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Meat Lover’s Pizza Casserole

This Pizza Casserole recipe is one that is super easy to make for a weeknight dinner, and it’s very family friendly too.

meat lover's pizza casserole in a baking dish

Who doesn’t love a baked pasta dish? That’s basically what this is. We use pizza sauce instead of marinara sauce in this recipe to make it more pizza-like. It’s a delicious casserole that fits the bill when you’re craving a little bit of comfort food. Make a pizza casserole for tonight’s dinner!

The Big Book of Weeknight Dinners cookbook cover

This recipe comes from the Betty Crocker cookbook: The Big Book of Weeknight Dinners. We love this book around my house because there are so many family friendly recipes in it. Seriously, there are so many good recipes to choose from that are perfect for family dinners. You’ll find recipes for soups, stews, casseroles, salads and more. This is a good cookbook to have on your cookbook shelf if you need new ideas sometimes for what to make for dinner!

Here are a few family friendly dinner recipes we can’t wait to try:

  • Loaded Baked Potato Casserole
  • Mexican Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust
  • Easy Ravioli Bake
  • Make-Ahead Cheeseburger Lasagna
  • Alfredo Chicken Pot Puff Pies
  • Chicken and Noodles Skillet
  • Chicken and Ravioli Carbonara
  • Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich Options

ingredients displayed for making pizza casserole

Ingredients needed:

  • ziti pasta
  • Italian pork sausage
  • onion
  • green bell pepper
  • garlic 
  • pizza sauce
  • bacon or pancetta
  • pepperoni
  • Italian shredded cheese blend

four photos showing how to make a pizza casserole

How to make a Pizza Casserole:

The complete, printable recipe is at the end of this post.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Cook the ziti as directed on the package, using the minimum cook time. Then drain, and return the pasta to the pan.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, cook and stir the sausage, onion, bell pepper and garlic over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes (or until the sausage is no longer pink and the onion is soft). Stir in the pizza sauce, bacon and pepperoni.
  4. Pour the sausage mixture over the cooked pasta; stir. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon the remaining pasta on top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. 

meat lover's pizza casserole in white baking dish

Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until hot in the center and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

spooning pizza casserole out of dish

Spoon out individual servings. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, if you’d like. Serve with a salad and a hunk of bread to mop up any extra sauce. Enjoy!

spoon picking up cheesy string of pizza casserole

Does this pizza casserole recipe look like one that your family would enjoy? Feel free to customize it, as needed. The basics are there- pasta, sauce and cheese. Add the veggies you and your family like best, and leave the bacon and pepperoni out if you want it to be meatless. It can be easily adapted to your preference!

pizza casserole on a white plate

The Best Casserole Recipes:

meat lover's pizza casserole in a baking dish

Meat Lover's Pizza Casserole

RecipeBoy.com (shared from Betty Crocker's The Big Book of Weeknight Dinners)
Serious, family friendly comfort food for dinner!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces ziti pasta
  • 8 ounces Italian pork sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 30 ounces bottled or canned pizza sauce
  • 8 slices bacon or pancetta (cooked and crumbled)
  • 28 slices pepperoni
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Cook the ziti as directed on the package, using the minimum cook time. Then drain, and return the pasta to the pan.
  • Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, cook and stir the sausage, onion, bell pepper and garlic over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes (or until the sausage is no longer pink and the onion is soft). Stir in the pizza sauce, bacon and pepperoni.
  • Pour the sausage mixture over the cooked pasta; stir. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon the remaining pasta on top.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until hot in the center and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Keyword casserole, meat, pizza
Recipe Rating