Mama’s Pizza Casserol


Bring the comforting flavors of pizza to your dinner table with Mama’s Pizza Casserole, a hearty and satisfying dish that’s sure to become a family favorite. Layered with pasta, savory sauce, gooey cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings, this easy-to-make casserole captures all the flavors of a classic pizza in every bite. In this article, we’ll share Mama’s cherished recipe for Pizza Casserole and explore why it’s a beloved comfort food for many families.


To make Mama’s Pizza Casserole, gather the following ingredients:

  1. Rotini pasta (or your preferred pasta shape)
  2. Pizza sauce
  3. Ground Italian sausage or beef
  4. Pepperoni slices
  5. Mozzarella cheese
  6. Parmesan cheese
  7. Bell peppers
  8. Onion
  9. Mushrooms
  10. Black olives
  11. Italian seasoning
  12. Garlic powder
  13. Salt and pepper


  1. Cook the Pasta: Boil the rotini pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Sauce: In a skillet, brown the ground Italian sausage or beef until fully cooked. Add diced onions, bell peppers, and sliced mushrooms, and sauté until softened. Stir in pizza sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Layer the Casserole: In a greased casserole dish, spread a layer of cooked pasta evenly on the bottom. Top with a layer of the meat and vegetable sauce mixture, followed by a layer of pepperoni slices and shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of cheese on top.
  4. Bake Until Bubbly: Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking to allow the cheese to brown slightly.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: Once baked, let the Pizza Casserole cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy the comforting flavors of Mama’s Pizza Casserole.

Serving and Storage Tips for Mama’s Pizza Casserole:

  1. Serve Hot and Fresh: Mama’s Pizza Casserole is best served hot and fresh out of the oven to enjoy its gooey cheese and comforting flavors at their peak. Serve slices directly from the casserole dish for a cozy family-style meal.
  2. Garnish Before Serving: Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil over the casserole just before serving to add a burst of flavor and a touch of freshness. These garnishes enhance the presentation and elevate the taste of each serving.
  3. Pair with Accompaniments: Serve Mama’s Pizza Casserole with a side salad dressed in vinaigrette, garlic breadsticks, or a bowl of marinara sauce for dipping. These accompaniments complement the flavors of the casserole and add variety to the meal.
  4. Reheat Leftovers: If you have leftovers, reheat individual portions of Mama’s Pizza Casserole in the microwave or oven until heated through. Cover with a damp paper towel when microwaving to prevent the cheese from drying out. For oven reheating, cover the casserole dish with foil to retain moisture.
  5. Store Properly: Store any leftover Pizza Casserole in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Ensure that the casserole is completely cooled before storing to prevent condensation and maintain freshness.
  6. Freeze for Longer Storage: Mama’s Pizza Casserole can also be frozen for longer storage. Cut the cooled casserole into individual portions and wrap each portion tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil or place them in freezer-safe containers. Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  7. Thaw Before Reheating: When ready to enjoy frozen Pizza Casserole, thaw the individual portions overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. This gradual thawing helps preserve the texture and flavor of the casserole.
  8. Reheat with Care: When reheating frozen or refrigerated Pizza Casserole, ensure that it is heated evenly throughout. Use the microwave or oven for reheating, adjusting the time and temperature as needed to prevent overheating or drying out.
  9. Personalize with Toppings: Customize Mama’s Pizza Casserole with your favorite pizza toppings such as sliced black olives, diced onions, chopped bell peppers, or cooked Italian sausage. Add these toppings between the layers for extra flavor and texture.
  10. Enjoy Creatively: Get creative with serving Mama’s Pizza Casserole by incorporating leftovers into other dishes. Use leftover casserole as a filling for stuffed peppers or as a topping for baked potatoes for a delicious twist on classic recipes.

