The Pepperoni Pizza Casserole is truly a masterpiece flawlessly combining the flavors of classic Italian pizza with the comforting essence of a baked casserole. Each bite offers an orchestra of tastes and textures from the cooked penne pasta and tangy marinara sauce, to the spicy pepperoni and irresistible melted mozzarella cheese. This dish goes beyond satisfaction of hunger; it creates a captivating experience that elevates ingredients into a celebration of flavors. A touch of red pepper flakes adds warmth while the infusion of Italian seasoning brings aromatic herbs to every layer resulting in a dish that is both comforting and exhilarating. Whether its a weeknight dinner or a special gathering this Pepperoni Pizza Casserole promises to steal the spotlight reminding us that remarkable moments can happen right in our own kitchen.
16 oz. uncooked penne, cavatappi, or rigatoni pasta
4 c marinara sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 pinch red pepper flakes
11 oz. pepperoni, divided
4 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Adjust the rack to a level, above the middle. Use cooking spray to grease a casserole dish measuring 9×13 inches.
In a pot bring water to a boil. Add the pasta. Cook it for 2 minutes less than what the package instructions suggest. Drain the water. Return the pasta to the pot.
To the pot with the pasta add 4 cups of marinara sauce, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, a pinch of red pepper flakes, half of the pepperoni slices and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Thoroughly mix all these ingredients together.
Transfer this pasta mixture into the casserole dish ensuring an even spread. Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top. Arrange the rest of the pepperoni slices.
Place the dish in your oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until you see melted and bubbly cheese. For an added touch broil, for 2 to 3 minutes until you achieve brown cheese and crispy pepperoni.
Allow your casserole to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy your Pepperoni Pizza Casserole!
No worries, for those who’re sensitive to gluten! You can easily turn this Pepperoni Pizza Casserole into a gluten-free treat that’s just as tasty. First switch out the pasta with your gluten-free penne, cavatappi or rigatoni. Nowadays there are plenty of options available that offer texture and flavor without the gluten.
Next, make sure your marinara sauce is gluten-free. While many store-bought sauces are naturally free of gluten it’s always an idea to check the label for any hidden ingredients or warnings about cross contamination. Remember to choose a pepperoni brand that is labeled as gluten-free to stay on the safe side.
Lastly, be mindful of your Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes since spices can sometimes be tricky. Look for brands that clearly state their products are gluten-free ensuring that every ingredient, in your casserole is safe to enjoy.
- Prep Time: 20 MINUTES
- Cook Time: 20 MINUTES