We love pizza at our house and when it’s mixed with pasta, it’s the perfect combination!
I am going to share some ways that we made this casserole a little healthier so you can feel good about feeding it to your family.
This casserole is so easy to adapt to your family’s tastes – if there are certain toppings they don’t like, feel free to remove them or switch them out for other favorite toppings.
Ingredients in this Pizza Pasta Casserole:
- penne pasta
- olive oil
- green pepper
- diced tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- balsamic vinegar
- Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- mozzarella cheese
Some healthy switches to make in this Pizza Pasta Casserole:
The first switch that we made was using a protein pasta. This isn’t sponsored, but it’s truly a product that I love and use all the time – and it’s really inexpensive!.
We all know that pasta is packed with carbs, but this pasta also packs a lot of protein and fiber, which everyone could use more of in their diets.
If I don’t have protein pasta on hand, I will usually use whole wheat pasta. If your family is nervous about whole wheat pasta, this is a great recipe to use it in because it’s hidden in all of the flavorful ingredients.
Another healthy switch that we made in this recipe was using turkey sausage – it’s lower in fat and calories, but still has lots of flavor and is a great source of protein.
We used a sweet Italian sausage, but you could also use a Hot Italian sausage if you want to add a little heat! Whatever sausage you use, just be sure to remove the casings from the sausage links.
We swapped out the pepperoni for turkey pepperoni.
We also swapped out the mozzarella cheese for a low-fat mozzarella cheese and then swapped out the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce for a reduced-sodium variety of each one (canned foods tend to have a lot of sodium and there is plenty of flavor in this dish without the added sodium).
How to make Pizza Pasta Casserole:
Step 1: Prepare the pasta as directed on the package for al dente pasta.
Step 2: While the is cooking, place a large skillet over medium high heat on the stove top. Warm up the olive oil and then add the onions and green pepper. Cook for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for a few more minutes. Push everything to the side of the pan and add the sausage to the pan.
Step 3: Cook the sausage, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks (I used a Chop Stir). Cook until it’s no longer pink. Add in pepperoni and stir together.
Step 4: Add in remaining ingredients to the skillet except for mozzarella cheese. Turn the heat down to medium and let the mixture simmer so that the flavors can meld together.
Step 5: Turn off the heat and add the cooked pasta to the skillet pan. Mix everything together.
Step 6: Spray a large 9×13″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Dump the pasta mixture into the pan. Top with cheese and any other toppings you prefer.
Step 7: Bake in the oven (uncovered) for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.
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More fun pizza recipes to love
- Mini Texas Toast Pizzas
- Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Bread
- Baked Pizza-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Pepperoni Pizza Sliders
- Homemade Pizza Pockets
- Slow Cooker Pizza Pasta Bake
- Zucchini Pizza Casserole
Pizza Pasta Casserole Recipe
- 3 cups penne pasta (I used protein pasta, whole wheat works great too)
- 1½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1½ cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 8 ounces Turkey Italian Sausage (casings removed – hot Italian sausage works too)
- 1 cup turkey pepperonis (cut into quarters)
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes 1 can, drained
- 15 ounces tomato sauce 1 can
- ½ Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1½ cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the pasta as directed on the package.
- While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium high heat on the stove top. Warm up the olive oil in the skillet and then add the onions and green pepper.
- Cook for a few minutes until vegetables are tender, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 1 more minute. Push everything to the side of the pan and add the sausage.
- Cook the sausage, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Cook until it's no longer pink. Drain grease. Add in the pepperoni slices and stir together.
- Add in remaining ingredients to the skillet except for Mozzarella cheese.
- Turn the heat down to medium and let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes so that the flavors can meld together.
- Turn off the heat and add the cooked pasta to the skillet pan. Mix everything together.
- Spray a large 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Dump the pasta mixture into the pan. Top with Mozzarella cheese and any other toppings you prefer.
- Bake in the oven (uncovered) for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and pasta is heated through.
- Protein Pasta
- Turkey Pepperoni
- Ground Turkey Sausage
- Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese
- Large Skillet
- 9×13-inch Baking Pan
- Non-stick Cooking Spray
Adapted from Our Best Bites 400 Calories or Less Cookbook
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