This casserole delight brings the best flavors of pizza to the table: bread and cheese! Oh and tomatoes, sausage, and veggies too. Another great thing about this meal is that you can adapt the filling ingredients to what is in season and to what you have. No zucchini? Easily sub in a different vegetable (corn, winter squash, green beans, etc.). The meat can also easily be subbed with ground beef or turkey, pepperoni, cooked chicken, etc.
I use my favorite breadstick recipe for the full 9×13 pan. When I am only making a 8×8 or 9×9 pan of it, I use half of the breadstick dough for the top of the casserole and make breadsticks with the other half. We love breadsticks! But you can even use just 1/2 of the breadstick dough recipe for a full 9×13 pan, if that suits you better.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion and diced pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the pepper is tender. Add the zucchini and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until just tender. Stir in the pasta sauce (or all ingredients for the homemade sauce) and the sausage. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the liquid is somewhat reduced. Stir in 2 Tbsp of Parmesan. Spoon half of the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over the top. Spoon the other half of the sauce over the cheese and sprinkle another 1/2 cup mozzarella over the top. Arrange bread sticks in a lattice pattern on the top, trimming to fit, if necessary. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan and mozzarella over dough.
Bake 25-30 minutes, until the breadsticks are golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Serves 8-10.
Preparing for the Freezer:
The sauce mixture with sausage, veggies and cheese freezes well. Prepare it and split it between two 8x8 or 9x9 pans. (If you don't have pans to spare, you could probably just freeze it in gallon resealable freezer bags.) We get about 5-6 servings from each pan.
Preparing after Freezing:
Let it thaw in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Then prepare the breadstick dough and place it on top of the mixture before baking.
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