Best Pizza Casserole Recipe – How To Make Easy Pizza Casserole

PICTURED: LUCY SCHAEFFER; CULINARY STYLING: BROOKE CAISON

From the realm of cheesy pizza and bubbling baked pasta comes a new family favorite: the pizza casserole. Loaded with sausage, veggies, and lots of cheese, this easy weeknight dinner has all the cheesy and tomato goodness of our favorite take-out pizza, neatly packaged in a 13″ x 9″ pan.

Our best advice? Leave pasta slightly undercooked when you boil it. The noodles should be al dente enough that you can see a white ring of uncooked noodles when you cut them into one. Undercooking the pasta will allow it to absorb more of the tomato sauce (and its flavor!) when you cook it and will also prevent it from overcooking and becoming a mushy mess.

Read on for more tips on this comforting casserole. Looking for more pizza? Check out these egg pizza rolls – it’s another brilliant mix we can’t stop eating.

What is a pizza casserole?

The pizza casserole consists of pasta mixed with pizza sauce, sausages, mushrooms and peppers, covered with mozzarella cheese and cooked in a casserole dish. We like to use cavatappi pasta (or its cousin, cellentani) in this casserole, as its corkscrew shape is perfect for holding all the sausages and veggies in the sauce. If you can’t find any, try rotini, fusilli or rigatoni.

Can I change the filling?

Everyone has their favorite pizza topping. We’ve gone to work in this recipe, but feel free to customize your casserole toppings to whatever you (or your family!) prefer. Not a fan of peppers? Leave them outside. You don’t eat pork? Sub in chicken sausage or ground beef. Make it your own, just like you would if you were ordering a pizza from your local takeout outlet.

Can I prepare it in advance?

You certainly can. You can cook the sausage, mushrooms, and gravy ahead of time, mix them together, and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the casserole. You can also assemble the whole casserole and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Assembled and uncooked, it should stay good in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.

Can I freeze this?

Absolutely! We recommend assembling it according to the directions (minus the top layer of mozzarella and pepperoni), then making sure it’s completely cooled before wrapping in plastic wrap and freezing. The frozen casserole should stay good in your freezer for at least a month. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the casserole completely in your refrigerator (overnight is best) and bake as directed.

Do it ? Let us know how it went in the comments below.

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Yields:

6 – 8


portions

Preparation time:

0

hours

20

minutes

Total time:

1

hour

20

minutes

4 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for the pan

2 tbsp.

plus 2 tbsp. kosher salt, divided

1 pound

Italian sausage, casings removed

8 oz.

cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

1


small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 tsp)

2


garlic cloves, finely chopped

3


(8 oz) canned tomato sauce

1


(14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

1/4 tsp.

crushed red pepper flakes

1/2


green bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, cut into 1/2″ pieces

3 bed.

shredded mozzarella, divided

1/3 tsp.

sliced ​​pepperoni (about 2 oz.)

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 13″ by 9″ glass baking dish with oil.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and 2 tablespoons of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes (the pasta should still be slightly undercooked in the center). Drain pasta; put aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up into bite-sized pieces, until browned and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to a medium bowl, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible.
  4. In the same skillet over medium heat, combine the mushrooms and 1 tbsp oil; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl with the sausage.
  5. In the same skillet over medium heat, cook the onion, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and remaining 2 tbsp oil, stirring occasionally, until browned. onion is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and remaining teaspoon of salt. Remove 2 cups of sauce and set aside. Stir the cooked peppers and sausages, mushrooms and reserved pasta into the remaining sauce. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  6. Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Top with remaining pasta mixture. Pour over the reserved 2 cups of sauce.
  7. Cover pan with foil and bake until hot and bubbling around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove foil, top with remaining 2 cups of mozzarella, then pepperoni, and continue baking until cheese is melted and pepperoni is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.

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pizza casserole

PICTURED: LUCY SCHAEFFER; CULINARY STYLING: BROOKE CAISON

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