Easy Pizza Pasta Casserole Recipe

Make this veggie-filled pasta pizza casserole recipe for an easy weeknight dinner or freezer meal for later. Easy to customize and leave out the noodles to make low-carb, keto friendly, or gluten free, and to include your favorite pizza toppings and vegetables like zucchini, cauliflower, and green peppers.

You’ll also want to try our Easy Zucchini Casserole, Low Carb Cheeseburger Casserole, and a breakfast, lunch, or dinner high protein Chiles Rellenos Casserole.

Pizza Pasta Casserole Recipe @remodelaholic Pizza Pasta Casserole Freezer Meal 4

Easy Pizza Casserole

As Remodelaholics, we love cooking and food — but moving and then always living in a remodel/construction zone means we eat out or get takeout a LOT.

So we go through phases, and especially with kids back in school, I’ve been trying to cook more to save some cash and eat better.

But it feels like trying to learn how to cook again or at least how to remember that I have to cook- and do it before we are starving, when all hope is lost.   I think it is kind of like making a habit, instead of running to a restaurant (and breaking the bank!), making something… ?   Anyone feel like this?

So I am looking for simple but decently healthy meals again.  

Pizza Pasta Casserole Recipe @remodelaholic Pizza Pasta Casserole Freezer Meal 3

And while pizza casserole may not sound like a healthy alternative, we packed in the veggies to make this filling without adding a lot of extra calories — and we have ideas for making it gluten free, keto, low-carb, too, for a crustless pizza casserole without the carbohydrates!

We prefer turkey sausage in place of ground beef (and you could use turkey pepperoni, too, if you’d prefer.) We also make our own pizza sauce so we can control the flavors and the salt for sodium content.

Using vegetable pasta adds nutrients, and you can also use whole grain rotini pasta for added fiber. Or, a favorite trick of mine — use half and half of each type of noodle!

Also, this meal makes enough for leftovers for our family of 4 — cook once and eat twice! It reheats well, and you can also make ahead as a freezer meal. So this is a win-win-win for us!

Healthy Additions for Pizza Pasta Casserole

We love veggies on our pizza, so it was natural to add quite a few to the pasta.  I added onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and dun, dun dun…..spinach.  

One that I didn’t use that you might consider adding is green peppers, and if you like pineapple on your pizza that might be good too!  

By the way, using frozen chopped veggies saved significant time for me! No shame in taking shortcuts!

You can see that the pasta is LOADED with veggies — and read below for how to add zucchini and cauliflower, too!

If you have kids who are picky or veggie resistant, adding in pureed carrots or bell peppers is a great way to add flavor and nutrition to the sauce without a fuss, too.

Pizza Pasta Casserole Recipe (11) small

Making Pizza Casserole Keto, Low Carb, and Gluten Free

There are a few ways to make this easy pizza casserole gluten free, low carb, or keto friendly. 

  1. Skip the noodles. Just cook everything else together and enjoy a high protein crustless pizza casserole without pasta! 
  2. Swap in gluten free pasta (or low carb noodles). Since these noodles are often more delicate, I’d recommend cooking 1-2 minutes short of al dente. 
  3. Add zucchini instead of pasta. Thin sliced zucchini can be used for layering (like in zucchini lasagna) or cooked in with the sausage and vegetables. 
  4. Roast cauliflower in place of pasta. Just follow these instructions to roast the cauliflower florets instead of cooking the pasta. 

Of course, zucchini and cauliflower can also be added *with* the noodles for an extra serving of veggies if it fits with your dietary needs. 

Pizza Casserole Topping Combinations

We love the traditional cheese and pepperoni pizza flavors (with plenty of vegetables), but you could mix it up for your own pizza pasta bake. Use your favorite toppings, or try these classic combinations:

  • Hawaiian pizza casserole: Ham/canadian bacon, pineapple, onions, bacon
  • Margherita pizza casserole: Spinach, basil, mozzarella , and ricotta
  • Meat lovers pizza casserole: Pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ground beef, and ham
  • Vegetarian pizza casserole: onions, peppers, olives, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms

How to Freeze Pizza Pasta Casserole for Later

This is an excellent and super easy meal to make ahead and toss in the freezer. Great for taking to a friend or neighbor who is recovering from an illness or surgery, has a new baby, or just could use some extra love in the form of an easy dinner.

