December 31, 2023Review Recipe
Table of Contents
This easy, delicious pizza casserole is a simple family favorite everyone loves. Made with hearty ingredients, including pasta, beef, cheese, and pepperoni baked to melted pizza perfection, this fun spin on classic Italian cuisine is sure to please.
Pizza Casserole Ingredients
This pizza casserole combines al dente pasta with savory ground beef, onions, and garlic, all coated in a rich marinara sauce seasoned with Italian herbs.
Generous layers of gooey mozzarella cheese and crispy pepperoni slices provide a pizza-like indulgence, with parmesan cheese for an extra kick.
- 16 ounces of rotini or penne pasta, uncooked
- 1 pound of ground beef
- ½ cup of onion
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon of olive oil
- 24-ounce jar of spaghetti or marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning, divided into 1 tablespoon and ½ teaspoon
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided in half
- 1 cup of pepperoni
- Fresh shredded parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
Substitutions And Additions
SAUCE: You can use our homemade pasta sauce for this simple recipe.
MEAT: You could use ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork, or Italian sausage in this recipe as well.
You could also mix and match the proteins. The possibilities are endless!
CHEESE: Use an Italian cheese blend or extra grated Parmesan cheese for this recipe.
VEGGIES: Just like your favorite pizza, you can add all sorts of yummy vegetables to this casserole.
Our top picks include mushrooms, banana peppers, green peppers, red peppers, onions, and green or black olives.
SEASONING: If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can blend rosemary, oregano, and basil together in equal parts instead.
You can also add fresh chopped basil when serving if you’d like.
SPICE: Want a little kick to your dish? Add some crushed red pepper flakes to add some heat.
PASTA: Penne or rotini noodles work well in this great casserole.
Any bite-size pasta can be substituted, such as fusilli, cavatappi, ziti, bowties, or shells.
How To Make This Pizza Casserole Recipe
Let’s get started by cooking the pasta and browning the ground beef before assembling the casserole.
This is a great make-ahead dish. Assemble the recipe up to the baking stage and cover with aluminum foil. Store in the fridge for several hours and pop in the oven just before you are ready to serve it.
STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
STEP TWO: Cook pasta according to directions on the package for al dente, drain pasta, and set aside.
STEP THREE: In a large skillet, add the olive oil.
Cook the ground beef, onions, and garlic, all seasoned with salt and pepper, on medium-high heat until no pink remains in the meat. Drain any extra grease.
If you don’t have a large skillet, then drain your pasta and place it in a large bowl. Then when the sauce is done, pour the sauce over the pasta and mix in the big bowl.
STEP FOUR: Add the spaghetti sauce and one tablespoon of Italian seasoning to the meat mixture and stir to heat. Remove from heat.
STEP FIVE: Add the cooked pasta and one cup of cheese to the meat and stir to mix. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly in the pan.
This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker. Instead of pouring into the 9×13 pan, pour the mixture into your slow cooker, top with cheese, and cook on low until the cheese is melted.
STEP SIX: Top with the remaining one cup of cheese.
Lay the slices of pepperoni in a single layer on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with a half teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
STEP SEVEN: Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, uncovered.
How to Serve
Put a new spin on pizza night that the whole family will love.
We’ve got you covered with some handy storage tips and make-ahead instructions.
MAKE AHEAD: Simply follow the recipe until the point just before baking.
Once you’ve layered all the deliciousness in your casserole dish, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Pop it in the fridge, and it can hang out there for up to 24 hours.
When you’re ready to dig in, just bake it as directed, adding a few extra minutes to ensure it’s heated through.
IN THE FRIDGE: This pizza pasta casserole recipe will last in an airtight container in the fridge for three to four days.
You can heat up individual portions in the microwave or pop them in the oven to warm through.
IN THE FREEZER: You can keep leftovers wrapped in an airtight container for up to three months in the freezer.
You could also assemble it in a throwaway casserole pan to store for a future meal or to give away.
Why We Love This Recipe
COMFORT FOOD: This casserole delivers the comforting, familiar flavors of pizza in a hearty, satisfying dish, perfect for cozy family dinners.
EASY TO MAKE: With clear, step-by-step instructions and helpful tips, this recipe is a breeze to follow, making it accessible for even novice cooks.
MAKE AHEAD: The ability to prep it in advance means you can enjoy the convenience of a homemade meal, even on your busiest days. It’s a lifesaver for meal planning and busy weeknights.
Quick and easy, this delicious homemade pizza casserole is a hearty dinner option for busy weeknights. Loaded with pasta, cheese, meat, and pepperoni, everyone loves this simple favorite.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you’d like to make this easy pizza casserole recipe in your crockpot, you can! You’ll prepare it according to the directions above, but instead of baking in a casserole dish, you’ll spray the inside of your crockpot with non-stick spray and pour the mixture inside.
Top with lots of cheese and put on low until the cheese is melted. It’s also a great way to have dinner ready on a busy night!
This pepperoni pizza casserole recipe can be stored for up to three months in the freezer.
You can add any of your favorite pizza toppings into this casserole if you’d like. Vegetables such as mushrooms, peppers, onions, and olives are all delicious choices.
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- 16 ounces rotini or penne pasta uncooked
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ cup onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 24 ounces spaghetti or marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning divided
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- 1 cup pepperoni
- fresh shredded parmesan cheese for optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
- Cook pasta according to directions on the package for al dente, drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet add the olive oil and cook the ground beef, onions and garlic, all seasoned with salt and pepper, until no pink remains in the meat. Drain any extra grease.
- Add the spaghetti sauce and 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning to the ground beef and stir to heat. Remove from heat.
- Add the cooked pasta and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese to the meat and stir to mix.
- Pour into the prepared 9×13 pan and spread evenly in the pan.
- Top with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Lay the slices of pepperoni on top of the cheese.
- Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, uncovered.
- This is a great make-ahead dish. Assemble the recipe up to the baking stage and cover with aluminum foil. Store in the fridge for several hours and pop in the oven once you are ready to serve it.
- If you don’t have a large skillet, then drain your pasta and place it in a large bowl. Then when the sauce is done, pour the sauce over the pasta and mix in the big bowl.
- This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker. Instead of pouring into the 9×13 pan, pour the mixture into your slow cooker, top with cheese, and cook on low until the cheese is melted.
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