Weeknight Shorts: Rings

So I don't stock frozen dinners or pizza at my house. It's not about snobbery or anything like that. I don't really have the space for those kinds of things in my freezer and I find I can usually toss together a meal in about the same time it takes to make most of the frozen meals I've seen. Instead of a frozen pizza, I tend to end up with a plate that looks a lot like this:

Yep — those are some of your favorite pizza toppings nestled inside a ring of flakey pastry and cheese. What's not to like? Oh, and did I mention that it takes about a half hour to get on the table? Oh, and if the fillings described here aren't to your liking, pick whatever floats your boat. Go with a veggie pizza option. Skip the pizza theme and make a hot ham and cheese ring. Make it a little breakfast for dinner thing with scrambled eggs, sausage, onions, and cheese. You get the idea. You can toss together any sides that strike your fancy while it bakes. Oh, and you have this to look forward to when it comes out of the oven:

I mentioned sides. I like a green salad and little cups of marinara sauce for the pizza version described below, but fruit salad or even a raw vegetable plate with dip would also work. This is about keeping things easy, so think about simple items and remember that leftovers inside the ring can really be amazing. Spaghetti, creamy chicken, and even tuna salad have all successfully graced my table when time and energy have both been on the low side. So catch your breath without having to stock half the frozen food aisle at your place!

Ring of Pizza

  • 2 pkgs. refrigerated crescent dough
  • 8 oz. crumbled, cooked Italian sausage
  • 4 oz. pepperoni, sliced into thin strips
  • 4 oz. cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 c. shredded cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 350° F. On a round baking sheet, arrange the crescent roll dough triangles in an overlapping pattern with the wide ends of the triangles near the center of the pan and the "points" facing out trailing off the pan. Press the dough together to form a solid base with points in all directions. It will look a little like a child's drawing of the sun.

For the filling, stir together the sausage, pepperoni, bacon, tomato sauce, and half of the cheese. Spoon the filling evenly around the solid base of the dough and then carefully lift the points over the filling and crimp them into the center of the dough, forming a ring that's filled with pizza toppings.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the ring and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the pizza ring is baked and golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing into sections and enjoying.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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