Pizza Casserole Recipe



  • 1 1/2 boxes rotini noodles (16 oz each)
  • 2 jars pizza sauce (23.9 oz each)
  • 1 box pepperonis (3.5 oz), to taste
  • 2 lbs ground hamburger
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cook Rotini Noodles:
    • Cook the rotini noodles just until they are about to reach al dente. You want them slightly undercooked, as they will continue cooking in the oven.
  3. Brown Hamburger:
    • In a skillet, fry up the ground hamburger until fully cooked. Drain any excess grease.
  4. Prepare Pizza Casserole Mixture:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rotini noodles, browned hamburger, pizza sauce from both jars, half of the pepperonis (cut in half), and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Mix everything together until well combined.
  5. Assemble in Baking Dish:
    • Transfer the mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish, spreading it evenly.
  6. Layer with Cheese and Pepperonis:
    • Sprinkle the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the casserole.
    • Place the remaining pepperonis on top, ensuring even distribution.
  7. Cover and Bake:
    • Cover the baking dish with tin foil to prevent the cheese from over-browning.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Final Bake (Optional):
    • For a golden-brown crust, uncover the casserole during the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
  9. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Once the cheese is melted and bubbly, remove the Pizza Casserole from the oven.
    • Allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Optional Garnish:
    • Garnish with fresh herbs like basil or oregano for a burst of flavor and a touch of freshness.
  11. Capture Pre-Oven Photo (Optional):
    • Before placing it in the oven, snap a photo of your delicious creation to share with friends or on social media.

This Pizza Casserole is a family-friendly and easy-to-make dish, combining the flavors of a classic pizza in a comforting casserole form. Enjoy the cheesy goodness and customize it with your favorite pizza toppings!

To enhance the flavor and make your Pizza Casserole even more delightful, consider incorporating these helpful tips:

  1. Add Italian Seasoning:
    • Tip: Enhance the Italian flavors by adding a teaspoon or two of dried Italian seasoning to the casserole mixture. It adds depth and complexity to the dish.
  2. Use Quality Pepperonis:
    • Tip: Opt for high-quality or spicy pepperonis for a more robust and flavorful casserole. You can even layer them on the top to get crispy edges.
  3. Customize Pizza Sauce:
    • Tip: Mix in a bit of crushed garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes, or a drizzle of olive oil into the pizza sauce for an extra layer of flavor.
  4. Experiment with Cheese Varieties:
    • Tip: Combine different cheeses such as provolone, Parmesan, or a blend of Italian cheeses for a richer and more complex flavor profile.
  5. Add Vegetables:
    • Tip: Mix in sautéed vegetables like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, or black olives for added texture and a boost of freshness.
  6. Pre-Season Hamburger:
    • Tip: Season the ground hamburger with garlic powder, onion powder, or your favorite Italian seasoning while browning it for a more seasoned and flavorful meat base.
  7. Incorporate Fresh Herbs:
    • Tip: Sprinkle fresh basil or oregano over the casserole just before serving to add a burst of fresh herb flavor.
  8. Choose Artisanal Pasta:
    • Tip: Experiment with specialty or artisanal pasta shapes for a unique twist. The nooks and crannies can catch and hold onto the delicious sauce.
  9. Layer with Thinly Sliced Tomatoes:
    • Tip: Place thin slices of fresh tomatoes between the layers to add a juicy and refreshing element to each bite.
  10. Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze:
    • Tip: Before serving, drizzle a balsamic glaze over the top for a sweet and tangy finish. It complements the richness of the cheese and meat.
  11. Add a Touch of Heat:
    • Tip: For spice lovers, sprinkle red pepper flakes or add a few slices of pickled jalapeños to give your casserole a spicy kick.
  12. Let it Rest Before Serving:
    • Tip: Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps the flavors meld and ensures a perfect consistency when serving.

Remember to customize these tips based on your preferences, and don’t be afraid to get creative with additional toppings or ingredients to make it your own signature Pizza Casserole!