Variations of Mama’s Pizza Casserole:

  1. Vegetarian Pizza Casserole:
    • Replace the ground Italian sausage or beef with a variety of vegetables such as diced bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and olives. Saute the vegetables until tender before layering them in the casserole for a hearty and flavorful vegetarian version.
  2. Supreme Pizza Casserole:
    • Load Mama’s Pizza Casserole with all the classic pizza toppings such as pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and black olives. Layer each topping generously between the pasta and sauce for a supreme pizza experience in every bite.
  3. White Pizza Casserole:
    • Skip the traditional pizza sauce and create a white pizza casserole by layering cooked pasta with a creamy Alfredo sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, diced cooked chicken, spinach, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes. Bake until bubbly and golden for a decadent twist on pizza night.
  4. Hawaiian Pizza Casserole:
    • Embrace the sweet and savory flavors of a Hawaiian pizza by adding diced pineapple and sliced Canadian bacon or ham to Mama’s Pizza Casserole. The combination of pineapple, ham, and melted cheese creates a tropical-inspired dish that’s perfect for a taste of paradise.
  5. Mediterranean Pizza Casserole:
    • Give Mama’s Pizza Casserole a Mediterranean twist by layering it with ingredients like diced tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, and fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano before baking for a flavorful and colorful variation.


  1. Can I use a different pasta shape for this recipe?
    • Yes, you can use any pasta shape you prefer for Mama’s Pizza Casserole. Penne, rigatoni, or fusilli are good alternatives to rotini and will work equally well in the recipe.
  2. Is it necessary to use pizza sauce, or can I use marinara sauce instead?
    • While pizza sauce is traditional for this recipe, you can substitute marinara sauce if that’s what you have on hand. Just keep in mind that pizza sauce typically has additional seasonings and flavors specifically designed for pizza.
  3. Can I make Mama’s Pizza Casserole ahead of time?
    • Yes, Mama’s Pizza Casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to bake. This is convenient for meal prep or entertaining. Simply cover the casserole dish tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  4. Can I freeze Mama’s Pizza Casserole?
    • Yes, Mama’s Pizza Casserole freezes well. Once baked, allow the casserole to cool completely, then cut it into individual portions. Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil or place them in freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  5. How do I reheat frozen Pizza Casserole?
    • To reheat frozen Mama’s Pizza Casserole, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Then, reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven until heated through. Cover with foil to prevent the cheese from drying out.
  6. Can I customize the toppings in Mama’s Pizza Casserole?
    • Absolutely! Mama’s Pizza Casserole is versatile, and you can customize the toppings to suit your preferences. Feel free to add or omit any toppings you like, such as different meats, vegetables, or even additional cheese.
  7. What should I serve with Mama’s Pizza Casserole?
    • Mama’s Pizza Casserole pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as garlic bread, a fresh green salad, or roasted vegetables. These sides complement the flavors of the casserole and add variety to the meal.
  8. How long will leftovers of Mama’s Pizza Casserole last in the refrigerator?
    • Leftovers of Mama’s Pizza Casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Make sure to transfer the leftovers to an airtight container or wrap the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap to maintain freshness.
  9. Can I make Mama’s Pizza Casserole gluten-free?
    • Yes, you can make Mama’s Pizza Casserole gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta and ensuring that the pizza sauce and toppings are gluten-free. Check the labels of store-bought ingredients to confirm their gluten-free status.
  10. How can I prevent the pasta from becoming mushy in the casserole?
    • To prevent the pasta from becoming mushy, make sure to cook it until al dente before assembling the casserole. Additionally, avoid overcooking the casserole once it’s assembled, as this can cause the pasta to become too soft.


Mama’s Pizza Casserole is a delicious and comforting dish that brings the flavors of pizza to your dinner table in a convenient casserole format. With layers of pasta, savory sauce, gooey cheese, and flavorful toppings, this recipe is a crowd-pleaser that’s perfect for busy weeknights or cozy family dinners. Whether you’re a fan of classic pepperoni or prefer a veggie-packed version, Mama’s Pizza Casserole is customizable to suit everyone’s tastes. Try making this beloved family recipe today and create memories around the dinner table with Mama’s comforting Pizza Casserole.

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