How to make a pizza casserole

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I love the taste of pizza, but I have a confession to make. I can't stand the crust. I know many people think the crust is the best part, but I am not among them. And more often than not, I'm one of "those" that eats all the way up to the edge of the crust, and stops there. What a waste! Until I figured out I could have all the great flavors of pizza but with another carb, one of my favorite carbs, replacing the crust - pasta!
That's what I've done with this casserole. Mixed in all my favorite pizza toppings - sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and peppers, and combined them all with pasta, cheese, and pizza sauce. It's a casserole that really does taste like a pie I'd get from my local pizzeria, but without any of that blasted crust. It may be the only way I eat "pizza" from now on.
Pizza Casserole
10 minutes
55 minutes
65 minutes
1 pound of short pasta of any kind (rigatoni, penne, etc.)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound sausage, removed from casing
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 pound pepperoni, chopped
2 cans (15 ounces) pizza sauce
3 cups mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook for about 7 minutes, until the pasta is al dente or just under. Drain and set aside.
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, sausage, bell pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until sausage is no longer pink, stirring often.
In a large mixing bowl combine the pasta, sausage mixture, bacon, pepperoni, and pizza sauce. Stir well to mix and pour into a 9" x 13" casserole dish. Distribute the mozzarella cheese evenly over top.
Cover the dish with foil and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then remove foil and continue cooking for another 15 - 30 minutes, until the cheese has started to brown.
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Comfort food lovers, rejoice.
January 26   ·  
January 30   ·  
This dish serves about 8, though it's so tasty, it might not stretch quite that far!
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January 16   ·  
This sauce as it is known in the United States developed in Hawaii in the 1920s and 1930s.
January 18   ·  
This is going to become your favorite go-to, quick, fallback pasta dish. It's even made with items you probably have in your pantry right now!
January 24   ·