Rhonda Van Gelderen of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin presses seasoned ground beef into a pie plate to form the crust of this comforting dish. "It's a terrific time-saver because you don't brown the beef separately," she writes.
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1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2-1/2 cups cooked rice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
In a large bowl, combine the beef, 3/4 cup tomato sauce, bread crumbs, onion, green pepper if desired and seasonings. Press evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate, forming a crust.
In another large bowl, combine the tomato paste and remaining tomato sauce. Stir in the rice and 3/4 cup cheese; pour into crust. Place pie plate on a baking sheet.
Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Uncover; drain. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.