Saturday, February 5, 2011


Old-fashioned, quick, easy, and delicious.  Go Team!!  

Back before there was a fast food restaurant on every corner, these fast and easy pizza buns were an example of what frequently was served for a Friday night or Saturday night supper.  They were/are also wonderful to make for an informal gathering of friends for a night of conversation or movies.  They are perfect to serve at a Superbowl party.  For other treats to serve at a football party check out: http://michigancottagecook.blogspot.com/2010/09/football-food-and-tailgating.html
I have two sauces for the pizza buns because so many people are becoming vegetarians.  The vegetarian sauce comes from my dear friend, Rama, who came to to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere in Missouri from Bombay, India.  I have such respect for woman who immigrate as I think that most, if given the chance, would stay at home with family and friends.  However, if your husband wants to leave, the woman was always expected to leave with  him.

Vegetarian-style; with the fennel seed you won't miss the meat.

Rama spoke no English when she arrived so she and I used food to communicate.  She was a vegetarian and an awesome cook with a vast knowledge of spices.  She and her family, like the rest of us, fell in love with pizza.  She showed me how she made a very flavorful veggie pizza with green pepper, onions and fennel seed.  The fennel seed adds the flavor of pork as it is one of the main seasonings in sausage.  You can add other vegetables or mushrooms, but I chose to stay with my friend's recipe.

Chili Buns are even simpler to make than pizza buns.  Brown ground beef, add a can of undiluted chili soup or canned chili to the drained, cooked ground beef.  Heat.  Put on bun halves and top with your favorite Mexican cheese.

Our favorite pizza toppings are sweet Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green pepper and onions so that is what I used.  You can use the toppings of your choice.  Ever since I was served a sub sandwich in which the pepperoni had been cooked before it was put in the filling with the other ingredients, I like to cook pepperoni before using.  It also eliminates fat in the finished dish.

Small hamburger buns, or large ones if you don't want sliders
Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Your favorite pizza toppings
Mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Red pepper, crushed, optional, for garnish

Whole fennel seeds
White onion, chopped
Green pepper, chopped

Ingredients:  Hamburger buns, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and jar of spaghetti sauce.  My favorite toppings, Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green pepper and onion.  Vegetarian, fennel seed.

In a frying pan, cook the Italian sausage until there is no pink color left in the meat.  Drain.  Wipe out the pan.  Fry pepperoni and drain.  Wipe out the pan.  In a little cooking oil, saute the green pepper and onion.  Drain the mushrooms.  Separate the jar of spaghetti sauce into two bowl if making the meat and vegetarian sauce.  Add some sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green pepper, and onions to one bowl.  Add fennel seeds, green peppers, and onions to the other.  Spread an open hamburger bun on both sides with one of the mixtures.  Top each side with Mozzarella cheese.  Put the halves on a baking pan and bake in preheated 350° oven for 10 minutes or until heated and cheese has melted.

Brown meat.

Crumble meat while cooking. 

Drain meat.

I cut pepperoni in half.

Wipe out sausage grease.

Fry pepperoni.

Wipe out pepperoni fat.  If making a vegetarian pizza, wash pan before frying green peppers and onions.

Drain pepperoni.

Clean veins out of pepper.

Chop green pepper and onions.  Saute until soft.

Drain mushrooms.

Pour spaghetti sauce into a bowl.  Two bowls if making a vegetarian version too.

For vegetarian sauce, add fennel seed, green pepper and onions.

Add your favorite topping to another bowl.

Mix ingredients together.

Mix vegetarian ingredients together.

Split hamburger buns if necessary.

Spread each half of bun with sauce.  This is the vegetarian sauce.

Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese if desired.

Top with Mozzarella cheese.

Spread buns with favorite toppings sauce.

I topped these with sliced whole milk Mozzarella cheese.

Bake in preheated 350° oven for 10 minutes or until heated and cheese is melted.

Serve and enjoy!!

Vegetarian version.  Enjoy!!

Favorite toppings version.  So good.  Enjoy!!

Add a pound of cooked and drained meat plus other toppings to the jar of spaghetti sauce.  Scoop onto a halves of hamburger buns and top with cheese.  Bake in preheated 350° oven for 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. 

Put all the meat and toppings into sauce.

Scoop mixture out onto hamburger bun halves.

Pat mixture down flat.

Top with cheese.

Bake in preheated 350° oven for 15 minutes or until heated and cheese is melted.

Go Packers.  Go Steelers.   Enjoy!!!!

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