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Pizza Casserole

Pizza Casserole

5 from 6 reviews

An easy Pizza Casserole with pasta, Italian Sausage, onions, garlic, green bell peppers, pepperoni, and black olives in marinara sauce topped with oodles of melted mozzarella cheese.  This dish is ideal for large families and hungry appetites.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 ounces uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning ounces marinara
  • 24 ounces marinara 
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 3 ounces pepperoni
  • 1 can (2.25 ounces) black olives drained
  • basil ribbons (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook the pasta al dente and drain well.
  3. Meanwhile start browning the Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium heat.   When it is about halfway browned add the onion and green bell pepper. Continue cooking until the sausage is browned and the onion is soft. Drain any excess grease. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and Italian seasoning stirring and cooking for 1 minute.
  4. Add the marinara and the pizza sauce to the skillet stirring to combine and simmering over low heat. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. 
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and black olives. Bake covered with foil for 15-20 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Top with fresh basil ribbons.

Notes

  • Any medium pasta works well with this recipe. Think rotini, penne, rigatoni, ziti, cavatappi, or mostaccioli.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Cook it al dente per the directions on the packaging. Al dente means slightly firm as the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
  • I like a mixture of marinara and pizza sauce as I really think it gives the dish that authentic pizza sauce taste. However you could substitute all marinara if you wanted to.
  • Use your favorite pizza toppings like ham, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers, and bacon.
  • Cover the dish with foil before cooking for the first 15-20 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes. This allows the casserole to heat thoroughly and the cheese to melt without overbrowning.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat at a reduced power in the microwave so the casserole heats through to the center without being overcooked on the outside.
  • To freeze fully cool the casserole or better yet freeze the uncooked casserole double wrapped for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Remove any plastic wrap and follow the baking directions on the recipe. 

Keywords: pizza casserole recipe, how to make pizza casserole, pizza casserole ingredients

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