Easy to make for a weeknight meal and super tasty, pizza casserole is a kid-friendly dish the whole family will love. Enjoy the recipe below and our tips for easy casserole dish clean up!
Who loves pizza?! It probably comes as no surprise that it’s a crowd favorite here. But we also love the ease of casseroles – dump a bunch of ingredients in a dish and pop it into the oven! So, this pizza casserole is the best of both worlds – SO good and so versatile!
Pizza Casserole Versatility
Not only is pizza casserole SO easy to make, but it’s so versatile. Just like pizza, you can vary the topping ingredients to anything you like. Our go-to pizza toppings are pepperoni and black olive, so that’s what I did here. The black olives are pantry staples for us, so it is something I always have on hand. But you can really use any pizza toppings you enjoy in this – you can’t go wrong. Make it a meat lovers pizza casserole, a Hawaiian pizza casserole, a supreme – whatever you like! And if you really don’t feel like turning the oven on, you can always do the one pot pizza pasta skillet.
Pizza Casserole is also a great way to sneak in some extra veggies. Sometimes, I make it a little healthier by adding a bunch of chopped spinach to the bottom layer of sauce and no one seems to notice. Or, you can make it with our hidden veggie marinara sauce. Either way, it’s easy to sneak extra veggies in if that’s something you want to do.
Making Pizza Casserole
Making Pizza Casserole is SO easy! You’ll cook a box of pasta (I typically use a 1 lb. box of penne, but really any noodle will do) and gather your other ingredients while the pasta cooks. For the base ingredients, you’ll need:
- 1 to 2 jars red pasta sauce (just depending on how “saucy” you like it)
- 1 box (16 oz) penne pasta (cooked & drained)
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- shredded Parmesan cheese
- Pizza toppings – whatever you like! (We used about 30 pepperonis and 1 can of sliced olives)
Assembly then is easy! You’ll spread a thin layer of sauce along the bottom of a baking dish (might be beneficial to spray with cooking spray first). Then you’ll layer half the other ingredients over that, starting with the cooked pasta. So, you’ll place 1/2 the pasta noodles on top of the sauce. Then, arrange half of your pizza toppings on top of the noodles (for us, that was mozzarella, pepperonis, and olives). Repeat all layers and then top with a sprinkling of the parmesan cheese.
Once your layers are done, bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes (until the cheese is bubbly & the top layer starts browning just a bit). You can cover with foil for the first part & then uncover if you want to avoid browning the top too much. Though the last time I made this, I forgot the foil and it came out just fine for us. So, the foil is really just a matter of personal preference.
Pizza casserole is also a great make ahead or freezer meal. Sometimes instead of making one big casserole, I make this in two smaller square pans instead. Bake one for dinner one night and pop the other one in the freezer. You can also just double the recipe and do the same thing in 2 larger pans if you’d like. It’s SO easy to do and I love having meals already prepared that I can just pop in the oven to heat up again.
This would be a GREAT dish to bring to bring for a meal train – for a family with a new baby, a sick friend, etc. You can really tailor it to everyone’s likes easily and it’s a hearty meal that is usually well-liked by kids and adults alike! So, you can’t go wrong with this one!
*Important note – if you are going to freeze, do not bake first. Just prepare and freeze. Then bake when the day you’d like to eat it! Baking time will be a bit longer and in this case, I do recommend covering with foil!
Pizza Casserole Recipe
Here’s the printable pizza casserole recipe:
- 16 oz 1 lb Penne pasta
- 2-4 C Mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 C Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1-2 jars 24-48 oz Pizza or Marinara Sauce
- 1/2 C pepperonis aout 2.5oz or approximately 30
- 1/2 – 1 C black olives sliced
- *optional fresh basil or Italian parsley as garnish
- In a pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. (Drain pasta once cooked)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a 13×9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Add in half of the sauce.
- Layer half of the cooked pasta over the sauce.
- Top the pasta with half of the pizza toppings (pepperonis and olives or your toppings of choice). Cover those layers with half the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat those layering steps, ending with topping the entire dish with the shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes as needed until the cheese is melted & bubbly.
Be sure to pin this pizza casserole recipe for later!
*This pizza casserole recipe post originally appeared on Mom Endeavors in 2012. It has been updated with much better photos & added info since then!