Easy Pizza Casserole Recipe

Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This pizza casserole recipe is a delicious main dish that’s easy to make with 9 ingredients and only takes 10 minutes to prepare.

Overhead view of easy pizza casserole in a cast iron skillet


Today I am excited to share one of our family’s favorite recipes with you! I have been making this easy Pizza Casserole for almost 20 years!

It’s a delicious, hearty flavorful meal that even picky eaters enjoy.

There are many reasons to love this pizza casserole recipe, here are a few:

  • Extremely easy to make (only 10 minutes of prep)!
  • Perfect to feed a crowd (read: great to take to a potluck) or a large family!
  • Easily prepared in advance.
  • Makes great leftovers!
  • Freezes well.
front view of a serving of pizza casserole on a plate sprinkled with parsley

Pizza Casserole: Ingredients & Substitutions

Let’s take some time and chat about the ingredients used in this pizza pasta recipe as well as possible substitutions!

  • Rotini. Use your favorite pasta variety (penne, bow ties, etc. etc.). You can also substitute gluten-free pasta varieties to make this dish gluten-free.
  • Italian Sausage. choose your favorite variety, mild to spicy, pork/turkey/chicken, etc.
  • Pasta Sauce. Choose your favorite, I recommend marinara or tomato basil. Try this homemade marinara sauce.
  • Mozzarella cheese. I recommend a part-skim mozzarella, but there are so many options that could be used including: Italian cheese blend, fresh mozzarella, etc.
  • Pepperoni. We almost always use turkey pepperoni, but once again, use your favorite.
Overhead view of easy pizza casserole in a cast iron skillet

How to Make Pizza Casserole

Let’s get started by walking through how to make this pizza casserole recipe step-by-step! It’s easy, but I want to show you exactly how it’s done to ensure your success.

Cook the Pasta

Begin by cooking the pasta. Since water takes while to boil and the pasta takes some time to cook, I recommend cooking the sauce while the pasta is boiling/cooking.

cooking pasta to make Pizza Casserole

When the pasta is done cooking, drain – but do not rinse.

pasta draining in a colander to make Pizza Casserole

Make the Sauce

Browning the sausage is an important step in this pizza casserole recipe because it adds lots of flavor and texture. Make sure to cook it until it’s browned as pictured below. Start by using 1 Tablespoon olive oil and add more as needed (you may need to add more if you chose a lean sausage like turkey or chicken sausage).

If you would like to use onion in this recipe, add it here and cook it with the sausage.

overhead view of sausage browning in a cast iron skillet to make Pizza Casserole

Then, add the sauce and spices to the browned sausage and stir to combine. Make sure everything is mixed well.

two photos, the left shows pouring sauce into a cast iron skillet with browned sausage. The right photo shows the sauce after it has been mixed.

Assemble the Pizza Casserole

Pour the cooked and drained pasta into the sauce and stir to combine.

NOTE about the amount of pasta: We prefer to make this recipe using 8 oz of pasta (about 3 cups dry & uncooked). We like our pasta dishes saucy. In the photo below I made it with 16 oz of pasta (6 cups dry). As you can see the sauce looks a little scant, but we all still loved it that way and it was less messy for the little ones in our family.

So I recommend making it as written for the absolute best flavor. But if you’d like a larger amount you can either double the entire recipe or just the pasta amount (but remember it will be significantly less saucy).

two photos, the left shows a front view of steaming pasta added to a cast iron skilled. The right photo shows an overhead view of the pasta mixed into the sauce.

Then, top the pasta with mozzarella cheese and your desired toppings. We always choose pepperoni, but you can choose your favorites. Anything you normally put on a pizza (think peppers, onion, more sausage, olives, etc.) tastes great on this pizza casserole.

Prepare in Advance

To make this dish in advance or to bring it to a friend as a meal unbaked, make and assemble the casserole and then cover it and store until you want to bake it.

If it will be stored for less than 2 hours before baking and serving, I recommend leaving it covered at room temperature.

To store for longer (or overnight), place the covered baking dish in the refrigerator. You can even freeze it at this point for up to 2 months.

Overhead view of pizza casserole before being baked in the oven.

Choosing a Baking Dish

There are many different vessels that can be used to bake this pizza casserole. Here are a few options and their pros/cons:

  • Cast Iron Skillet: The beauty of using a cast iron skillet to make this pizza casserole recipe in is that it makes it a two-pan meal (one pot to cook pasta, then the cast iron skillet for the rest). It also looks like the shape of a pizza.
  • Glass Baking dish (with lid):  If you plan on making this pizza casserole ahead of time and waiting to bake it, I recommend using a baking dish with a lid. That way it’s easy to store until it’s time to bake.
  • Disposable aluminum baking panDisposable Aluminum baking pan: If you plan to take this dish to a large gathering or bring it to someone as a meal I recommend using a (or another disposable baking dish). That way you don’t have to keep track of your dishes and you don’t have to give a friend the task of returning them to you!

