Pie, it’s what’s for dinner.

Dinner Pie

Pie for dinner? Heck, yeah! We’re all adults here, which means we can make rash meal decisions, such as deciding to have a milkshake for dinner. (Yep, I’ve done it.)

Honestly though, this is not that kind of pie. The crust only makes you think you’re cheating.

When I made this for dinner last night, it was definitely a last-minute, what do we have to make a meal, kind of dish, but it turned out delicious. I used a leftover half of a cooked spaghetti squash, which was great because it cut down on cooking time, and the squash was already cooled so I didn’t have to worry about it cooking the egg prematurely. In case you’re wondering, I used the other half of the squash with an artichoke and lemon sauce from Williams Sonoma the previous night.

My husband returned from a trip yesterday and I originally thought we would eat out, but we were both tired from golf, travel and pregnancy (respectively), so I decided to scrounge around the kitchen so we could relax at home. My pie pans haven’t arrived yet from our last duty station, but a cake pan worked just fine. Suffice it to say, this dish is easy, can be made last-minute, and can be built from a wide variety of ingredients. As long as you have two refrigerated pie crusts, one egg, some cheese, and a small selection of vegetables, you can create this pie.

Just as I did, get playful with this meal and use what you have. Maybe you have different kinds of meat, vegetables or cheeses on hand. Perhaps you want to make it vegetarian. As long as you use some cheese and an egg for binding, and make sure to drain excess grease and liquid (avoid a soggy crust) before building your pie, you can make it your own.

This is one of those recipes that looks and tastes impressive, but is as easy as making a casserole. It’s also a great way to sneak in a boatload of veggies. I did not add salt and pepper. It simply didn’t require it.

To really dress up the plate, you could serve a mixed green salad on the side. It would be lovely for a brunch, lunch or dinner.

Dinner Pie

  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts (bring to room temp before unfolding)
  • 2 slices of bacon (chopped)
  • 1 chicken sausage (chopped) (I used one with feta and spinach in it)
  • 1 can of tomatoes with basil, garlic, oregano, no salt added (drained)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cooked spaghetti squash (cool and de-seeded)
  • 1/2 cup sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sliced/chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/2 cup grated/shredded parmesan
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350F.

Set out pie crusts to bring to room temperature. Do not grease pie pan.

Cook meat in a skillet. Add tomatoes, fennel seed and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Drain excess grease and liquid. Let cool a bit so it won’t cook the egg when mixed in.

In a medium bowl, combine squash (I used a fork and knife cross-cut to help the spaghetti mix more easily), zucchini, onion, cheese and egg. Add in meat and tomato mixture. Pour mixture into first pie crust, press, top with second crust, cut slits in top, bake at 350F for 50 minutes.

Inside of pie before baking or adding top crust


Oh kale, sweet onion, and spaghetti squash, how I’ve missed you

When we were living in Italy, the three ingredients I missed the most were kale, sweet onion, and spaghetti squash. For all the fabulous ingredients I enjoyed there, these three were simply unavailable.

  • Kale is fabulous because it holds up better than spinach when cooked, and… you can make healthy chips with it. I’ve never seen my husband so excited about eating greens as when I make kale chips.

To make kale chips, rinse kale and tear leaves into chip size pieces. Toss with 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a  large ziploc or other container and spread into one layer on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, bake at 350F for 10 minutes, turn off the oven and leave in for another 5 minutes, remove and let sit for 5 minutes. They should come out crispy and delicious.

  • I grew up in Georgia and was spoiled by our endless supply of sweet onions from Vidalia. For those of you who don’t know, Vidalia is in Georgia. If it’s sweet, it comes from Georgia. Trust me. In Hawaii, they have sweet “Maui” onions, and they taste like home. I love throwing these on the grill, or using them in soups, salads, etc. to add a natural sweetness.
  • Spaghetti squash is nature’s answer to low-carb diets. How fabulous that God made a vegetable that acts just like spaghetti! You can find it in the produce section along with other squash varieties. It looks like a yellow, oval melon.

To cook spaghetti squash, pierce it like you would a potato for baking, place in an oven-safe, rimmed pan or casserole dish, and bake at 375F for one hour. When you remove it, it should feel soft. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then scrape the insides with a fork. Everything but the skin will come apart like actual spaghetti. Use/top it with anything you would normally serve over pasta, or season with a little butter/oil and salt as you would a squash.