An amazingly easy crock pot pizza casserole to please the entire family. Pizza night has never been so simple. Just follow the easy step by step photo instructions.
Editor's Note: Originally Published December 26, 2013. Refreshed with expanded detailed discussion and updated photos.
I love pizza and almost lived on it for years before marriage. So a crock pot pizza casserole is a natural for me.
I read a lot of recipes for this recipe. There were lots of precooking of the pasta going on. Let's see, precook and 4-5 hours in a slow cooker will make Ummm .... mush.
It is a high 4 for us pizza lovers. But can't be a five just because there is no crust.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Crock Pot Pizza Casserole
The "Toppings" and Ingredients
Vary the ingredients to what you like. But you will want a base of ground meat, sauce, cheese, and pasta.
I love sausage, but the spices may dominate the flavor. So, I suggest burger and the spices of the pepperoni and sauce will kick it up some.
Be careful about adding red pepper or other spicing. The cooking gets the pepperoni spicing distributed, and some of it is already spicy.
Most of the recipes called for jar pizza sauce (yuck). This "make it yourself" with the crushed tomatoes and a few spices is so much better. I have used this for 40 plus years.
Use a shorter standard pasta. We depend on the fluid in the dish to cook the pasta. So the behavior of a non-standard pasta is unpredictable.
Many recipes call for precooking the pasta. You will end up with mush with a crock pot recipe. Please don't do that.
Four to five hours will be just right on low for the pasta to cook. Five hours will give you some nice cheese browning also. But remember, crock pots vary so watch what you are doing.
Crock Pot Notes
This recipe fits nicely in a 3-4 quart crock pot. Doubled will do will in a 6-7 qt.
Cook on low. Do not cook on high the effect on the pasta cooking is unpredictable.
And lastly, know your crock pot. They can vary a lot.
Crock Pot Main Dishes
Other Pizza Choices
Normal pizza stuff but with dry pasta to replace the crust.
Start by chopping a small onion and half a green pepper.
Brown 1 pound of lower fat ground beef over medium-high heat. Add one small chopped medium onion after a couple of minutes. Cook for about 8 minutes until no pink left. Add two cloves of crushed garlic the last minute of browning — about 8 minutes total.
Add 1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, 1 cup water, 4 oz of sliced pepperoni minus 12 slices for topping, oregano, salt, pepper, ½ chopped green pepper, 1 cup mozzarella cheese to a smaller 3 to 4 quart crock pot. Mix well. Add 2 cups uncooked pasta. Mix well. Helpful hint: separate the pepperoni as it goes in.
Add the cooked ground beef after draining fat.
Top with 1 cup mozzarella and the 12 slices of pepperoni.
Cook on low for approximately 5 hours until edges browning nicely.
Crock Pot Pizza Casserole
- 1 pound ground beef - lower fat
- 1 onion - small
- 2 cloves garlic - crushed
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 4 oz sliced pepperoni
- 1 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ green pepper - chopped
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese - divided
- 2 cups uncooked pasta
- Start by chopping a small onion and half a green pepper.
- Brown 1 pound of lower fat ground beef over medium high heat. Add one small chopped onion after a couple of minutes Cook for about 8 minutes until no pink left. Add two cloves of crushed garlic the last minute of browning. About 8 minutes total.
- Add 1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, 1 cup water, 4 oz of sliced pepperoni minus 12 slices for topping, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ tsp pepper, ½ chopped green pepper, 1 cup mozzarella cheese to a smaller crock pot. I used 3 ½ qt. Mix well. Add 2 cups uncooked pasta. Mix well. Helpful hint: separate the pepperoni as it goes in.
- Add the cooked ground beef after draining fat. Mix well.
- Top with 1 cup mozzarella and the 12 slices of pepperoni.
- Cook on low for approximately 4-5 hours until edges browning nicely and pasta done.
- This fits nicely in a 3-4 qt crock pot. If doubled then a 6-7 qt pot would be fine. I do not suggest cooking this smaller recipe in the larger crock pot.
- Use a standard short pasta. Results with other may work, but the behavior of a non-standard pasta is unpredictable.
- 2 cups of dry pasta is 8 oz. generally. So half a one pound box.
- Do not precook the pasta; you will have mush with this recipe if you do.
- Do not cook on high. Cook on low for 4-5 hours and watch the results near the end since crock pots vary.
- My sauce is much better than can or jar sauce.
- You may vary the ingredients some, but you need a base of pasta, ground meat, sauce, and cheese.
- The pepperoni will release a lot of spice, so be careful with things like red pepper.
- Good in the refrigerator or 3-4 days and frozen for 3-4 months.
- Nutrition is calculated on ⅙ of the recipe which is about one cup.
Originally Published December 26, 2013