Bake

Bake the assembled pizza casserole until the top is melted and the edges are slightly browned. I personally love the hard, chewy, cheesy edges the best, but you can bake to your preferred brownness/doneness!

Overhead view of a pizza casserole after being removed from the oven fully baked

Serve

Once the Pizza Casserole has slightly cooled, top it with some fresh parsley and a little parmesan cheese and serve.

We love serving this with our favorites salads – especially burrata salad and panzanella salad.

front view of a piece of pizza casserole being pulled from the pan as strings of cheese pull off too

Store/Freeze

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

You can freeze individual portions in airtight containers or the entire casserole wrapped in plastic wrap/foil. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven set to warm.

overhead view of Pizza casserole being served garnished with parsley

Pizza Casserole Recipe FAQs

Can you make pizza pasta ahead of time?

Yes you can! To make this pizza casserole ahead of time, or to bring it to a friend as a meal unbaked, this is the point at which you should cover it and store until you want to bake it.
If it will be stored for less than 2 hours before baking and serving, I recommend leaving it covered at room temperature.
To store for longer (or overnight), place the covered baking dish in the refrigerator!

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, double and bake in a 9×13″ baking dish.

Can I make it vegetarian?

Yes! Omit the meats and saute veggies instead and add them to the sauce.

overhead view of Pizza casserole being served garnished with parsley

If you make and love our recipes, it would mean so much to me if you would leave a comment and rating! And don’t forget to follow along with us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Youtube – be sure to tag @joyfoodsunshine and use the hashtag #joyfoodsunshine so we can see your creations!

Pizza Casserole Recipe

Laura
This pizza casserole recipe is a delicious main dish that's easy to make with 9 ingredients and only takes 10 minutes to prepare.
4.95 from 19 votes
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 270
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large sauté pan or skillet, add 1 TBS olive oil and 20 oz Italian sausage (optional: add 1/2 cup finely diced onion). Sauté until sausage is brown and completely cooked through.
  • Add pasta sauce to skillet and stir.
  • Add Italian seasoning, garlic salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add sauce mixture to cooked and drained pasta and stir to combine.
  • Pour mixture into a glass 9×13” baking dish or baking dish of choice. 
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
  • Evenly place pepperoni (or desired toppings) on top of the cheese. 
  • Bake (uncovered) in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the edges are golden brown and bubbly. Remove and serve!

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  • Rotini. Use your favorite pasta variety (penne, bow ties, etc. etc.). You can also substitute gluten-free pasta varieties to make this dish gluten-free.
  • Italian Sausage. choose your favorite variety, mild to spicy, pork/turkey/chicken, etc.
  • Pasta Sauce. Choose your favorite, I recommend marinara or tomato basil. Make this homemade marinara sauce recipe. 
  • Mozzarella cheese. I recommend a part-skim mozzarella, but there are so many options that could be used including: Italian cheese blend, fresh mozzarella, etc.
  • Pepperoni. We almost always use turkey pepperoni, but once again, use your favorite.
Store/Freeze
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can freeze individual portions in airtight containers or the entire casserole wrapped in plastic wrap/foil. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven set to warm.
Prepare in Advance
To make this dish in advance or to bring it to a friend as a meal unbaked, make and assemble the casserole and then cover it and store until you want to bake it.
If it will be stored for less than 2 hours before baking and serving, I recommend leaving it covered at room temperature.
To store for longer (or overnight), place the covered baking dish in the refrigerator. You can even freeze it at this point for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.3g | Protein: 19.4g | Fat: 12.2g | Saturated Fat: 4.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 43.8mg | Sodium: 920mg | Potassium: 49.6mg | Fiber: 2.4g | Sugar: 8.2g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 4.7mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 2.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

try these recipes




latest recipes

Post a Comment or Ask a Question!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




33 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I found this recipe to be super easy (totally what I was going for) and really tasty. This is one that I will make again, especially if I need to feed a few people as the amount made goes a long way.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made 3 or 4 variations (minimal options) of this recipe in the past 2+ months!! EVERYONE lovesssss it!!! I’ve snuck in some spinach, broccoli & cauliflower all which were finely chopped in processor …. no body noticed!!(win for mom!!) I add a little more onion, oregano, 2 different sauces each time with more pasta having the dish last longer than 1 and a bit meals. Tonight, I layered it with cheese & some pepperoni in the middle. Everyone was happy!!!

  3. 5 stars
    This was a complete win at my house. Big plus that it was easy and fast. I just had plain tomato sauce and flat noodles and it still was delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks like a great Pizza Casserole for family night! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Miz Helen

  5. Ooh pasta and cheese and sauce always are very popular in our house; that’s amazing that they are adding 100 products to the line of O Organics this year. O Organics is a brand I see a lot in the store.

    1. I know right?! My family could live off of these foods! 😉 O Organics makes some great quality products at an affordable price! Love it!