This pizza casserole is pasta simmered in tomato sauce with pepperoni, sausage, olives and bell peppers, then topped with cheese and baked to golden brown perfection. A family friendly dinner option that always gets rave reviews!
You can never go wrong with pizza, it’s a classic flavor combination for good reason. This baked pizza casserole combines tender pasta with all those great pizza flavors for a unique and delicious meal.
How do you make pizza casserole?
The first step is to cook up some sausage, green bell peppers, sliced mushrooms and onions in a pot. Add pepperoni to the pot, along with black olives, marinara sauce, water and pasta. Simmer the mixture until the pasta is tender. Pour the pasta into a baking dish. Finally, add a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese and some more pepperoni, then bake until the cheese is melted and browned. Add a sprinkle of fresh parsley, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect dish
- You can use turkey or pork Italian sausage. I use mild sausage, but feel free to use hot if you like a little extra spice.
- Can’t find mini pepperoni at your store? You can use chopped regular sized pepperoni instead.
- Any short pasta shape will work. I used corkscrew pasta, but other great options include rotini, penne, rigatoni or farfalle.
- Choose your favorite brand of marinara sauce for this recipe. I typically use Newman’s Own brand which is my family’s preference.
- This dish stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and can be frozen for 2 months. Reheat your baked pasta in the oven in a covered dish, or warm individual portions in the microwave.
- Skip the store bought pre-shredded cheese and grate your own. The bags of shredded cheese often contain preservatives and anti caking agents and do not melt smoothly.
- Make sure you use a large pot for this recipe, as the pasta will expand considerably as it cooks and you want to make sure you have enough room for it all!
Pizza Casserole Flavor Variations
This casserole is great as-is, but you can add other ingredients to customize it to your tastes.
- Fillings: I used toppings that’d find on a traditional supreme pizza. You can mix and match your ingredients with options such as diced chicken, salami, spinach, roasted red bell peppers, artichoke hearts and bacon.
- Sauce: While I use a traditional marinara sauce, you could use an equal amount of pizza sauce, or even a pesto or Alfredo sauce for a different flavor profile.
- Cheese: Mix things up by swapping out the mozzarella with other Italian cheese options such as provolone, fontina or asiago.
This pizza casserole has it all – it’s quick, doesn’t dirty up a ton of dishes, and has savory flavors that both kids and adults adore. Make pizza caserole for dinner tonight and watch the rave reviews come in!
More pizza inspired recipes
Pizza Casserole Video
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage casings removed
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper diced
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 3/4 cup mini pepperoni divided use
- 1/2 cup black olives sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 3 1/4 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 ounces short pasta such as corkscrew, rotini or penne
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- cooking spray
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook for 4-5 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until browned.
- Add the onion, green bell pepper and mushrooms to the pot. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Add 1/2 cup of the pepperoni, olives and the garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the marinara sauce, water, salt, pepper and pasta to the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 12-14 minutes or until pasta is tender.
- While the pasta is simmering, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Coat a 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- After the pasta is finished cooking, pour the mixture into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the top and arrange the remaining 1/4 cup of pepperoni on the cheese.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.