A favorite meal prep time-saver: make a double batch. Eat one that night, and freeze the other for another night. Cook once, eat twice!

To freeze pizza pasta casserole, just follow the instructions to assemble the ingredients and make the casserole. Then, instead of baking, wrap with tin foil and freeze.

To bake from frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake covered ~45 minutes until warmed through, Uncover and bake 5-10 additional minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the pepperoni is crisp. (If the thawed casserole looks dry, add ~1/4 cup water before baking to “steam” the noodles.)

Pizza Pasta Casserole Recipe @remodelaholic Pizza Pasta Casserole Freezer Meal

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Recommended Kitchen Tools

We love tools like these for this recipe and many more!

  • Deep skillet — large capacity, great for cooking up meat and vegetables for a crowd (or a double batch of casserole!). We like ceramic, too!
  • Mandolin slicer — must-have for evenly sliced zucchini that will cook without being crunchy or mushy
  • Walmart+ grocery delivery — Yes, it’s a kitchen tool, and I seriously could not live without! Add to cart, then it’s on my doorstep. Bam!

Pizza Pasta Casserole Recipe

Customize this pizza pasta casserole with your favorite toppings (like bacon or green peppers). Leave out the noodles and swap in zucchini or cauliflower to make low-carb, keto friendly, gluten free pizza casserole.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 oz pasta, cooked al dente according to package instructions I used veggie rotini; see notes for gluten free, low carb, and keto substitutions
  • 12 oz turkey sausage or italian sausage crumble as you cook
  • 1 large onion, chopped or one 12-oz bag chopped frozen onions
  • 1 tsp garlic crushed
  • 14.5 oz canned petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic salt the California style kind
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Pizza Casserole Toppings (suggested)

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4-6 oz sliced pepperoni
  • 2-4 oz sliced black olives
  • 12 oz sliced mushroooms fresh or frozen
  • 6-8 cups fresh spinach ripped into smaller pieces

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil for pasta.  Follow box directions for cooking pasta al dente. (See notes for gluten free, keto, and low carb substitutions.)
  • While the water heats and the pasta cooks, add the sausage to a hot skillet and begin to crumble it up as it cooks.
  • Reduce to medium heat and add the onions and mushrooms, and any additonal desired vegetables that need to cook down, such as zucchini slices or green peppers (but not spinach yet). Cook them down to remove juices, browning slightly.  
  • (Optional) I also added some extra slices of pepperoni at this stage so some would be in the pasta mix and not just on top.
  • When the veggies and sausage are almost ready, add 1 teaspoon crushed garlic and the fresh ripped spinach to the pan.  Cook till spinach is completely wilted.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the large pot.
  • Add the petite diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the large pot with the pasta.
  • Add 1 Tablespoon each garlic salt and Italian seasoning to the pasta and tomato mixture.  Stir to combine.
  • When the veggies and sausage are cooked, add them to the large pot also and stir to combine.  
  • Pour in about 1/2 -3/4 cup shredded mozzarella (or other favorite pizza cheese), and 1/2 of the sliced olives into the pasta mix.
  • Toss to combine, then pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Make sure that all the noodles are covered in sauce to prevent them from getting crispy while baking.
  • Cover with 3-4 ounces pepperoni, and sprinkle remaining cheese and olives on top.
  • Bake approximately 20-25 minutes till cheese is bubbling and the pepperoni is slightly crispy!
    (See notes for make ahead refrigerator casserole instructions and freezer meal casserole baking instructions.)

