If you're a fan of pizza – and seriously, who isn't? – then the idea of a pizza casserole is enough to send your taste buds into overdrive. It’s a convenient, delectable twist on the classic pizza that's perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or casual get-togethers. This popular dish has particularly won the hearts of home cooks and pizza aficionados due to its easy assembly and versatility. Whether you're looking to simplify the pizza-making process or want to try a new dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds, this guide is your ticket to casserole success.

Pizza Casserole


First things first, gather your ingredients. The beauty of a pizza casserole is that the core components are probably already in your pantry or fridge. However, it's wise not to underestimate the taste of freshly selected ingredients. Here’s what you'll need:

  • 1 pound of your preferred pasta (penne or elbow macaroni works well)
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pound of ground beef (or your choice of ground meat)
  • 1 pack of pepperoni slices
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Your list is flexible, and you can tailor it to your taste. Love mushrooms or bell peppers on your pizza? Add them in. Is spicy sausage your go-to topping? Substitute the ground beef. The world – or at least your local grocery store – is your oyster.


Now it's time to bring those ingredients together in harmony. Here's how to prepare your pizza casserole:

Step 1: Preparing the Pasta

Begin by boiling the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Cook it to just shy of al dente, as it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

Step 2: The Sauce

In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, minced garlic, and a generous sprinkle of Italian seasoning. Sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the ground beef and brown it, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. Once the beef is browned, add the can of whole peeled tomatoes (crushed by hand in the skillet), the tomato paste, and a little more Italian seasoning. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Step 3: Layering the Casserole

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Take a casserole dish and coat the bottom with a thin layer of the meat sauce. Add half of the cooked pasta on top of the sauce. Then, layer half of the pepperoni slices on top of the pasta, followed by a portion of the mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Repeat this layering pattern once more, ending with a generous layer of cheese on top.


With your pizza casserole assembled, it's time to slide it into the oven and watch the magic happen.

Bake the casserole at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. For the last 5 minutes of baking, you can switch the oven to broil for an extra crisped-up topping, but keep an eye on it to avoid burning.

Serving Suggestions

A pizza casserole is a robust dish that can stand alone, but a few thoughtful accompaniments can take it to the next level.

  • A fresh green salad with a tangy vinaigrette is a classic side that offers a refreshing contrast.
  • Garlic bread or cheesy breadsticks are bread-and-butter options that'll delight carb lovers.
  • A glass of your favorite red wine complements the Italian flavors beautifully. If wine isn’t your thing, a classic Italian soda or an ice-cold beer could be equally satisfying.

Serve it up in individual bowls or on plates and enjoy the mouthwatering meld of flavors.


The joy of the pizza casserole is its versatility. There are endless ways to tweak the standard recipe to cater to your preferences or based on what’s in season. Here are a few ideas:

  • Vegetarian Twist: Skip the meat and up the veg count. Add sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers, and black olives to the layers for a flavorful vegetarian alternative.
  • Meat Lover's Delight: Are you more of a carnivore? Triple the meat by layering ground beef, pepperoni, and Italian sausage.
  • Healthier Option: Use lean turkey or chicken instead of beef, and opt for whole grain or legume-based pasta for a lighter – but still delicious – alternative.
  • Gluten-Free: Swap the regular pasta for a gluten-free variety and ensure your seasonings and meats are certified gluten-free as well.

Feel free to get creative and make your pizza casserole uniquely yours.

Storage and Reheating

Can't finish the whole casserole in one sitting? No problem; following a couple of simple steps, you can store your pizza casserole and enjoy it again later.

  • After it cools to room temperature, cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil or transfer leftovers to an airtight container.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you need longer, pizza casserole also freezes well for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, place the desired portion in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. Alternatively, microwave single servings until piping hot.

Enjoy fresh-tasting pizza casserole without any of the fuss.


Homemade pizza casserole is a delightful way to bring the flavors of your favorite pizza into a single, easy-to-make dish. With this guide, you're well-equipped to master this recipe and delight your friends and family.

We encourage you to try this recipe, experiment with different toppings, and make it a staple in your meal rotation. Don't forget to share your experience with the pizza casserole and any delectable variations you come up with! Happy cooking!

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