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Pizza Pasta Casserole

This pizza pasta casserole is the ultimate comfort meal featuring everyone’s favorite foods; pizza and pasta. Layers of pasta are smothered in a hearty marinara sauce, covered with cheese, then baked until bubbly!

Pizza casserole in a baking dish.
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Easy Pizza Pasta Bake

This pizza pasta casserole is cheesy and hearty, and combines the delicious flavors of pizza with baked pasta. If you can reimagine a classic lasagna recipe or baked mostaccioli with a homemade pepperoni pizza, this pizza pasta bake is the result!

The best thing about this pasta casserole, other than the amazing flavors, of course, is how easily you can customize it. It can be the perfect clean-out-the-fridge recipe come the end of the week!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Comforting. Pasta layered with rich marinara sauce loaded with cheese is the quintessential comfort food, ideal for a hungry crowd.
  • Customizable. Play around with what you’ve got on hand. Substitute the sausage for your favorite protein, use a different pasta veggie or cheese to customize it.

Pizza Casserole Recipe Ingredients

Pizza Casserole Ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Mostaccioli: Very similar to penne, mostaccioli can be swapped for penne or even ziti.
  • Italian pork sausage: Italian pork sausage adds heartiness to the sauce and some texture as a topping.
  • Veggies and aromatics: Onion, green bell pepper, baby bella mushrooms, and garlic.
  • Pepperoni: Regular or mini pepperoni pieces are what drives home the fact that this is a pizza pasta casserole! It goes in the sauce as well as on the top of the casserole.
  •  Marinara sauce: Homemade marinara sauce or store-bought are both fine. This homemade pizza sauce is another option. 
  • Italian seasoning: Store-bought or homemade Italian seasoning or use a combination of the individual spices;  oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley.
  • Cheese: Use a combination of Parmesan cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and mozzarella cheese, freshly grated from a block of cheese.
  • Optional: Red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese for topping. An extra sprinkle of Italian seasoning makes a great garnish.

Substitutions and Variations

There are lots of ways to change up the flavors in this pizza pasta bake.

  • Change up the pasta shape. Any short-shaped pasta will work whether it be penne pasta, fusilli, rigatoni, ziti, or rotini pasta. 
  • Modify the sauce. Use ground beef, or ground turkey instead of Italian sausage in this pepperoni pizza casserole. 
  • Switch up the cheeses. Try a combination of cheddar, Romano, and provolone. Or use whatever combination you happen to have on hand. 
  • Opt for a white sauce instead. Switch the marinara for an Alfredo sauce for a different flavor profile in this pizza bake.
  • Toss in some extra veggies! Spinach or broccoli would bulk it up with even more nutrients.

How to Make Pizza Pasta Casserole

Showing how to make pizza casserole in a 4 step collage.
  • Cook the sausage. Cook the sausage over medium heat until browned and crumbled. Remove a portion and set aside to be used as a topping.
  • Combine the sauce and pasta. Combine the marinara sauce with the veggies, pepperoni, and the cooked pasta. 
  • Layer the casserole. Add pasta mixture, and half of the Monterey jack and mozzarella cheese, then repeat.
  • Add the toppings. Place pepperoni slices and cooked sausage on top. Bake and then serve with additional Parmesan and red pepper flakes, if desired. 

Expert Tips

  • Cook the pasta al dente. Make sure the pasta is al dente so it doesn’t turn to mush once it bakes in this pizza pasta casserole. Here are some tips and tricks on how to cook pasta
  • Crisp up the toppings. Take the foil off for the last few minutes of baking if you’d like the pepperoni and cheese to crisp up.  
  • Pepperoni fan? If you have additional pepperoni, pizza chicken roll ups are a great way to use them up.
Pizza casserole in a baking dish.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this pasta pizza casserole recipe ahead of time?

To make this in advance, assemble up until baking and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.  Remove from the refrigerator and bake as directed. You may need to add 5 minutes extra cook time.

Can you put pizza sauce on pasta?

Yes, you can use pizza sauce on pasta. Just adjust the consistency and flavoring to suit your pasta dish.

Is this casserole freezer-friendly?

Absolutely! It’s ideal to stash away for another day. Freeze leftover pizza pasta once cooled for up to 3 months. Having ready-to-go freezer meals makes life a little easier on those crazy weekday evenings.

How to store pizza pasta casserole leftovers?

Once completely cooled, transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and keep it stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the microwave for a quick lunch the next day.

Pizza casserole in a dish.

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Pizza casserole in a baking dish.

Pizza Pasta Casserole

5 from 7 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This pizza pasta casserole is the ultimate comfort meal with layers of pasta smothered in a hearty marinara sauce, covered with cheese, then baked until bubbly!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound uncooked mostaccioli
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian pork sausage , divided
  • 1 cup onion , chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper , chopped
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms , sliced
  • 6 ounces sliced pepperoni , divided
  • 24 ounces marinara sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese , freshly grated
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese , shredded
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese , shredded

Optional:  Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese for topping

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
    • In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned and crumbled. Remove 1/3 cup of the browned sausage to a paper towel lined plate and set aside for topping the casserole.
    • Remove pot from heat. To the pot, add onion, green pepper, mushrooms, separated slices of pepperoni (reserving 12-15 slices for topping the casserole), marinara sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Add the cooked pasta and continue stirring until combined.
    • In the baking dish, add ½ of the pasta mixture. Sprinkle ½ cup of Monterey jack cheese and ¾ cup of mozzarella evenly over it. Spread remaining pasta mixture on top and top with the remaining cheese. Place the reserved pepperoni slices and sausage on top. 
    • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
    • Carefully remove dish from the oven and remove foil. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan or red pepper flakes, if using.  Serve immediately.

    Notes

    Toppings: Use your favorite pizza toppings if you don’t care for pepperoni, green pepper and mushrooms. 
    Storage: Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
    Make-ahead: To make this in advance, assemble up until baking and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.  Remove from the refrigerator and bake as directed.  

    Nutrition

    Calories: 684kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 1422mg | Potassium: 747mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 788IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 337mg | Iron: 3mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: American

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