This delicious Pizza Pasta Bake takes everything you love about pizza and puts it into casserole form. Use your favorite toppings – we opt for traditional pepperoni – to make an easy meal that the whole family will love!
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Most families look forward to pizza night, right? I know mine does. We also look forward to pasta night. This pizza bake marries the two dishes into one comforting, cheesy dish of goodness.
With it only requiring a few main ingredients, this super easy casserole can be whipped up in no time. Then you add your favorite toppings – pepperoni, ham, olives, spinach, tomatoes, etc.– to please everyone’s taste buds.
Below is a summary of the major ingredients as well as some helpful tips and substitutions. Scroll down for the full recipe card.
PASTA – Use your favorite medium pasta shape. I like to use cavatappi, which is Italian for corkscrew, and describes the shape of these noodles. They are a hollow, spiral noodle that is great for grabbing sauce. I also use it in my pestco cavatappi and twisted mac & cheese.
GROUND SIRLOIN– I only use a lean sirloin when I make beef dishes. It has great flavor without being greasy. I usually get 93/7%. You can use chuck, you just may have to drain off some grease.
MONTREAL STEAK SEASONING– You can buy it at the store or you can make your own. This seasoning consists of garlic, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper flakes, dill seed, and salt.
MARINARA SAUCE – You can use your favorite jarred sauce or make homemade in under 30 minutes.
MOZZARELLA– You will want to use shredded mozzarella for this pizza casserole.
TOPPINGS – I used pepperoni but some other options are: ham, olives, bell peppers, spinach, fresh tomatoes, sausage, mushrooms, etc. You could even portion out the casserole to have different toppings on different corners, just like a real pizza.
TOOLS FOUND ON AMAZON TO HELP YOU
- CASSEROLE DISH – I like to pick a baking dish that comes with a lid so you can easily store leftovers or even stick it in the freezer.
- MEAT CHOPPER – This tool is so handy for breaking up ground beef as you’re cooking it.
- VEGGIE CHOPPER – Never again will I chop an onion by hand. This little tool makes chopping veggies so easy!
- COLANDER – My husband bought me a colander with a handle years ago & I thought it was silly & a waste of space…and then I realized it was super convenient.
HOW TO MAKE IT
Making this pizza pasta bake is really easy – you’ll be done in less than an hour!
STEP ONE– First, cook the noodles until they’re al dente, then drain and set aside. Cook the noodles about a minute or two less than the package instructs because they will continue cooking in the oven.
STEP TWO– While the noodles are cooking, in a large skillet, add the chopped onion and ground sirloin. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, drain off any excess grease and season with salt and pepper or other favorite seasonings.
STEP THREE– Once the meat is fully cooked and seasoned, pour in the marinara sauce and cooked pasta, then stir it up so everything is evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish, top with lots of mozzarella cheese, then add your favorite toppings. I used pepperoni this time.
STEP FIVE– Finally, bake for 20 minutes at 350 until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
HOW DO YOU MAKE PASTA BAKE BETTER?
First, make sure you pick a good noodle. Like I mentioned cavatappi works well because it is rigid, hollow, and has texture. It will grab the sauce better than a smooth, floppy shape.
Next, undercook your pasta a bit at the boiling phase. Remember that you’re going to bake it, which will further cook it, so stop at al dente (with a bite) while boiling.
Finally, when you take the pasta bake out of the oven, let it rest for a bit before you dive into it. Even giving it five minutes to “set” will help distribute the sauce and flavors.
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Can I double this recipe? You can very easily double this recipe. I made this batch for our family of four and it makes about six servings. As written, I use a medium baking dish (2.25 quart – 12.75 x 7.75″) but if you double, use a 9 x 13.
- Freezing: Pizza casserole makes a great freezer meal. Follow all the steps in the recipe up until the point of baking it. Instead, cover and freeze up to 3 months. Once you’re ready to bake it, move the casserole from the freezer to the fridge overnight to partially thaw. When ready, remove the casserole from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350° and bake as directed, increasing the cook time to 35-40 minutes or until heated through.
- Reheating: Reheat either in the microwave in individual portions, or place the whole baking dish in the oven until heated through.
- I like to serve this casserole with garlic knots or onion dill bread.
- To get your veggies in, either add fresh baby spinach to the sauce or serve it with a garden salad or roasted zucchini.
- I use jarred sauce, but you can also make homemade marinara sauce to step it up a notch.
- Top your pizza casserole with anything you like on a regular pizza – sliced olives, jalapenos, parmesan cheese, even pineapple!
- You can’t forget dessert! I like to follow pizza casserole night up with oatmeal raisin cookies or butter pecan cake for dessert.
NEED MORE BAKED PASTA RECIPES? TRY THESE:
Click here to view my entire collection of pasta recipes.
This recipe first appeared on Yellow Bliss Road.