LOW-CARB DECONSTRUCTED PIZZA CASSEROLE

Let’s start the year out right with this Low-Carb (and Gluten-Free) Deconstructed Pizza Casserole! This recipe is low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, and gluten-free; use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
I love the first day of a brand new year, and I know that’s when many of you are starting with a new or renewed commitment to more carb-conscious eating. So of course on that day I want to start the year with a new low-carb recipe on the blog. And since some people struggle with feeling deprived when they give up their carbs, if I can come up with a new recipe that can be considered low-carb comfort food, that really makes me happy.

This year I had another recipe in mind for January 1, but when the idea for this Low-Carb Deconstructed Pizza Casserole popped into my mind yesterday, I just couldn’t wait to make it. Then when the casserole was cooking I couldn’t wait to eat it, and after I tried it, I couldn’t wait to share the recipe with you! I can already tell this is going to be a repeater at my house, and I promise it will be a hit with anyone who likes pizza.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (do not use petite dice)
  • 5 links (19.5 oz.) uncooked turkey Italian sausage (I used my favorite turkey Italian sausage; use pork sausage if you prefer.)
  • 2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste (I didn’t use much salt.)
  • 8-12 oz. fresh mushrooms, washed and cut into thick slices (I used brown Cremini mushrooms.)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese (I used part-skim mozzarella)
  • 15 slices pepperoni, cut in half (I used regular pepperoni, but for less fat you can use turkey pepperoni if you prefer)

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Spray an 8 inch x 11 inch glass casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.
  2. Pour the diced tomatoes into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water. Let tomatoes drain a minute or two, then spread them out on paper towels to dry (or blot dry with another paper towel on top.)
  3. While tomatoes dry, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan, squeeze the sausage out of the casing, and cook sausage over medium-high heat until it’s nicely browned, breaking it apart as it cooks. (I use an old-fashioned potato masher to break the sausage apart.)
  4. While sausage cooks, wash mushrooms, pat dry, and slice into thick slices.
  5. When the sausage is done make a layer of sausage in the bottom of the casserole dish and top with the drained tomatoes, spreading them out over the top of the sausage. Season with dried oregano, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper. (I didn’t use much salt.)
  6. Rinse out the pan if needed, then heat the other 2 tsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the mushrooms and cook, stirring a few times, until all the liquid is released and the mushrooms are starting to brown. Layer the mushrooms over the sausage-tomato mixture.
  7. Cut pepperoni in half. Sprinkle the grated Mozzarella over the top of the casserole and lay the pepperoni pieces on top of the cheese, spacing them evenly so the whole top is covered with pepperoni.
  8. Bake about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve hot.
Recipe Source:kalynskitchen.com

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