Sleepover Cuisine

My daughter turned nine this past week. Don’t even get me started on what a shock this is to me. It boggles my mind to think that in the same amount of time it has taken her to get to this age, she will be 18. Yikes! To celebrate the start of her last year in the single digits, we had two of her best friends join her for a sleepover this weekend.

While the girls warmed up for gymnastics in the backyard, I was in the kitchen getting some treats and dinner put together.

Ice cream churning for dessert…

Lettuce from the garden to be used in a simple salad of greens and crinkle cut carrots…

And all the makings for one of my daughter’s favorite pasta dishes.

I actually threw together this pasta dish for the first time last year out of necessity. When we were planning for our camping trip to Yellowstone National Park last summer, I needed a portable, easy, kid pleasing, no-refrigeration-necessary-pre-cooking dinner that would easily feed the nine hungry adults and 13 children in our group at the campsite. This recipe (scaled up x3 for the big group) was the answer. It was so popular with both the kids and adults that it has made repeat appearances at our church community group meetings since the trip. Here’s the super simple recipe:

Pepperoni Pizza Orzo


1 box orzo pasta
3/4 jar Ragu Traditional Organic Sauce
1/2 pack of Hormel Pepperoni Minis
Copious amounts of parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to box directions. Strain, but do not rinse. Return to pot and add sauce and pepperoni, heat thoroughly over medium heat. Lastly, stir in your parmesan cheese. I always add quite a bit, but you can add it to taste.

That’s it! The cheese, along with the starch from the pasta, gives this pasta dish a creamy consistency. Along with the zesty flavor of the pepperoni, it’s kind of a spaghetti-o’s / pizza hybrid. 🙂

And to top off our evening – The new Muppets movie, and popcorn with M&M’s.

And the girls even managed to be asleep by 11:30 p.m. Imagine that?!? 🙂

What’s your favorite sleepover food/snack?


9 thoughts on “Sleepover Cuisine”

  1. Sounds like a great party! We often made sleep-over parties around make-it-yourself pizzas. I would buy pizza dough or pre-formed pizza rounds and an assortment of toppings, and the kids would form their own personal pan pizzas. That was always a hit!

    1. What a great idea!! That would be something both my kids would enjoy doing with their friends. We’ll have to try that!! Thanks, Robin Jean Marie!

  2. What an awesome mama! I had several sleepover parties when I was a kid, and my favorite was always pigging out on popcorn and ice cream for dinner. Healthy? No, but once in a while, it’s so much fun. 🙂

    1. Exactly, Lauren! And I didn’t even mention the hot fudge on the ice cream! LOL Sometimes, you just need a little pig-out session. 🙂

  3. Hello – you mentioned above that you made this orzo dish for a large group on a camping trip. How did you prepare it? I’m considering making it for a group of 20 but will need to make it ahead and then serve it at a venue that doesn’t have a stove or oven (it does have a fridge and microwave). Any advice would be helpful! Thank you!

    1. Hi Mandi, when we prepared this at camp, we had a portable camp stove and we were able to boil water for the pasta there, drain it, and then assemble the rest. However, if you have a way to keep the pasta in a cooler, you could prep that ahead of time, leave it plain, and then just mix the ingredients and microwave once you are there. But it sounds like you are cooking for a crowd, so you might want to microwave it in batches. Hope that helps!

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