Pepperoni Pizza Casserole — EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and for times when you want BOTH pizza AND pasta!! Ground beef, pepperoni, and oodles of cheese make this pizza casserole pure COMFORT FOOD! Feeds a crowd!
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Easiest Pizza Casserole Recipe
This pasta casserole recipe is for those times where just one type of carb — pizza OR pasta — won’t do and you need both. I’ve gotcha covered.
Pizza pasta casserole is easy, ready in 20 minutes, and is comfort food at its finest.
There’s an onion, one pound of ground beef, one pound of pasta, one pound of mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and everything is coated in 2 cups of pizza sauce. So in other words, this pizza casserole will feed a hungry army! Or just my teen after she comes home from sports practice and a full day of school.
Normally I never discuss the price of ingredients or the cost of a recipe, but this was an extremely economical dish for me. The beef was on sale for $1.99 a pound. Unheard of, but it’s why I bought it. I used store brand pasta and pizza sauce, both $1.49 each, and the cheese I bought was from Trader Joe’s for $3.49. (Note – Recipe was published in October 2018. Prices do change yet overall still an economical dish!)
Considering this will easily serve 8, that’s not even $1.50 per serving for homemade goodness.
I froze 6 portions of it in plastic containers to pull out for those times when dinner is just not going to happen easily or on time, and the frozen portions were easy to reheat in the micro and just as tasty as when fresh. Score!
What’s in Pizza Casserole?
To make this easy pasta casserole, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Vidalia onion
- Lean ground beef
- Dried oregano
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Pizza sauce
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh parsley
How to Make Pizza Casserole
- Simply cook up a pound of pasta.
- While the pasta is boiling, brown up the ground beef along with an onion.
- After the pasta is done and drained, add it to the ground beef, and stir in pasta sauce.
- Transfer it to a casserole or baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and pepperoni, and broil it until the cheese melts and is as golden browned as desired, probably about 3 minutes before serving!
While you could probably bake the casserole in order to allow the cheese to melt, it would take much longer and you wouldn’t get the lightly browned spots on the cheese from the broiler.
Broiled cheese is a zillion times tastier in my opinion than cheese that’s simply been melted, but I wouldn’t refuse either. Cheese is my world no matter how it’s presented to me.
What Type of Pasta Should I Use?
I used rotini in this pizza casserole recipe, but ziti, small or medium shells, wheels, or another small-shaped pasta will be fine.
Can I Use Ground Turkey?
If you’d rather use ground turkey or ground chicken in place of the ground beef, you’re welcome to. Just note that ground turkey is much leaner than ground beef, so it won’t have as much flavor.
Tips for Making Pizza Casserole
You’re welcome to use your favorite pizza toppings in this pizza pasta casserole instead of what I have listed in the recipe card below. Italian sausage could be used in place of ground beef, you could likely add extra sautéed veggies to the mixture, and so forth.
Ditto when buying the cheese for this recipe. I love mozzarella because it melts so well, but you could also use a cheese blend if that’s what you have on hand.
Serve this pizza casserole alongside some steamed veggies or a side salad to keep things simple.
Pin This Recipe
- 1 pound rotini pasta, cooked and drained (ziti, small or medium shells, or another small-shaped pasta may be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, diced small
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 2 cups pizza or marina sauce
- 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 24 pepperoni
- fresh parsley, optional for garnishing
- Preheat broiler to high and spray a 9×13-inch baking or casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a stockpot, cook the pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions; drain and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, to a Dutch oven or other large pot, add the olive oil, onion, and cook over medium-high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften; stir occasionally.
- Add the beef, evenly sprinkle with the oregano, salt, pepper, and crumble beef as it cooks to encourage even cooking; stir frequently.
- After the beef is cooked through, add the pizza sauce, cooked pasta, and stir very well to combine.
- Transfer mixture to the prepared casserole dish, evenly top with the cheese, pepperoni, and broil for about 3 minutes, or until cheese has melted or is as browned as desired. Watch it very closely because cheese can burn extremely quickly under the broiler, sometimes in a matter of 15 seconds.
- Optionally garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
- Extra will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 626Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 1211mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 41g
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