Everyday Mom's Meals: Feed That Holiday Crowd

Monday, December 15, 2014

Feed That Holiday Crowd

So, when do the holiday guests descend? Are you like the Griswold's and you will have a house full for a full week before Christmas? Or are they only going to be there for a few days until you kick them out, they sadly have to leave? Either way, you have to be prepared to feed them, but not blow the budget. After all, most of us have already done that buying gifts for everyone from Tiny Tim to the mailman!

Whenever I am cooking dishes with feeding the masses in mind, pasta and/or casseroles come to mind first. A pound of pasta (or half that in this case) isn't going to feed many, but if you take that and add other ingredients and bulk it up, you can stretch it a lot farther, therefore stretching your dollars too.

I love the sausage in this one because with it, the green pepper and Italian seasoning, it almost has a pizza flavor! I can see your eyes lighting up right now if you picky eaters in the house. Tell them anything tastes like pizza and they will love it before they even taste it.

If you are meal planning for more people than usual; and you don't want to spend a lot of extra money, or time in the kitchen, save yourself some cash and enjoy more time with your guests with this tasty meal. Plus, I'm guessing it would even be a great make ahead freezer meal too! Holiday guests should be fun, not stressful!

Mozzarella Spaghetti Bake
1/2 lb. spaghetti, broken into thirds
1 lb. pork sausage
1 small onion, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 3/4 c. spaghetti sauce
1 ( 8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 TBS Parmesan Cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cook pasta to just al dente. Meanwhile, in a large skillet brown sausage, onion and green pepper. Season with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. When no longer pink, drain well. Return to skillet. Add spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Reduce heat and let simmer until slightly thickened. In a large bowl whisk together egg and milk. When pasta is cooked, drain well. Mix with egg mixture until coated. Transfer to baking dish. Spoon sausage mixture over noodles. Mix slightly. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered. Top with mozzarella cheese and dried parsley. Bake 10 additional minutes until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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