on their own, and together in one dish is a party you don’t want to miss! Each bite has layers of hot and cold ingredients and is just so flavorful!

Taco Pizza | The Pajama Chef

When thinking about this pizza, it’s hard to tell what the best part is–the refried bean/salsa sauce? The crunchy corn? The cheese? [oooh cause you can't have pizza without cheese!] Or the fresh, cold pico, cilantro, and sour cream on top of it all? I’m not sure, but you pretty much can’t go wrong with this idea because it’s so versatile. Any taco filling would be fabulous on this pizza. I think next time I might add some shredded chicken and sauteed peppers and onions for a fajita-type pizza. Oooh! And chunks of avocado and a drizzle of guacamole salsa. That’s what I’m talking about!!

Taco Pizza | The Pajama Chef

Even without meat though, this veggie pizza is super filling, and your family will be fighting over the leftovers. Ben and I sure were! Haha. Just kidding. I think.

It’s a good thing I didn’t make this yesterday on our fourth anniversary! :) Instead, we spent the day picnicking at a local winery and enjoying each other’s company. Better than squabbling over a delicious pizza, methinks. Teeheehee. Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Taco Pizza [from Budget Bytes]
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Ingredients:

  • 1 batch pizza dough
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced + more for sprinkling
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 [15 ounce] can refried beans
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together tomatoes, onion, and cilantro for pico de gallo. Add black pepper to taste, set aside.

Add oil to a small saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.  Then stir in beans, salsa, and taco seasoning and cook until heated and smooth. Remove from heat.

Roll out pizza dough on pizza pan, par-baking crust if desired for 5-7 minutes. Then remove from oven and top with bean mixture, cheese, and corn. Bake for another 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Top with pico de gallo, cilantro, and a drizzle of sour cream [spoon into ziploc bag, cut off the corner, and squeeze over pizza]. You can also add a dash of hot sauce if that’s your thing. Enjoy!

Time: 40 minutes [15 minutes active].

Yield: 4 servings.

P.S. SHAMELESS PLUG! Please check out and like my new blog Facebook page… thanks!