Notes

MAKE AHEAD FREEZER MEAL

This pizza casserole is a great make ahead meal to put in the fridge 1-3 days for a busy night, or to freeze 1-2 months before baking. 
MAKE AHEAD (REFRIGERATOR): This casserole can be refrigerated for a day or two before baking. Cover with foil and increase baking time to 35-45 minutes, until warmed through. Uncover to bake the last 5-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.
FREEZER MEAL: Wrap the top of the casserole in tin foil.  Cool down in the fridge until it is cool enough to place in the freezer. To serve, thaw completely in the fridge and bake until heated through, approximately 45-50 minutes. Uncover to bake the last 5-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling. (I also add ~1/4 cup water before baking, to help keep the pasta moist and steamed.)

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE, LOW CARB, OR KETO

There are a few ways to make this easy pizza casserole gluten free, low carb, or keto friendly. 
  1. Skip the noodles. Just cook everything else together and enjoy a crustless pizza casserole without pasta! 
  2. Swap in gluten free pasta (or low carb noodles). Since these noodles are often more delicate, I’d recommend cooking 1-2 minutes short of al dente. 
  3. Add zucchini instead of pasta. Thin sliced zucchini can be layered in (like in zucchini lasagna) or cooked in with the sausage and vegetables. 
  4. Roast cauliflower in place of pasta. Just follow these instructions to roast the cauliflower florets instead of cooking the pasta. 
Of course, zucchini and cauliflower can also be added *with* the noodles for an extra serving of veggies if it fits with your dietary needs. 

 Please be sure to check out some of our other favorite recipes:

Pizza Pasta Casserole Recipe @remodelaholic #pizza #pasta #casserole #freezer_meal

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19 Comments

  1. Ciao! In Italia un piatto del genere è detto “Pasta al Forno” per differenziarlo dalla “Lasagna”, che invece è fatta con la sfoglia di pasta.
    Il formato della pasta qui in Italia è chiamato “fusilli”.
    Assolutamente da evitare l’ananas! Se volete qualcosa di fruttato e dolce nel piatto potete tranquillamente usare i peperoni rossi o gialli, ma è vietato l’ananas! Qui in Italia inorridiamo se vediamo l’ananas nei piatti salati!
    Saluti da Roma

    1. Ina!

      How sweet for you to comment and tell me about this! I have actually heard of the term “pasta al forno” but didn’t know what it meant! I am so glad to know. I wish I could be in Italy RIGHT NOW to eat some real life, sent from heaven, Pasta al forno… a girl can dream right? I want to say that I didn’t add the pineapple…. (ha ha! I don’t want to get in too much trouble!) Thanks for your advice…

    1. Well, I have kids and life is busy, so I do whatever I can to save time, even if that means cutting and freezing veggies ahead of time. Technically I only used two frozen veggies, I don’t think that is excessive. I had them in the freezer, I had previously cut up the mushrooms and frozen them to save them from going bad. But of source, you can use fresh veggies if you have them.

  2. Making this for dinner tonight. I too will be using frozen veggies:-D Bet the kiddos will LOVE it! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Fantastic! Would omit the garlic salt next time though. Salty enough with the black olives. Whole family enjoyed it! That includes 2 teens????

  4. This is a great recipe! I use it a lot especially to take a meal to a family in need (surgery, new baby, etc). I love that it’s customizable (supreme, meat lovers, veggie, whatever). I also sometimes spilt it into two 8×8 pans of the family is small. One to eat and one to freeze!

  5. I’m sorry but this recipe is way too salty and way, way, way too much spice. I don’t think I will make it again but if I do I would only put in 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning and no Garlic Salt. I would also only cook the pasta until al dente because it was overcooked in the casserole.

  6. Looks amazing and I’m excited to try it. Is there a link to print the recipe that I’m missing somewhere? Thanks for your help.

    1. Oops, the printable went missing in some site changes we made! You can print it now (and we added some other info, too, since it’s been a few years since we first developed this recipe 🙂

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