Loaded Pizza Pasta Casserole

Pizza Pasta Casserole

Diana Rattray

Ratings
(80)
  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
528 Calories
24g Fat
43g Carbs
35g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 528
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 764mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 35g
Calcium 352mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This hearty hamburger pizza casserole is perfect for satisfying a pizza craving without having to order takeout. It makes a fabulous everyday family meal, as well as a great option to take to a potluck dinner. Add a simple tossed green salad and garlic bread for a satisfying dinner. This makes excellent leftovers, too. Just cover the baking dish with foil and reheat the casserole in a 400 degree F oven for about 25 minutes, stirring about halfway through the cooking time. 

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces shaped pasta, such as fusilli or elbows
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil (or about 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 14 ounces pizza sauce
  • 14.5 ounces can diced tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 (2 1/4-ounce) cans sliced ripe olives
  • 4 to 6 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • 12 to 16 ounces mozzarella cheese (or a pizza blend of cheeses, shredded, divided)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. 

  2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain well and set aside.

  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

  4. Add the ground beef and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent.

  5. Add the bell pepper and garlic and continue cooking, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink. If necessary, drain and discard excess grease.

  6. Add the basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, pizza sauce, and tomatoes, along with the olives, pepperoni, and the reserved cooked sliced mushrooms. Heat until the sauce begins to simmer. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed.

  7. Combine the beef and pepperoni sauce mixture with the drained pasta. Toss to blend thoroughly.

  8. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the shredded cheese.

  9. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture over the cheese layer and finish with the remaining cheese.

  10. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the cheese is thoroughly melted.

Tips

  • There are a number of other possible add-ins or substitutions for this hamburger pizza casserole, including cooked bacon for smoky flavor, Italian sausage instead of the ground beef (or a combination), jalapeño peppers, spinach, and chopped canned or marinated artichoke hearts.
  • Cook the pasta to al dente, which means it's still slightly undercooked. The pasta will continue to cook in the sauce while the casserole is baking.
  • If you don't have pizza sauce on hand, make up a quick version by combining canned crushed tomatoes with olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning.

Recipe Variations

  • Hawaiian pizza casserole: Replace the beef and pepperoni with slices of fully cooked ham and chopped pineapple.
  • Skillet pizza casserole: Instead of layering the casserole and baking the dish, add the cooked pasta directly to the skillet in which the sauce and meats cooked. Stir well, and then top the mixture with all the shredded cheese. Let the cheese melt and serve directly from the skillet.