Impossibly Easy Pizza Bake: A Simple and Customizable 1980s Classic

Impossibly Easy Pizza Bake combines the classic flavors of pizza with the ease of a casserole. This dish features layers of ground beef or sausage, cheese, and tomato sauce, topped with a Bisquick mix that forms a crust as it bakes. The result is a cheesy, hearty meal without the need for kneading dough or waiting for it to rise. You can customize the toppings by adding vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or olives to suit your preferences.

Origin of the Recipe

The Impossibly Easy Pizza Bake recipe originates from Betty Crocker, a trusted name in home baking since the early 20th century. During the 1980s, Betty Crocker introduced a line of recipes called “Impossibly Easy,” which simplifies traditional recipes using Bisquick mix. These recipes quickly became popular for their simplicity and delicious results. The Impossibly Easy Pizza Bake remains a favorite, combining convenience without compromising on taste.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Essential Ingredients for the Base Recipe

To make the Impossibly Easy Pizza Bake, gather the following essential ingredients:

  • Ground Beef or Sausage: Use 1 pound of ground beef or Italian sausage. These meats provide a hearty base.
  • Cheese: Shred 2 cups of mozzarella or a cheese blend. Cheese adds flavor and texture.
  • Tomato Sauce: Include 1 can (15 oz) of tomato sauce. This forms the classic pizza flavor.
  • Bisquick Mix: Measure 1 cup of Bisquick mix. This creates the crust.
  • Milk: Use 1 cup of milk. Milk helps in forming the batter.
  • Eggs: Add 2 large eggs. Eggs bind the ingredients together.
  • Vegetable Options: Add bell peppers, mushrooms, or olives. These toppings give the dish more texture and flavor.
  • Protein Alternatives: Substitute meat with cooked chicken, turkey, or plant-based crumbles. These provide different protein sources.
  • Cheese Variations: Try cheddar, provolone, or pepper jack. These cheeses alter the flavor profile.
  • Tomato Sauce Alternatives: Use marinara, pesto, or barbecue sauce. These sauces change the dish’s base flavor.
  • Additional Spices: Incorporate garlic powder, red pepper flakes, or Italian seasoning. These enhance the overall taste.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing the Base

Start by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). Brown 1 lb of ground beef or sausage in a skillet, breaking it into crumbles. Drain the fat once the meat is fully cooked. Spread the cooked meat evenly in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. This forms the foundation of your pizza bake.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of Bisquick mix, 1 cup of milk, and 2 eggs until smooth. Pour this mixture evenly over the meat, ensuring full coverage. This Bisquick mixture bakes into a soft crust, supporting the toppings.

Adding Toppings and Baking

For the sauce, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce or pizza sauce over the Bisquick layer. Sprinkle 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce layer. Add any desired toppings like bell peppers, mushrooms, or olives before baking. These ingredients should be diced or sliced thinly to cook evenly.

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center; it should come out clean. Let the dish cool slightly before cutting into squares. This allows the flavors to meld and makes serving easier.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Best Ways to Serve

Slice the Impossibly Easy Pizza Bake into equal portions for consistent servings. Use a sharp knife to ensure clean cuts. Place each portion on a serving plate. Add fresh basil or parsley for a pop of color and extra flavor.

Consider offering a small side salad. Mixed greens with a light vinaigrette complement the rich, hearty nature of the pizza bake. Garlic breadsticks or a slice of garlic toast pair well too, enhancing the meal’s Italian-themed profile.

Pairing with Drinks

Choose drinks that balance the dish’s flavors. For non-alcoholic options, lemonade or iced tea provide a refreshing counterpoint to the savory bake. Sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime is a simple yet effective choice.

For those who prefer alcoholic beverages, a light lager or pilsner works well. A medium-bodied red wine, like Merlot or Chianti, pairs excellently with the tomato sauce and cheese. If cider is more to your taste, opt for a dry one to offer a pleasant contrast to the richness of the bake.


The Impossibly Easy Pizza Bake is a game-changer for your weeknight dinners. Its simplicity and versatility make it a family favorite that you can whip up in no time. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with your favorite toppings, this dish is sure to satisfy. Pair it with a refreshing drink and a simple side, and you’ve got a complete meal that’s both delicious and effortless. Enjoy the convenience and flavor of this timeless recipe and make it a staple in your kitchen rotation.

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