How to Make a Delicious Meat Lovers Pizza Casserole

Meat Lovers Pizza Casserole is a hearty and savory dish that combines all the beloved flavors of a classic meat lovers pizza with the comfort and ease of a casserole. Perfect for feeding a crowd, satisfying hearty appetites, or simply indulging in a love for all things meat and cheese, this casserole is a surefire hit. Packed with a variety of meats, gooey cheese, and a rich tomato sauce, all layered with pasta instead of pizza dough, it offers a delicious twist on traditional pizza. Whether for a casual family dinner, game day gathering, or potluck, this casserole brings the pizzeria experience home in a most satisfying way.

 

 

 

Why You’ll Love Meat Lovers Pizza Casserole

  • Hearty and Filling: Loaded with meats and cheese, it’s a satisfying meal all on its own.
  • Flavors of Your Favorite Pizza: Enjoy the classic flavors of a meat lovers pizza in a novel casserole form.
  • Easy to Make: Simple preparation and common ingredients make this dish accessible to cooks of any skill level.
  • Perfect for Leftovers: Tastes just as great the next day, making it ideal for meal prep or enjoying leftovers.

Ingredients Notes

  • Pasta: Use a sturdy pasta like penne, rigatoni, or ziti that can hold up to the sauce and toppings.
  • Meats: A combination of cooked Italian sausage, pepperoni slices, and ground beef or turkey. Feel free to add bacon or ham for extra meatiness.
  • Cheese: Mozzarella for that classic pizza stretch, and Parmesan for a flavor boost.
  • Sauce: A good quality marinara sauce ties all the components together with rich tomato flavor.
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes (optional) enhance the casserole with classic pizza flavors.

Recipe Steps

  1. Precook Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package instructions until just al dente; it will continue cooking in the oven.
  2. Brown the Meats: In a skillet, cook the ground beef and Italian sausage until browned. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta, browned meats, half of the pepperoni slices, marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
  4. Layer the Casserole: In a greased baking dish, layer half of the pasta and meat mixture. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat layers.
  5. Add Final Toppings: Arrange the remaining pepperoni slices on top for a pizza-like appearance. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if using.
  6. Bake: Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven until bubbly. Remove foil and bake for a few more minutes to brown the cheese.
  7. Serve: Let the casserole cool slightly before serving to allow it to set for easier slicing.

Storage and Reheating

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: Warm in the oven or microwave until heated through, adding a splash of water if it seems dry.

 

How to Make a Delicious Meat Lovers Pizza Casserole

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Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • Pasta: 16 oz 450g, uncooked (penne, rigatoni, or fusilli work well)
  • Ground beef: 1 lb 450g
  • Italian sausage: 1/2 lb 225g, casings removed
  • Pepperoni slices: 1 cup chopped (reserve some for topping)
  • Ham: 1/2 cup diced
  • Bacon: 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled
  • Pizza sauce: 24 oz 680g jar
  • Mozzarella cheese: 2 cups shredded
  • Cheddar cheese: 1 cup shredded
  • Parmesan cheese: 1/2 cup grated
  • Italian seasoning: 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Onion: 1 medium diced
  • Mushrooms: 1 cup sliced (optional)
  • Black olives: 1/2 cup sliced (optional)
  • Olive oil: for sautéing
  • Salt and pepper: to taste

Instructions

Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Cook the Pasta:

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until just al dente. Drain and set aside.

Brown the Meats:

  • In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef, Italian sausage, and diced onion. Cook until the meats are browned and the onion is soft. Drain any excess fat.
  • Stir in the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Add the chopped pepperoni, diced ham, and cooked bacon. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine:

  • In a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta with the pizza sauce. Add the meat mixture and sliced mushrooms and black olives if using. Toss to combine everything well.

Layer the Casserole:

  • Spread half of the pasta and meat mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
  • Add the remaining pasta and meat mixture, and top with the remaining mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and arrange some pepperoni slices on top.

Bake:

  • Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden.

Serve:

  • Let the casserole rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs like basil or parsley if desired.

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