Cheesy Pizza Casserole

Cheesy Pizza Casserole has all the classic flavors I love about pizza in a comforting casserole that reminds me of Grandmas cooking.  The rich tomato sauce, garlic, and cheese combine perfectly with the meaty flavors from the ham, sausage, and pepperoni.  This meal is seriously so filling and satisfying!

Try these other twists on pizza like this pepperoni pizza lasagna rolls.

Cheesy Pizza Casserole on a brown wooden plate.

Cheesy Pizza Casserole

Lately, I’ve been searching for a hearty and homemade meal to feed my big family.  We have all been so busy during the week and I needed something that was filling and delicious.  A meal that would leave us all full and satisfied, but also with some leftovers for the week.  When I saw this Pizza Casserole idea I was so excited to try it!  It has all the kid approved pizza flavors we love! Building the layers was easy to do and didn’t take long at all.  The smell of this casserole cooking in the oven was unbelievably good!  We couldn’t wait to dig in!

The great news was that this recipe did make a ton of food and was so delish!  Everyone loved it and I was so happy we could still eat leftovers for lunches the next day!  I think it was actually even better the second time we ate it!  Overall, I’d say this cheesy pizza casserole was a huge hit in my house!

Ingredients for Cheesy Pizza Casserole

  1. Bow tie pasta: You can use any pasta, but I think the bow tie adds fun texture to this dish!
  2. Mild pork sausage: You can also get Italian Sausage which is the same as mild pork sausage just with fennel and garlic seasonings added in.
  3. Large onion chopped- I keep a frozen bag of chopped onion on hand at all times so that I can skip the chopping step when I want to save prep time.
  4. Spaghetti sauce: The sauce is layered all throughout so be sure to pick your favorite sauce! Or even better, try a homemade sauce!
  5. Cubed ham: Layer in with the sauce and cheese.
  6. Sliced pepperoni: Cover the top of the casserole with the pepperoni.
  7. Shredded mozzarella cheese: Freshly shredded will melt more evenly and give more flavor, but store-bought works great too!
  8. Grated Parmesan cheese: This Italian cheese is a staple in any Italian meal and goes on every layer or this delicious casserole!
  9. Chopped garlic: Garlic is full of great health benefits and great flavor!
  10. Dried oregano: Since oregano is from the mint family it adds such a fresh flavor!

How to Make Cheesy Pizza Casserole

  • Cook pasta: Cook pasta in water until al dente.
  • Cook sausage: Cook the sausage with the garlic, onion and oregano until juices run clear.
  • Layer the pan: In a lightly greased 9×13 pan, pour a small amount of sauce to lightly coat the bottom.
  • 1st Layer: 1/3 of the pasta, 1/3 of the sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, and sausage and onions.
  • 2nd layer: 1/2 of the remaining pasta, 1/2 sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, and ham.
  • 3rd layer: All remaining pasta, all remaining sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella, 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, all the pepperoni completely covering the top.
  • Bake: Place in oven at 375 for 40 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving!

The process of making cheesy pizza casserole in four photo steps. The first photo cooking the bowtie pasta, then cooking the ground meat with seasonings then layering the ingredients into the pan.

Variations of Pizza Casserole:

The best part about making pizza casserole at home is getting to customize it just to your liking! Add whatever toppings or veggies you want, mix up your cheeses, or keep it simple. I’ve even included some ways you can get this casserole in your oven even faster with some simple made ahead steps and ingredient short cuts.

One substitute you can make to save time is to swap fresh mushrooms for canned –This saves a step and some cooking time. Simply stir the mushrooms into the sausage mixture before adding it to the casserole dish to bake.

Keep in mind this recipe was designed to be just as delicious for leftovers – the high fat content helps to keep this cheesy goodness great even the second time out of the oven.  So, invite some friends over and enjoy this delicious meal – even on day 2!

Can you Make Pizza Casserole Ahead of Time?

Yes! If you’d like to prep this dinner to be ready in less than 15 minutes, it is super easy to make this dish ahead of time!  You can prepare it and then freeze or store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it!

The first thing you need to do is assemble the casserole as listed in instructions, up to the point of baking.  Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge or freezer.  Cook within 3 days if you choose to refrigerate, or move the casserole to the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.

If you would rather pre-bake, simply bake at 350 degrees until cheesy slightly browns on top, about 20 minutes.  Remove the casserole from oven and let it cool completely.  When you go to bake the casserole to serve, bake at 350 degrees to piping hot (about 20 minutes) and enjoy!

Cheesy Pizza Casserole baked in a white pan sitting on a countertop.

Cheesy Pizza Casserole

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 12 Servings

The best of both worlds! And let me tell you, the homemade breadtwists are a must!

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian American
Keyword casserole, casserole recipe, cheesy pizza caserole recipe, cheesy pizza casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bow tie pasta
  • 1 lb mild pork sausage
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce 26 oz.
  • 1 lb cubed ham
  • 1/2- 1 lb sliced pepperoni
  • 3 bags shredded mozzarella cheese 8 oz.
  • 6 Tbs grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in water until al dente.  Cook sausage, garlic, onion and oregano until juices run clear.  In a lightly greased 9x13 pan, pour a small amount of sauce to lightly coat the bottom.

  2. 1st Layer- 1/3 of the pasta, 1/3 of the sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, and sausage and oinions.
  3. 2nd layer- 1/2 of the remaining pasta, 1/2 sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, and ham.
  4. 3rd layer- All remaining pasta, all remaining sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella, 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, all the pepperoni completely covering the top.
  5. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Updated on 

Originally Posted on October 19, 2012

Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Pizza Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 593 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 109mg36%
Sodium 1775mg74%
Potassium 358mg10%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 50IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Hey newest follower here.. Thank you so much for following my blog! After I seen your recipes I knew your blog was a perfect one for me to follow too! We just had an italian casserole last night for dinner too.. you can never go wrong with italian around here!

  2. I’m not sure how I reached your blog, but I am so glad I did! What a wonderful concept; LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact the you test and rate them! And your pictures are heavenly. Ooooooh…. I just spotted Hershey’s Cheesecake Brownies in your sidebar. I need to check those out. I’m clicking to follow you!!! Please come and do the same, although you won’t see many recipes from me… not when there are people like YOU to do the work for me! Have a wonderful weekend, Jules from blesid thrifter

  3. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog
    loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  4. This was wonderful. My family loves pizza and pasta. This was a great way to get both. I used spicy Italian sausage. Everything else exactly as written. I wasn’t to sure about the ham, but it ended up being my favorite bite when I would get some ham. My son said it is “ridiculously good”

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