Loaded Pizza Pasta Casserole

Pizza casserole

The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
547 Calories
34g Fat
22g Carbs
37g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 547
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 1020mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 353mg 27%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 749mg 16%
*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 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 lean ground beef, 85% lean

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, red or green

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, or 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 14 ounces pizza sauce

  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 to 2 (2 1/4-ounce) cans sliced ripe olives

  • 4 to 6 ounces pepperoni, sliced

  • 12 to 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, or a pizza blend of cheeses, shredded, divided

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients pizza casserole
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. 

    Grease pan
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  3. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain well and set aside.

    Cook the pasta
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  4. 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.

    Mushrooms
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  5. Add the ground beef and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent.

    Add the ground beef
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  6. Add the bell pepper and garlic and continue cooking, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink. If necessary, drain and discard excess grease.

    Add the bell pepper and garlic
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  7. 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.

    Add the basil
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  8. Combine the beef and pepperoni sauce mixture with the drained pasta. Toss to blend thoroughly.

    Combine in a bowl
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  9. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the shredded cheese.

    Cheddar in pizza casserole
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  10. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture over the cheese layer and finish with the remaining cheese.

    Bake
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  11. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the cheese is thoroughly melted.

    Pizza casserole
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu

Tip

  • 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.