Grab that slow cooker and whip up this slow cooker pizza casserole. A seasoned ground beef smothered in a creamy pizza sauce base and paired with tender pasta, cheese, and pepperoni for added flavor. The ultimate comfort food recipe. An easy pizza casserole you can make for any night of the week.
I am a sucker for slow cooker meals. They are so easy to prep earlier in the day, and then let the slow cooker handle the rest. By the time dinner rolls around you have a dinner ready to dish up for your family or a crew.
You can serve up this casserole for dinner or pack and take it to a potluck event where you need a dish to serve guests. Either way, this is a hearty and fully loaded ground beef pizza pasta casserole.
What is a Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole?
Essentially you are taking ingredients from a pizza and pairing them with a creamy pasta base. So you have a creamy and cheesy pasta dish that is flavored with pizza sauce and then loaded with pepperoni slices and ground beef.
A nice kid-friendly slow cooker dinner idea the whole family can enjoy. Plus you can change it up as you need to, for your personal preferences.
Pasta – Elbow or Campanelli work great.
Ground Beef – Cooked, and grease drained.
Dried Onions – Minced dried onions.
Pizza Sauce – Homemade or store-bought sauce.
Soup – Cream of mushroom sauce.
Pepperoni – Sliced and divided.
Cheese – Mozzarella, shredded and divided.
Variations to Recipe
- You can use Italian sausage in replace of ground beef. Or do just pepperoni pizza.
- Add in diced veggies like peppers, mushrooms, black olives, onions, etc.
- Any type of pasta works. Just cook as directed on the package.
- Cream soup can be used like cream of celery, cream of chicken, cream of cheese, etc.
- Add any type of cheese you would like. Just use it as directed.
- If you don’t want to use canned soup you can make homemade cream soup to use.
Here are some helpful tips to help you have success to make this casserole a success.
- Make sure to cook the pasta as directed to the packaging of the pasta. I recommend cooking till it is al dente.
- Make sure the ground beef is fully cooked and the grease is drained. Otherwise, it will not fully cook in the slow cooker.
- Ensure the lid is fully placed on the slow cooker. Otherwise, it will release the heat and it won’t fully cook up.
- Slice up the pepperoni into bite-size pieces otherwise, it will be hard to eat.
- If you want more flavor add in some red pepper flakes or a splash of hot sauce.
- Garnish with basil and grated parmesan cheese.
You will want to store any of the pasta that is left over in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Then you can warm it up in the microwave or opt to reheat it in the oven in a covered container.
Or you are welcome to freeze any of the pasta for 3-4 months. Then thaw in the fridge in a sealed container the night before. Or defrost.
How many servings does this pasta dish serve?
You will find that this pasta can serve around 6-8 easily. Now depending on the serving size the serving amount can vary a bit.
Can I make this into a freezer meal?
Cook the pasta to al dente and then assemble the casserole as directed, but place it in a casserole dish. You can place it in a 9×13 size pan. Then cover it tightly with foil and then freeze it for 3-4 months.
When you are ready to cook place the casserole dish in the oven and turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Keep one layer of foil on the casserole and bake for 45 minutes. Then uncover the casserole and bake another 30 minutes or until the casserole is warmed all the way through.
Is this a keto-friendly recipe?
Due to the pasta, you will find this is not a keto-friendly dish. You can use keto-friendly pasta and keto pizza sauce for a healthier option if you need.
Can I make this dish in a skillet instead of a crockpot?
Go right ahead and cook the pasta as directed in a pot. Then you will add the beef and other ingredients and once the pasta is done stir it in the casserole dish.
Next, you will cover and let it simmer as directed. Then top with cheese and let it simmer for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
How can I make this healthier?
Reach for turkey instead of ground beef. Then use a low-sugar pasta sauce, and then reach for a whole wheat pasta or a protein pasta. These swaps will make it a bit of a healthier casserole.
Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole
- 1 16 ounce campanelli or elbow pasta, cooked according to package directions for al dente
- 2 pounds browned ground beef
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onions
- 1 15 ounce jars pizza sauce
- 1 10.75 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 8 ounce package sliced pepperoni, divided
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- Spray the slow cooker with a nonstick cooking spray.
- Cook your ground beef in a skillet, and cook till no longer pink. Then drain off the excess grease. Also, cook your pasta till al dente according to the package.
- Add beef, pizza sauce, soup mix, cooked pasta, and most of pepperoni. Mix well.
- Smooth top and add shredded cheese and top with the leftover pepperoni.
- Cook on low for 3 hours.