This cheesy pepperoni pizza pasta bake is super simple with only 4 ingredients. It comes together fast, and it's family friendly!
Why you'll love it
This pizza casserole is one of those recipes that's great when you're low on time and patience but still want something hot and comforting. It makes a generous amount and it's fairly inexpensive, so that's another bonus. If you've got picky eaters, this recipe is definitely worth a try. Who doesn't love pizza and pasta?
My very first job when I was 17 years old was working at a pizza place. I actually really liked that job, and even now whenever I make anything pizza related, the memories come flooding back. I guess in a way it predicted my future career! This pasta bake is way easier than making pizza from scratch, though. 😉
What you'll need
- Pasta - I chose penne, but you can swap it for another pasta shape if you wish. Just make sure it's similar in size, e.g. rigatoni.
- Marinara sauce - use your favorite brand. I really like Mezzetta or using my own Homemade Marinara if I've got a little more time. If marinara isn't your thing, sub with another tomato-based pasta sauce (vodka sauce, arrabbiata, etc.), or even pizza sauce.
- Pepperoni - bags of pepperoni seem to come in various sizes depending where you live/what store you buy from, so anything around 10 ounces will work. It doesn't have to be exact. Another option is to buy a stick of pepperoni and slice it yourself. Just try to slice it quite thin.
- Mozzarella - I save time and buy bagged shredded cheese. You can definitely grate your own. It'll taste even better!
- Since this recipe uses only a handful of ingredients, the quality of the ingredients definitely matters! Be sure you buy a good quality pepperoni, for example, and a pasta sauce that you genuinely enjoy.
- I like to mix some of the pepperoni into the casserole as well as topping it with the pepperoni. That way you can fit more pepperoni into the recipe (vs. just using it as a topping), which is always a bonus in my book.
How to make this pizza pasta bake
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Preheat your oven to 375F. Boil the pasta for 2 minutes less than package directions, and drain it. Stir in the marinara sauce and about a third of the pepperoni. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish, spreading in an even layer.
Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over it evenly. Arrange the remainder of the pepperoni over top. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Carefully broil so the pepperoni is crispy and the cheese is golden, and enjoy!
Substitutions and variations
- Sauté some crumbled Italian sausage and mushrooms, onions, and garlic, and add it in. Then you can get more of a meat lover's style pizza casserole.
- You could definitely throw in some cooked veggies if you wanted to. Or some olives!
- Stir some red pepper flakes into the marinara for a spicy kick, and/or add some garlic powder and dried oregano to up the flavor.
- Switch up the cheese if you like. A mozza/cheddar blend would work great or a Tex-Mex blend to change it up a bit. Or add in an extra cup or so of freshly grated parmesan cheese to make that cheese layer even better.
What to serve with this pizza pasta bake
Leftovers and storage
- This pizza casserole is best right away, but you can keep leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days easily in a covered container.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat until warmed through. Add a splash of marinara sauce if it looks like it needs it.
- I don't recommend freezing the leftovers.
Will you give this pepperoni pizza pasta bake a try? Questions? Let me know in the comments below! As always, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram so I can see your creations.
Super Easy Pizza Pasta Bake
- 1 pound uncooked penne
- 3 cups (24 oz.) marinara sauce see note
- 10 ounces sliced pepperoni
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
- Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it 2 minutes less than package directions suggest. Once the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot it was cooked in, then stir in the marinara sauce and about 1/3 of the package of pepperoni.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 baking/casserole dish and spread in an even layer.
- Top with the mozzarella, then add the remaining pepperoni over top of the cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, and then broil for a few minutes to crisp up the pepperoni and cheese (watch it carefully so it doesn't burn).
- Serves 6-8.
- 3 cups = a 24 ounce jar of marinara sauce. I prefer a little more sauce, so I usually open a second jar and add another 0.5-1 cup, but if you don't want to open another jar, stick with the 3 cups.
- Sliced pepperoni comes in a variety of package sizes, so you may need to buy more than one for the 10 ounces. Anything that's a little less or little more will work fine.
- See blog post for ideas for recipe variations.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.