Pizza night gets a make-over with this pizza casserole recipe. This crowd-pleasing casserole is made with pasta, marinara, pepperoni, bell peppers and lots of cheese. It’s kid-friendly and freezer-friendly, too!
Do you have a regular family pizza night? We do, but this pasta dish can easily slide into our pizza-night routine and everyone is still happy.
This easy pizza pasta casserole recipe is loaded with flavor and is easy to make. It combines everything we love about pizza with an easy-to-make, kid-friendly pasta dish. This recipe is very customizable, and you can easily substitute ingredients to make your family’s favorite type of pizza.
How to Make this Easy Pizza Casserole Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Brown the ground beef and sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove grease.
- Boil penne pasta and cook according to directions to al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cooked meat, cooked pasta, pasta sauce and pepperoni, green bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, black olives, parmesan cheese, oregano, and garlic.
- Pour mixture into a greased 9×13” baking dish. Add 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top. We like it cheesy, so we usually sprinkle 2 cups.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling
Substitutions and Variations
- Protein – I like ground beef and italian sausage in this recipe, but you can also easily use only ground beef. You could also use ground turkey, and substitute half ground beef and half ground turkey.
- Sauce – I use storebought marinara sauce when making this because it simplifies the recipe, but you could also use homemade pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce.
- Pasta – To make it healthier, use whole wheat noodles.
- Pizza Toppings and Vegetables – The recipe below shows how we typically make this dish, but you can substitue any of your favorite pizza toppings. To make it slightly healthier, I always add extra chopped vegetables. You can also sneak in some vegetables that aren’t traditional pizza toppings like chopped zucchini or shredded carrot.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions
This pizza pasta casserole freezes great so you can easily make two batches and toss one in the freezer for an easy freezer meal in the future.
To make ahead: Assemble the pizza casserole up until baking and store covered in the refrigerator for several hours. Remove from oven and bake as directed.
To freeze: Assemble casserole up until baking, adding it to a freezer safe casserole dish. Cover well with plastic wrap and tinfoil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed. Some of the sauce will be soaked up by the noodles when frozen, so I typically add extra sauce when serving.
How to Store and Reheat
To store: Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
To reheat: Place the casserole in a microwave safe dish and reheat. You can also reheat in the oven at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes.
- 4 cups penne pasta
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb pork sausage
- 6 oz pepperoni
- 1/2 bell pepper, chopped any color
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can sliced black olives optional
- 1 can sliced mushrooms optional
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Brown ground beef and sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove grease.
- Cook penne pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Add cooked meat to a large mixing bowl. Add noodles, sauce, pepperoni, bell pepper, onion, parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic, mushroom and olives. Mix to combine
- Pour mixture into a greased 9×13'' pan. Sprinkle 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese on top, depending on how much cheese you prefer.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then serve.
One More Thing!
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