Easy Pizza Casserole is a delicious baked pasta dish packed with all of the flavors of a loaded supreme pizza with everything on it. This hearty and comforting meal is kid-approved!
This pizza casserole recipe features tender pasta baked with seasoned meat, pepperoni, green peppers, olives, and mushrooms. It’s all covered in a flavorful tomato sauce, and topped with lots of melty mozzarella cheese.
If you’ve never baked pizza pasta before, you need to save this recipe for pizza casserole right now! It’s so simple to make and everyone always asks for seconds.
I have more pizza recipes for you to try! Check out my homemade pizza dough recipe so that you can make any style of pizza you like. Or instead, try a different twist and make these pepperoni pizza sliders.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe For Pizza Casserole
- No Fancy Ingredients– This easy dinner recipe uses ingredients that are easy to find and might be already on your weekly shopping list.
- Family Favorite – Kids love this recipe, probably because kids, in general, love pizza! It’s a fun way to enjoy an already loved dish in a new way.
- Easy to Make Ahead – I’m including instructions below so you can make this recipe ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer to bake later.
Ingredients In Pizza Casserole
Here’s what you need to make this amazing baked pizza pasta:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Pasta: Any type of short pasta works here. I’m using penne, but you can try shells, macaroni, bowties (farfalle), or ziti.
- Ground Beef or Sausage: Use lean ground beef or bulk Italian sausage. Ground turkey or chicken can also be used.
- Seasonings: Oregano, salt, and pepper plus fresh garlic and onion give your meat sauce tons of flavor. For even more Italian flavor, use Italian seasoning instead of just dried oregano.
- Veggies: Mushrooms, bell pepper, and black olives are the veggies I’d want on my pizza, so they are added in here!
- Pizza Sauce: Buy your favorite brand of pizza sauce, or make your own! There are simple instructions in my Pepperoni Pizza recipe.
- Pepperoni: You can buy sliced pepperoni, or a whole link and slice it yourself. Most of it will be stirred into the pasta, and a few are added on top of the cheese for a fun presentation.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Shredded low-moisture mozzarella works best to top this cheesy dish.
How To Make Pizza Casserole
- Get Ready: Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray, and set aside.
- Boil Pasta: Follow the package instructions and cook the pasta in salted boiling water while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Brown Meat: Add the ground beef or sausage to a large skillet, and cook, breaking the meat apart. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Drain away any excess grease if needed. A tablespoon or so is fine!
- Add Veggies: Just before the meat is completely cooked, add the onion and garlic and sauté for one minute. Then add the mushrooms and green peppers, and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Finish the Sauce: Add the pizza sauce to the meat mixture, stir, and cook to warm it through. Then remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the sliced pepperoni and olives.
- Stir in the Pasta: By now your pasta should be ready. Drain it and add it to the meat sauce mixture, stirring to combine. Then place the casserole into your prepared baking dish.
- Bake: Add mozzarella cheese to the top of the casserole, and finish with a handful of pepperoni slices. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until melty and bubbling.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. You want the pasta to be fully cooked, but not at all mushy. It will continue to cook as the casserole bakes.
- Drain any excess grease from the meat before adding the other ingredients. If you use lean meat, this won’t be necessary.
- Add additional toppings to the casserole if you like! Save some sliced veggies to include with the pepperoni slices on top of the cheese.
- You can leave out the olives, mushrooms, or peppers if your family won’t enjoy them. Replace with other veggies if you like.
Keep leftover pizza casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Servings reheat well using the microwave.
To Make Ahead: You can make this dish ahead in two different ways:
If you have already baked the casserole, wrap it well and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat, covered with foil for 30 minutes in a 350°F/180°C oven.
Assembled but not baked, pizza casserole can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake the cold casserole as directed here, adding 10 minutes to the cooking time. If frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight first.
Pizza Casserole is a fantastic freezer meal! Make two of them, freeze one for later, and enjoy the other one tonight for dinner.
What To Serve With Pizza Casserole
Sure! You can leave out the meat and replace it with additional sauteed mushrooms, peppers, and other veggies. You can also use your favorite vegan ground meat substitute in place of the ground beef.
You can give this recipe a low-carb makeover by replacing the pasta with small pieces of roasted cauliflower instead.
Feeding a larger crowd? Double the recipe ingredients and bake in two 9 x13 pans. You can also bake the casserole in a larger pan, but you may need to increase the bake time to get it heated through.
Everyone loves pizza, so everyone will love it when you make this Pizza Casserole too! Be sure to pin the recipe so you can make it soon!
- cooking oil spray
- 1 pound pasta any shape, short shapes work best
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound ground beef or bulk italian sausage
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or italian seasoning
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- ½ cup diced green bell pepper
- 2 14 ounce cans (or 3½ cups) pizza sauce
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- 1 cup pepperoni slices divided (save 12 or so slices for the topping)
- 2 cups shredded low moisture mozzarella cheese
- chopped fresh parsley to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with non stick spray/ cooking oil and set aside.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions.
- While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it apart. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper.
- When the meat is almost browned and fully cooked, add the onion and garlic and sauté for one minute. Then add the mushrooms and green peppers, and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the pizza sauce and cook for 1 minute to warm through.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the olives and pepperoni slices, saving 12-15 slices of the pepperoni for the topping. Add the cooked and drained pasta and stir well.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish, top with shredded mozzarella and reserved pepperoni. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbly.
- Serve, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.
- Kids love this recipe! You can leave out the mushrooms, olives, or green peppers if you think yours won’t enjoy them. Otherwise, the mix of veggies gives this casserole a “supreme” pizza flavor.
- Bulk Italian sausage (or buy links and remove the sausage from the casing) can be used in place of ground beef to add a bit of spice and even more flavor to the dish.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. You want the pasta to be cooked correctly. Not too soft, and not too hard. It will cook a bit more during baking.
- You can add additional toppings to the casserole if you like! Save some sliced veggies to include with the pepperoni slices.
- Homemade Italian Seasoning is delicious in this recipe
- To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. They reheat well using the microwave.
- Make Ahead: You can make this dish ahead in two different ways:
- If you have baked the casserole, wrap it well and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat, covered with foil for 30 minutes in a 350°F/180°C oven.
- Assembled but not baked, pizza casserole can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake the cold casserole as directed here, adding 10 minutes to the cooking time. If frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight first.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen