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Easy Pizza Casserole Recipe

When it comes to making a quick and easy dinner it doesn’t get much better than this Easy Pizza Casserole recipe. All of your favorite pizza toppings tossed with cooked pasta and baked in the oven for the perfect dinner for two!

Best of all it is made and ready to eat in only 30 minutes! However, you can also prepare it ahead of time and your dinner ready in even less time!

It is a great recipe to make when you are craving a pizza but don’t want to go through the hassle of going to pick up a pizza at your favorite pizzeria. In fact, you can have dinner on the table in less time that it takes to order a pizza, pick it up or have it delivered.

easy pizza casserole in white baking dish
Satisfy that pizza craving with this easy pizza casserole recipe.

Pizza Casserole Ingredients

Although this recipe is very versatile when it comes to the toppings that you want to add, there are a few key ingredients that are involved when making this casserole. However, these ingredients are also easy to substitute based on dietary needs.

1. Pasta

When making a pizza casserole, you’ll want to choose a pasta that holds up well during baking and doesn’t become overly mushy. Penne, ziti, and rotini are some of the best pasta options for pizza casserole.

These types of pasta have a sturdy shape that can stand up to the baking process and the other ingredients in the casserole. Their nooks and crannies also help trap the sauce and flavors, making each bite more flavorful.

However avoid using delicate pasta like angel hair or thin spaghetti, as they can become too soft when baked and may not provide the desired texture in your casserole. And in case you are wanting to make this recipe Gluten-Free, use a sturdy gluten-free pasta in place of traditional pasta.

penne pasta with sauce and cheese
Be sure to use a sturdy pasta so that they can easily be tossed with the other ingredients.

2. Pizza Sauce

No pizza would be complete without pizza sauce. Although I use standard, store-bought pizza sauce, you have a few options.

Of course you can make Homemade Pizza Sauce using fresh tomatoes. Or you could make an easy homemade marinara sauce using canned tomatoes.

However you can also get creative and use other types of sauce including pesto or make a chicken pizza casserole and use Ranch dressing instead of the traditional red pizza sauce.

However, no matter what sauce that you choose it is important to thin it out with a little water. The cooked pasta will absorb some of the sauce as it bakes in the oven, making each bite full of flavor.

3. Pizza Toppings

Now comes the fun part. Choose whatever toppings that you prefer to customize your casserole.

Cheese: The cheese is added both inside and on top of the pizza casserole. Mozzarella is the obvious choice, however, there are other types of cheese that you can use as well. Parmesan, Provolone and Monterey Jack are all great choices. And for a non-dairy option, use a good plant based melting cheese.

Vegetables: Use your choice of diced vegetables to add more flavor and texture to your casserole. Diced onions, peppers, mushrooms are all good options. However, feel free to other types of vegetables such as jalapeños, banana pepper rings or olives.

sausage and onions and Italian seasoning
Choose your favorite pizza toppings and add a little Italian seasoning to give your casserole more flavor.

Meat: If you have a half a pound of leftover ground beef after making a Ground Beef & Rice Fiesta dinner, then by all means use the remaining meat and add it to your pizza casserole. You can also use cooked ground sausage, chicken, turkey, ham and/or bacon. The choice is totally up to you!

Make Ahead Option

This recipe can be prepared ahead of time for an easy weeknight meal. Simply assemble the casserole as instructed in the recipe below. Then once it cools to room temperature cover and store in the refrigerator.

Once you are ready to cook the pizza casserole, remove the container from the refrigerator and preheat the oven. By the time the oven heats up the casserole dish will be warm enough to safely put it in the oven. Then bake as instructed.

How To Store and Reheat Pizza Casserole

You can also cook the casserole ahead of time and then store and reheat it for a quick and easy meal. After the casserole bakes, allow it to cool to room temperature.

Then cover the dish and place in the refrigerator. The casserole will be good for up to 5 days.

unbaked pizza casserole

To reheat: remove the casserole from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Then place the uncovered dish in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.

Or portion the casserole on a microwaveable plate and add a few drops of water to the dish. Reheat in the microwave on high power for 60-90 seconds or until heated through.

Easy Pizza Casserole Recipe

*A printable recipe card is located at the bottom of this article which contains the specific measurements, temperatures and cook times. However, continue reading below to learn about more helpful tips about this specific recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound ground beef, (or Italian sausage)
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 7 ounces pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry rotini or penne pasta
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 18 slices pepperoni, divided

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water, according to package directions for al’ dente consistency. Drain well and set aside.

In a medium size skillet placed over medium heat, add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the pieces as it cooks. When half of the meat is no longer pink add the onion, garlic and Italian seasoning and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through. Drain excess grease from ground beef. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together pizza sauce and water.

Slice 9 pieces of pepperoni in half and add that to the bowl with the pizza sauce. Then add the cooked pasta, 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, and the ground beef mixture and stir well.

Add to the bowl, cooked pasta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, cooked ground beef and 9 slices of pepperoni (that have been sliced in half). Stir well.

Pour the pizza casserole mixture inside the prepared baking dish. Then sprinkle the top with the remaining Mozzarella cheese and place the remaining pepperoni slices on top.

serving of pizza casserole topped with parsley flakes

Spray one side of aluminum foil with non-stick baking spray and cover the dish with the sprayed side facing the casserole. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes.

Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and beginning to turn light golden brown in spots.

Other Pizza Night Recipes

If you are looking for other pizza night recipes, check out some of my other favorite recipes below:

Enjoy! Mary

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To receive FREE recipes delivered directly to your email, be sure to sign up for the iCookfortwo newsletter. A sign up form is located in the middle of this article. If you have any questions, comments, or want to submit an idea for a recipe for two, feel free to email at mary@icookfortwo.com

easy pizza casserole in white baking dish

Easy Pizza Casserole

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A 30 minute meal perfect for pizza night, or any day of the week. Pasta tossed with pizza sauce, cheese and your favorite toppings and baked to perfection for an easy casserole dinner for two!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef, (or Italian sausage)
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 7 ounces pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry rotini pasta
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 18 slices pepperoni, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water, according to package directions for al' dente consistency. Drain well and set aside.
  3. In a medium size skillet placed over medium heat, add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the pieces as it cooks. When half of the meat is no longer pink add the onion, garlic and Italian seasoning and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through. Drain excess grease from ground beef. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together pizza sauce and water.
  5. Slice 9 pieces of pepperoni in half and add that to the bowl with the pizza sauce. Then add the cooked pasta, 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, and the ground beef mixture and stir well.
  6. Add to the bowl, cooked pasta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, cooked ground beef and 10 slices of pepperoni (that have been sliced in half). Stir well.
  7. Pour the pasta mixture inside the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Mozzarella cheese and place the remaining pepperoni slices on top.
  8. Spray one side of aluminum foil with non-stick baking spray and cover the dish with the sprayed side facing the casserole. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and beginning to turn light golden brown in spots.

Notes

Feel free to add your favorite pizza toppings to the mix. Suggested toppings: diced green peppers, diced onions, banana peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos, etc.

You can use a variety of shredded cheese to add more flavor. Italian blend shredded cheese is a great substitution to Mozzarella cheese.

Recipe provided by iCookfortwo.com

Nutrition Information
Yield 3
Amount Per Serving Calories 519Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 108mgSodium 751mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 36g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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