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Recipe: Fake Chef Boyardee Pizza

I was going to hold off on this post for a few weeks and get some older (well, a few weeks old) recipes posted, but Michelle’s post on The American Resident about homesickness and making comfort food prompted me to post this sooner.

I think most of us who grew up middle class in America know about Chef Boyardee. Those red cans (I swear, it used to be spelled Boy-R-De) were a familiar food growing up. My favourite was the ravioli, and I detested beefaroni. In addition to tins of pasta, Boyardee also made pizza kits, which became a household staple because it was easy to make, and we could put whatever toppings on it we wanted.

Even as an adult, I continued to buy the Boyardee pizza kits because they were inexpensive, and had everything I needed – crust mix, tomato sauce, and cheese. Of course, we started adding shredded cheese to the grated Parmesean by this point.

I love pizza and I love homemade pizza. Moving to the UK, I’ve struggled a bit in finding a crust mix that I like – a lot of the pre-made mixes don’t cook well or taste too sweet and I just don’t have the patience for making it from scratch. Originally, this recipe was just going to be “Easy Pizza”, but when I bit into it I was instantly reminded of the good old Chef Boyardee pizza mixes. I hope this can comfort another ex-pat the same way it comforted me!

You Will Need:
300g Bisquick mix (in the UK it’s called Bisquick Multi-Purpose Baking Mix and comes in the same size box as a cake mix)
200ml very hot water (I used water from the kettle)
Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
tomato sauce (plain passata)
Parmesean cheese
Oregano*
Basil*
Mozzarella cheese*
Toppings of your choice*

*optional ingredients. The main ingredients are essentially the items you need for a Chef Boyardee kit. Any direction involving optional ingredients will have an * in front of it.

Pre-heat the oven to 225C.
Grease or line a cookie sheet (or pizza tray).
Combine water and Bisquick and mix until it resembles dough. If there is still a lot of powdered mix, add a little more water.
Press dough onto cookie sheet and lightly cover with olive oil (a spray bottle is ideal).
Bake for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and top pizza with sauce and *sprinkle oregano and basil on sauce.
Sprinkle Parmesean cheese over sauce.
*Top with Mozzarella cheese and your chosen toppings
Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is crisp (it took 12 in my oven).

Enjoy!

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4 Comments so far

  1. Miss M October 14th, 2011 2:24

    I seem to recall them spacing it out differently too but the only thing I could quickly find is this: http://pzrservices.typepad.com/vintageadvertising/2008/05/can-of-chef-boy.html

  2. Rebecca October 14th, 2011 2:35

    I can’t believe I’m researching this….

    On eBay, there is a 1976 magazine ad that spells it “Boy Ar Dee”:

  3. miss m October 14th, 2011 16:20

    Yeah I seem to remember them separating the syllables into separate words but a quick google image search didn’t come up with much. I never really ate their stuff but of course, you can’t grow up in the States without it being around!

  4. Rebecca October 14th, 2011 16:22

    If I wanted to “make my dinner” when I was younger (too young to use the stove/oven), my mom would let me open a can of Ravioli! LOL

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