This Pizza Casserole is the perfect family dinner for any night of the week. With just a couple minutes of prep, it’s a kid friendly meal packed with all your favorite pizza goodies!
Why You Will Love Pizza Casserole
- EASY – With just a few pantry staples, we bet you already have these ingredients in your kitchen right now! Just brown the meat, cook the pasta and throw it all together to bake in your oven! So easy!
- GREAT MAKE AHEAD MEAL! – You can even make this ahead of time so it’s ready to put in the oven whenever you need it. It also freezes well, so you can just thaw it out and you’ll have dinner already prepared
- KID FRIENDLY – Loaded with all our favorite pizza fixings, even pick eaters will love this one. And, if you want, you can slide in some vegetables too and I bet they won’t even notice!
- LEFTOVERS TASTE GREAT – This is one dish where the leftovers taste just as great for lunch the next day!
And if you like pizza inspired recipes, check out our Pepperoni Rolls and our Pepperoni Pinwheels!
Pizza Casserole Recipe
For step-by-step instructions, check out the printable recipe card below. But here is what you’ll need to get started:
- PENNE PASTA – Cook pasta Al Dente. Otherwise it may be overcooked by the time you bake it.
- GROUND ITALIAN SAUSAGE – You can use sweet or spicy sausage, whichever you prefer. Make sure you drain the grease after browning it.
- ONION – We use yellow onion for it’s sweeter, milder flavor. But you can use red onion if you’d like.
- GARLIC – Minced.
- MARINARA SAUCE – A lot of the flavor of this dish comes from the sauce. So we recommend using a high quality marinara sauce. Or, if you want, even making your own!
- MOZZARELLA CHEESE – Sprinkle abundantly on top! We always recommend using freshly shredded cheese for any recipe. The store-bought pre-shredded cheese just doesn’t melt as well.
- PEPPERONI SLICES – For the yummy toppings! Use turkey pepperoni to lighten this up a bit.
- BLACK OLIVES – Sliced. If you aren’t olive fans, you can certainly omit these. We’ve got some other ideas for toppings below too!
Can You Make Pizza Casserole Ahead of Time?
Pizza Casserole is great to make ahead of time! You can either prepare this dish all the way up until you are ready to put it in the oven, cover it or wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Or, you can prepare it in a disposable foil casserole dish, let it cool and store it in your freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight and then bake as directed.
Notes, Tips and FAQs
- DO YOU HAVE TO USE GROUND SAUSAGE FOR PIZZA CASSEROLE? – Nope! A lot of people use ground beef. But you can also use ground turkey or ground chicken! Or, if you need a vegetarian option, just load it with other veggies!
- DO YOU HAVE TO USE PENNE PASTA? – Any shaped pasta would work. Rigatoni pasta, Rotini pasta, shell pasta or bowtie pasta could work too! You can also use whole wheat pasta to make this a little healthier.
- WHAT OTHER VEGETABLES CAN YOU PUT IN PIZZA CASSEROLE? – Just about any of your favorite pizza toppings would work! In addition to the onions, you can also add mushrooms, eggplant, artichoke, red or green bell peppers, banana peppers, broccoli and spinach!
- CAN YOU USE PIZZA SAUCE FOR THIS RECIPE? – Yes. If you don’t have any marinara sauce and have some pizza sauce hanging out in your pantry, that will work fine for this recipe.
- USE DIFFERENT CHEESE – Obviously, mozzarella cheese is perfect for this pizza casserole, but feel free to sub or blend in some other cheeses. Some parmesan cheese mix in would be nice.
We hope you enjoy this easy pizza casserole recipe. We’d love to hear how it turns out in the comment section below. Happy Eating!
- 8 ounces penne pasta prepared
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese divided
- 6 ounces pepperoni slices
- 1 2.25 ounce can sliced black olives sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Brown the Italian sausage in a large skillet with the onion and garlic.
- When the meat is cooked through, add the sauce, half the mozzarella cheese, half the pepperoni, and half the olives. Stir to mix.
- Add the pasta.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 baking dish and top with remaining cheese, pepperoni, and olives.
- Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then remove the cover and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Comments & Reviews
Made today. Added Italian seasoning, hamburger instead of Italian sausage, jalapeno peppers, halved grape tomatoes & green bell peppers to the other ingredients you listed & it is delicious! I used abt a half of a small can of the chopped jalapenos but doubled the recipe for leftovers to freeze. It is the perfect amt of spiciness & so doggone good. Thanks!
Great suggestions! Glad you enjoyed it!