This Easy Pizza Casserole Recipe is a family favorite that's loaded with marinara sauce, mini pepperoni slices, and two types of melty cheese! It's the perfect meal for busy weeknights, and easy to personalize with your favorite pizza toppings!
Why You'll Love It
- Simple Ingredients: find every ingredient at your local grocery store.
- Make Ahead: prepare in advance or freeze for later.
- Kid Pleaser: kids love this pepperoni pasta that tastes just like a pizza!
- Freezer Friendly: make a casserole and freeze another one for the week ahead.
- Travels Well: perfect to take to a friend in need, or to a potluck dinner.
Did you know you can turn any pizza into a casserole by substituting pasta for the crust? It's a fun twist on a popular classic!
The next time you're having pizza cravings, why not make this easy pizza casserole recipe?
With only a few ingredients and seasonings you probably have in your pantry, you'll satisfy every picky eater in your whole family with pepperoni pizza pasta!
Here's what you'll need to make this easy pizza pasta bake. (See recipe card for quantities.)
- penne pasta - use any type of pasta you like, but penne works great in this recipe
- diced tomatoes - flavored tomatoes (with basil or garlic) add even more depth
- marinara sauce - can use homemade marinara or any type of pasta or pizza sauce
- seasonings - garlic salt, dried oregano, onion powder, dried basil, black pepper
- cheese - parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella blend together
- mini pepperoni - the smaller pepperoni adds more flavor in each bite
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish and set aside. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, sugar, garlic salt, oregano, onion powder, basil, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce mixture.
4. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
5. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top of the pasta.
6. Sprinkle mini pepperoni on top of cheese.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly.
- Take care not to cook the pasta completely. It will continue to cook while baking in the oven, so boil it until it is al dente (slightly underdone).
- Use a marinara sauce flavored with garlic and spices for extra flavor.
- Add extra cheese if you like it super cheesy!
This pepperoni pizza casserole recipe is a delicious addition to pizza night, or any time in between!
One of the best features of this casserole is how easy it is to customize. Try these substitutions and variation ideas if you want to make it your own...
- Pasta: substitute any medium-sized pasta like ziti, rotini noodles, or cavatappi pasta.
- Tomatoes: fresh chopped tomatoes, crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce can be used if canned diced tomatoes aren't available. You may need to decrease the liquid.
- Sauce: any tomato based pasta sauce works great, or you can make your own with crushed tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.
- Cheese: other hard cheeses like pecorino, romano or asiago work in place of parmesan. For mozzarella, you can sub provolone, cheddar, or a blend of Italian cheese.
- Meat: try regular sliced pepperoni or turkey pepperoni if desired. Or, add additional meats like ground turkey, lean ground beef and Italian sausage.
- Veggies: add black olives, fresh spinach, green bell peppers and onions for a vegetarian dish.
Absolutely. Omit the mini pepperoni and consider adding vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach or olives.
Yes, fresh herbs taste great in this dish! Typically, use three times the amount of fresh herbs to replace dried herbs.
Yes, you can assemble this dish ahead of time and refrigerate it, or freeze for later. Simply bake as directed when you're ready to eat.
What to Serve with Pizza Casserole
- Rainbow Salad: A fresh green salad with a mix of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a lemon vinaigrette dressing pairs nicely with this pizza pasta bake.
- Cheese Stuffed Garlic Bread: A classic and always a favorite, cheesy garlic bread is a delicious accompaniment to the rich flavors of pasta.
- Roasted Broccoli: Simple steamed or roasted vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, or green beans offer a healthy and colorful side option.
- Charcuterie Board: An assortment of olives, cured meats, cheeses, and marinated vegetables can serve as a great starter or side.
Storage and Freezing
LEFTOVERS: To store leftovers, allow them to cool to room temperature. Then, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.
FREEZING: For longer storage, this pizza casserole freezes really well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or place it in a freezer-safe container, where it can last for up to 3 months.
REHEATING: When ready to eat, reheat or bake the casserole in a 350 degree oven until bubbly. If it is pre-baked, you can use the microwave in 30 second intervals. If the casserole is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight for best results.
More Comfort Food Recipes
This pizza casserole is the perfect comfort food! Try these additional recipes if you're craving food that sticks to your ribs...
Easy Pizza Casserole Recipe
*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.
- large saucepan
- 9 x 13 baking dish
- 12 ounces penne pasta
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 ½ cups marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup mini pepperoni
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. (3 to 5 minutes) Drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, garlic salt, oregano, onion powder, basil, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce mixture. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
- Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top, followed by the mini pepperoni.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- LEFTOVERS: To store leftovers, allow them to cool to room temperature. Then, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.
- FREEZING: For longer storage, this casserole freezes really well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or place it in a freezer-safe container, where it can last for up to 3 months.
- REHEATING: When ready to eat, reheat or bake the casserole in a 350 degree oven until bubbly. If it is pre-baked, you can use the microwave in 30 second intervals. If the casserole is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight for best results.
Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.