Crock Pot Pizza Pasta Casserole

Slow Cooker Pizza Pasta Casserole
Crock Pot Pizza Pasta Casserole. Diana Rattray
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
Ratings (7)

 This delicious meal combines pizza flavors and two kinds of cheese to make a fabulous sauce for pasta. The sauce is cooked in the slow cooker. Combine the sauce with the pasta and cheeses and finish the dish in the slow cooker -- or transfer everything to a baking dish, top with the remaining cheese, and bake the casserole in the oven.

The sauce is really quite versatile. Use the bell peppers or omit them, or add sliced mushrooms to the sauce. If your family has favorite pizza toppings, try to incorporate them in the sauce or topping.

What You'll Need

  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 to 6 ounces pepperoni slices
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (14 ounces) pizza sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne, ziti, or rigatoni
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • sliced black olives

How to Make It

  1.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until no longer pink. Add the pepperoni and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes longer. With a slotted spoon remove the beef and pepperoni to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the pizza sauce, tomatoes, oregano, basil, crushed pepper, and sugar to the slow cooker. Stir to blend ingredients. 
  1. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or cook the sauce on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. About 15 minutes before the sauce is done, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until "al dente" as directed on the package. Drain well.
  3. Stir the drained pasta into the sauce mixture. Stir in half of the Parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the sliced olives over the top and then top with the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Cover and continue cooking on low for 15 minutes.
  4. Alternatively, combine the drained hot pasta with the sauce and half of the Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and transfer to a 3-quart baking dish. Top with the sliced olives and remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350° F for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is hot and bubbling.

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