Achieving the perfect Pizza Casserole involves attention to detail and a few secrets to enhance the flavors. Here are some tips to make it outstanding:

  1. Quality Ingredients:
    • Secret: Use high-quality pizza sauce, fresh pepperonis, and good-quality cheeses. Quality ingredients contribute significantly to the overall taste of the casserole.
  2. Marinate Ground Hamburger:
    • Secret: Before frying up the ground hamburger, marinate it in a mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning. This adds depth and flavor to the meat.
  3. Layered Cheese:
    • Secret: Instead of just topping the casserole with cheese, consider adding a layer in the middle of the casserole. This creates a gooey, cheesy center when serving.
  4. Sautéed Vegetables:
    • Secret: Sauté vegetables like onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms before adding them to the casserole. This enhances their flavor and ensures they are fully cooked in the final dish.
  5. Pre-Bake the Crust:
    • Secret: For a slightly crispy texture, pre-bake the bottom layer of the casserole for a few minutes before adding the toppings and the remaining layers.
  6. Homemade Pizza Sauce:
    • Secret: Consider making your own pizza sauce with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, and oregano. Homemade sauce adds a vibrant, authentic flavor.
  7. Fresh Basil Garnish:
    • Secret: Just before serving, sprinkle fresh basil over the casserole. The aromatic basil adds a burst of freshness to each bite.
  8. Customized Spices:
    • Secret: Experiment with additional spices like fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, or a pinch of smoked paprika to replicate the nuances of a classic pizza flavor.
  9. Pasta Cooking Water:
    • Secret: Before draining the cooked rotini noodles, reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water. Add a splash to the casserole mixture if it appears too dry, as the starchy water enhances the sauce.
  10. Cheese Mix:
    • Secret: Mix different types of cheese for a well-rounded flavor. Combine mozzarella with provolone or cheddar for a delicious blend.
  11. Thicker Pepperoni Layer:
    • Secret: Place a thicker layer of pepperonis on top to create a visually appealing and flavorful crust-like layer.
  12. Let it Rest:
    • Secret: Allow the casserole to rest for about 10 minutes after baking. This helps the flavors meld together and ensures a cohesive dish when serving.

Remember, these secrets are meant to be adjusted based on personal preferences, so feel free to tailor them to create your perfect Pizza Casserole!

Here are some popular questions and answers related to the Pizza Casserole recipe:

  1. Q: Can I use a different type of pasta in the Pizza Casserole?
    • A: Yes, you can use other pasta shapes like penne, fusilli, or even macaroni based on your preference.
  2. Q: Can I make Pizza Casserole ahead of time?
    • A: Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it. Just bake it when you’re ready to serve.
  3. Q: Can I freeze Pizza Casserole for later?
    • A: Yes, you can freeze the casserole before baking. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed when ready to serve.
  4. Q: Can I add additional toppings like olives or mushrooms?
    • A: Certainly! Customize the casserole with your favorite pizza toppings. Sautéed mushrooms, black olives, or even diced bell peppers work well.
  5. Q: Can I use turkey or chicken instead of ground hamburger?
    • A: Yes, ground turkey or chicken can be substituted for the hamburger. Season it well for a flavorful alternative.
  6. Q: How can I make the casserole spicier?
    • A: Add crushed red pepper flakes, sliced jalapeños, or a drizzle of hot sauce to achieve a spicier kick.
  7. Q: Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of pizza sauce?
    • A: While fresh tomatoes can be used, it may alter the consistency. Consider cooking them down into a sauce-like consistency or using a combination of fresh and canned tomatoes.
  8. Q: What type of cheese is best for Pizza Casserole?
    • A: Mozzarella is a classic choice, but you can use a combination of cheeses like provolone, cheddar, or Parmesan for added flavor.
  9. Q: How long does it take to bake the Pizza Casserole?
    • A: Bake the casserole at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 35 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  10. Q: Can I use a different size of baking dish?
    • A: Yes, you can use a different size, but adjust the baking time accordingly. A larger dish may require less time, and a smaller one may need more time.
  11. Q: Can I add a layer of dough for a more pizza-like crust?
    • A: Absolutely! Consider adding a layer of pizza dough on the bottom before adding the toppings for a crust-like texture. Pre-bake the dough for a few minutes before assembling.
  12. Q: How can I prevent the casserole from becoming too watery?

    • A: Ensure that the vegetables are properly sautéed to release excess moisture, and drain any excess liquid from the canned ingredients. Additionally, not overcooking the pasta helps retain its texture and prevents sogginess.



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