This pizza pasta is an effortless dinner recipe that is served casserole-style and is easy to make ahead of time. Refrigerate it or freeze until ready to bake later! It’s perfect for busy weeknights.
What Is Pizza Pasta?
The idea of pizza pasta is what its name suggests. It is cooked pasta tossed with pizza sauce, marinara sauce, ground beef and pizza toppings. Since you can customize pizza pasta using your favorite pizza toppings, it is also a versatile dish.
- Vegetables are a healthy addition to pizza pasta, but keep their cooking times in mind. For instance, spinach wilts easily, so throw it into your pizza-pasta mixture within the last two minutes of cooking.
- If you crave extra cheese, you can mix in shredded cheese before transferring your pizza pasta to the baking dish.
- Garnishes make dishes pop by infusing fresh flavor. Add fresh chopped oregano, basil, or parsley to the top before or after baking.
- Pizza pasta is easy to turn into a vegetarian or vegan-friendly dish. Just substitute all animal-based ingredients with those that comply with your dietary requirements.
- Homemade pizza sauce is easy to make. Be sure to check out our Easy Pizza sauce.
Pizza pasta is an effortless casserole dish that is dynamic enough to remain on your family’s dinner rotation while still accounting for all taste preferences.
Here are the core ingredients needed to build the foundation of pizza pasta:
- Uncooked Pasta: Any high-quality pasta works. Rotini and penne are two solid options for this dish.
- Marinara Sauce: Use high quality marinara sauce for the best results. I used Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce.
- Homemade or Pre-Made Pizza Sauce: If you’re using your favorite pre-made sauce, be sure that you are comfortable with all its flavor coming through in your pizza pasta.
- Ground Beef: If you want, you can use both ground beef and ground sausage. Make sure they are used in equal proportions.
- Pepperoni Slices: These slices of cured meat goodness are the foundation of most pizzas.
- Mozzarella: This soft white Italian cheese melts seamlessly into pizza pasta.
These ingredients will upgrade your pizza pasta:
- Garlic: It adds a welcome pungency to this dish.
- Bell Pepper: These are a staple on the supreme pizza. Why not toss some chopped bell peppers in your pizza pasta?
- Italian Seasoning: This blend of Italian herbs is the perfect flavor enhancer.
- Beef Broth: For a rich sauce, use this instead of pasta water.
- Red Chili Flakes
- Parmesan Cheese: Both Parmesan and mozzarella are complementary Italian cheeses.
How to Make Pizza Pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with enough salt so that water tastes mildly of salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain well.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and red chili flakes; cook for 4 minutes. Add the peppers and cook further for 5 minutes or until the beef is browned and cooked through. Drain excess grease.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add the beef broth and mix to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the marinara sauce and pizza sauce. Stir to combine, using a silicon spatula. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat to low and add in Parmesan cheese.
- Add the pasta to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Transfer to a lightly greased 10.5x7.5-inch casserole dish .
- Top with mozzarella cheese and then place pepperoni slices on top.
- Cover with non-stick aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted. To brown the top more, broil at 450F for 1 minute.
- Garnish with fresh basil or parsley.
❗ You can also bake it uncovered. If using foil ( to bake pizza pasta covered), make sure to spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Spraying the foil before covering keeps the cheese from sticking to the foil, which can ruin the dish’s composition.
Yes! It freezes for up to three months. Since leftovers heat up well, it is also the perfect set-it-and-forget-it family meal.
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container, then consume all leftovers within the first three days.
What to Serve With Pizza Pasta
Turn dinnertime into a restaurant-quality Italian-American classic by serving this pasta with a fresh salad, garlic bread or garlic butter, and olive oil for dipping. Here are some other options that go great with this dish:
Tools For This Recipe
(Amazon affiliate links)
- 10.5x7.5-inch casserole dish– This is the one I used to make this recipe.
- Box Cheese Grater– Always grate Parmesan cheese yourself for the best results.
- Measuring Spoons
How to Make Ahead Method
Follow the recipe to assemble the casserole. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Bake when ready to serve.
- If refrigerated: Bring to room temperature before baking. Increase the baking time to 35 minutes. Be sure to cook your pasta al dente!
- If frozen: Thaw completely in the fridge overnight. Then bake for 35 minutes also.
More Pasta Recipes to Try!!!
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