Pizza casserole is a fun play on everyone’s favorite dish, pizza! It’s a super easy to make, tasty casserole that can be made with all of your favorite classic pizza toppings, but the twist is the pasta! Pizza Pasta…. Who knew!
Table of Contents
It’s always a toss up when I’m asked what my favorite food is. I’m not picky, I pretty much like everything. But, my default answer is usually pizza. I mean, who doesn’t love pizza?
When I first tried this casserole, I was instantly sold. It’s delicious! Plus it combines my favorite food of pizza, with another favorite, pasta. It makes for a casserole that is easy to put together and so delicious.
Just like regular pizza, pizza casserole is versatile and can be made using any and all of your favorite pizza toppings. With a prep and cook time of just about 40 minutes, you’ll have a delicious casserole that serves 6-8 people!
What is Pizza Casserole?
I think of pizza casserole as being a bit like pizza, with pasta as your base instead of a crust. To start, you’ll mix your noodles with your pizza sauce, meat of your choosing, and of course, mozzarella cheese.
This will go at the bottom of your pan as your base or “crust”. Then, it will be topped off with more cheese (duh!) and your favorite pizza toppings, like pepperoni! It’s that simple.
- 1 pound of ground beef
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ cup of onion
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 16 ounces Rotini or Penne pasta, uncooked
- 24 ounces of spaghetti or marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
- 1 cup of pepperoni
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Fresh shredded parmesan for garnish, optional
Optional Ingredient and Substitutions
Meat: You can swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or ground chicken as well. Another great option is to use a mixture of Italian sausage and ground beef.
If you’re not huge on meat or you want to make it a vegetarian dish, you can also eliminate it and add in some extra noodles. As for the pepperoni, you can leave them off entirely or use Canadian bacon, bacon bits, or any other type of meat in its place. The decision is yours!
Noodles: I recommend using rotini or penne noodles for this recipe. The texture and size of noodles like this make for the best final result in this casserole.
You could use bowtie noodles or ziti if you have those on hand! Even macaroni noodles or shells could work as well. You’ll just want to steer clear of noodles such as spaghetti or linguine in this case.
Sauce: I like to use a classic marinara sauce because I think it resembles a pizza sauce the most! But, again you can switch up the sauce to your liking in this situation. You could even try making an alfredo style pizza and use a white sauce instead.
Cheese: Sticking with mozzarella will make this taste like a classic pizza, but you could use provolone, Italian blend, parmesan, or even cheddar cheese instead if you prefer!
This is my favorite part about making this casserole. It can be made to your liking.
Personally, I love to add black and green olives, onions and mushrooms.
My kids love to swap out the pepperoni for Canadian bacon and add some sliced pineapple to the top to make it a Hawaiin style pizza casserole. Really, the options are endless!
We have on our list to try to switch things up to a BBQ Chicken Pizza Casserole. Stay tuned for the results, but I am pretty sure it would taste amazing!
How to Make Pizza Casserole
- COOK pasta and drain
- BROWN the ground beef, onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper
- MIX in spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning and heat up a bit.
- ADD in the cooked pasta and cheese
- SPREAD into a 9×13 baking dish
- TOP with cheese
- ADD toppings and seasoning
- BAKE at 350 for 25-30 minutes
Tip 1: As mentioned above, you can use half Italian sausage and half ground beef, or all Italian sausage. Options are endless.
Tip 2: 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 it in the big bowl.
Tip 3: Just like a pizza you can add what you like. Mushrooms, olives, peppers, etc. You can also change up the cheese by adding grated parmesan or some Italian cheese blend.
Tip 4: If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can substitute a mixture of oregano, basil, and/or rosemary.
How to Store Leftover Pizza Casserole
One thing I love about this casserole is that we typically have enough leftovers to make it last for two meals. When storing it, you’ll just want to make sure it is in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I tend to make this in a pan that comes with a lid, so I can just throw it on and pop it in the fridge. When I’m ready to serve again, I just pop a plate in the microwave and it’s ready to go!
Easy Freezer Meal
Make your life easier and whip up two batches of this at one time. Toss one In the oven and one In the freezer to heat up at a later day!
MORE CASSEROLE RECIPES
Hamburger Casserole | Tater Tot Casserole | Poppyseed Chicken Casserole | Chicken Alfredo Bake | Chicken Pot Pie Casserole | Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole | Lasagna Casserole| Lasagna Roll Ups | Buffalo Chicken Pasta | Chicken Fajita Casserole | Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole | Cowboy Casserole
- 1 pound ground beef
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- 16 ounces Rotini or Penne pasta uncooked
- 24 ounce spaghetti or marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup pepperoni
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Fresh shredded parmesan for garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
- Cook pasta according to directions on package for al dente, drain and set aside.16 ounces Rotini or Penne pasta
- 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.1 pound ground beef, ½ tablespoon olive oil, ½ cup onion, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning to the ground beef and stir to heat. Remove from heat.24 ounce spaghetti or marinara sauce, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Add the cooked pasta and 1 cup of cheese to the meat and stir to mix.2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pour into the prepared 9×13 pan and spread evenly in the pan.
- Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
- Lay the slices of pepperoni on top of the cheese.1 cup pepperoni
- Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning.½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, uncovered.Fresh shredded parmesan for garnish
- To Store: Once baked, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- To Freeze: You can free the unbaked casserole for up to three months.
- To Reheat: Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.
- If you don’t have a large skillet, 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.
- The pasta does not need to be fully cooked (cook only to al dente) since it will continue cooking in the sauce when baked in the oven.
- If you don’t have Italian season you can substitute a mixture of oregano, basil, and rosemary.
Pizza lovers, get ready. You are going to love this fun play on your favorite dish. Pizza casserole is delicious, easy to make, and loved by all.