Cheesy Pizza Casserole

This easy pizza casserole recipe is just what you need for those busy weeknights when making a one dish dinner will keep you sane.  

pizza casserole

Life is busy, especially with kids, and so I’m always on the lookout for fast and easy dinner ideas.  But also, meals that the entire family loves really helps.  And I don’t know if you can relate, but I’ve got some kids who are pizza obsessed.  

The other day I shared my homemade pizza dough recipe which is something I make about once a week.  But, I wanted to change things up.  

This cheesy pizza casserole allowed me create something a little different, while still meeting my family’s pizza needs.  

In our home if we want something that hits the pizza spot, it’s better if we can make it from scratch.  We live in a small northern town that doesn’t have too many options for takeout.  

We actually DO have a pizza place here that opened up just about a year ago, and while I love to support local, because it’s a small town business the prices are pretty high. 

We do buy pizza there every once in awhile because, well, the pizza is REALLY good, but it’s only a once in awhile treat because it would break the bank if we bought pizza delivery frequently.  

So, we resort to homemade pizza meals.  And while this dish is more like a pizza pasta casserole recipe, it still hits the pizza spot with pepperoni, cheese, mushrooms, and green peppers in it.  It’s definitely a family favorite.

Of course, if you have kids in your home like I do that don’t like green bell peppers , feel free to omit it from this pizza pasta bake.  I didn’t.  I just told my youngest he’d have to pick them out because the grown ups wanted the green peppers and life was full of compromises.

It’s a little lesson for him that life is tough sometimes.

Okay, not really.  But what I’m trying to say is that this dish is very versatile.  I love to post recipes that you can customize to your liking.  So, if you don’t want the mushrooms, or the green pepper in it, it’s easy to leave them out.  

If your family is a fan of black olives, add them in.  You could even sprinkle some parmesan cheese into this dish.  Consider what your family’s favorite pizza toppings are, and they might just work in this dish.

However, I don’t recommend leaving the pasta or ground beef out.  Those are some star components in this dish.  Same with the cheese.  Because, life without cheese is a life I don’t want to live.   And if you leave those ingredients out this recipe may become one big hot mess.  And then you’ll leave me a bad review because you’ll hate it.  And we both don’t want that, am I right?

Also, you could use gluten free pasta in this dish too if you are sensitive to gluten.  And can I just say that gluten-free pasta has come a long way?  It’s quite delicious as well.

Okay, enough already, am I right? Let’s get to the recipe!

CHEESY PIZZA CASSEROLE

  • ​3 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup green peppers, diced
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni

Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

Cook pasta in a large pot according to the package instructions (Do not overcook.) Drain pasta and set aside. 

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef and green peppers together until the ground beef is browned.

ground beef and green pepper

In a large bowl add the ground beef and green peppers, tomato sauce, mushrooms, garlic, Italian seasoning, and cooked pasta.  Mix it all together.

bowl of pasta

​Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

pizza casserole 

 Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes take the aluminum foil off and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the pasta.  Add pepperoni slices.  I add about 20 pieces of pepperoni on the casserole – 4 pieces down and 5 across.

Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

Let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool and then serve with some fresh homemade bread, because…bread.

This is a crowd pleaser and perfect to serve when guests are coming for dinner.  Add a caesar salad and some bread and it’s an easy weeknight dinner you won’t spend hours in the kitchen making.  

If you have a picky eater, this may be a winner with them if they enjoy pizza recipes (and let’s be fair – most people like pizza.)  It gives a whole new meaning to pizza night. This pepperoni pizza casserole can be a great addition to your dinner rotation, so I encourage you to try it!

We like to put the leftovers in the fridge and enjoy them the next day.  

Cheesy Pizza Casserole

An easy, no-fuss meal to make in no time!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup green peppers, diced
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Set aside.
  • Cook ground beef and diced green peppers together until beef is browned.
  • Mix ground beef mixture, sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, canned mushrooms, and pasta together in a large bowl.
  • Pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes take it out and sprinkle cheese and put sliced pepperoni on top of the pasta. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  • Take it out and let it sit to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve with homemade bread for a perfect dinner!
Keyword pasta

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