Crockpot pizza casserole is a weeknight dinner your whole family will devour! Tender pasta is combined with ground beef, pepperoni, a zesty tomato sauce, and plenty of cheese for a total crowd-pleaser.
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Who doesn’t enjoy a good crockpot dinner? My family loves Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese, Slow Cooker Turkey and Stuffing Casserole, and Crockpot Buffalo Wings, but this crockpot pizza casserole definitely ranks up there as one of their most favorite slow cooker meals thanks to all those pizza flavors and loads of melty cheese!
Crockpot pizza casserole is a delicious, cheesy combination of all your favorite pizza toppings nestled in a warm, comforting casserole. The best part is that it’s made right in your crockpot! This easy-to-make dish is perfect for potluck parties and cozy dinners at home with the family.
And did I mention how easy it is?! Because there’s that too!
Easy Cheesy Crockpot Pizza Casserole Recipe
To make this tasty dish, you’ll need a few basic ingredients like ground beef, pasta, pizza sauce, cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings. (Nope, no pizza crust here!)
Simply layer the ingredients in the crockpot and let it do its magic! Go about your day and then when dinner time rolls around, you’ll have your meal piping hot and ready to serve.
And don’t forget, this dish can be easily customized with your favorite pizza toppings after it’s done cooking, so everyone in the family can make their own version of crockpot pizza casserole by sprinkling on grated Parmesan cheese, adding sliced black olives, or even garnishing with some canned pineapple if that’s your thing.
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Pasta – Ziti, penne, or other large shape.
- Olive oil
- Ground beef
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper – Freshly cracked black pepper will give you the most flavor.
- Onion – Yellow, white, or even red onion will work in this recipe.
- Garlic – Love a garlicky pizza? Feel free to add more!
- Pizza sauce
- Italian seasoning
- Sliced pepperoni
- Shredded mozzarella cheese – A shredded Italian blend works too.
- Fresh basil – Although dried basil will work in a pinch, fresh basil brings lots of bright flavor to this crockpot pizza casserole.
- Cooking spray
- Use crumbled Italian sausage or ground turkey instead of the ground beef.
- Or, make your crockpot pizza casserole meatless by using a plant-based ground beef substitute like Impossible and vegetarian pepperoni.
- Add sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, and other veggies either before or after cooking.
How to Make Crockpot Pizza Casserole
- Cook the pasta: Boil the pasta in salted water according to the package directions until it’s al dente. Drain.
- Brown the beef: In a large skillet, heat the oil until it’s hot and shimmering. Add the ground beef and season with the salt and pepper. Cook until the beef has browned, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a paper-towel-lined plate.
- Cook the onions and garlic: In the same pan, sauté the onions and garlic over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until they’re translucent and cooked through.
- Finish the sauce: Add the pizza sauce, Italian seasoning, and beef to the pan; bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
- Assemble: Coat the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray. Add the cooked pasta, beef sauce, and ½ cup of the cheese. Stir together, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Arrange the pepperoni slices over the cheese.
- Cook: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for about 3 hours, or high for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Top with the basil just before serving.
It’s important to cook the pasta to al dente, which means firmer than you’d usually make it. This is because it will continue cooking in the slow cooker.
How to Store Leftover Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through. If you’re reheating leftover crockpot pizza casserole in the oven, cover it with foil and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole in advance and refrigerate up to 8 hours before cooking. Let the crockpot insert come to room temperature, then cook the casserole according to the recipe instructions.
Yes, almost any type of pasta would work with this dish as long as you follow the package instructions for cooking. In addition to the options listed above, rotini, rigatoni, or orecchiette would work quite well!
Pepperoni is a type of cured spicy sausage that is typically made with pork and beef. It’s a classic topping for pizza and makes for a delicious addition to this dish.
You can cook pasta in a slow cooker, but it has a tendency to be unpredictable with regards to the time needed, particularly when other ingredients are added to the mix. That’s why, for this crockpot pizza casserole recipe, we start with cooked pasta.
Crockpot Pizza Casserole
- 1 pound box of pasta ziti, penne or other large shape
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 14 ounces cans pizza sauce
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 package sliced pepperoni 12 oz
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
- Cooking Spray
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions in salted water, leaving a little firmer than usual. This will ensure the pasta does not overcook in the crockpot later. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot and it begins to shimmer. Add the ground beef, season with the salt and pepper. Cook until the beef has browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In the same pan, cook the onions and garlic over medium high heat until translucent and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add the pizza sauce, cooked beef, and Italian seasoning, bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
- Spray the inside of the crockpot, then add the cooked pasta, beef sauce, and ½ cup of the cheese. Stir together.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top, then arrange the pepperoni over the cheese.
- Cover and cook on low for about 3 hours, or high for 1 ½ to 2 hours. It should be heated throughout and the cheese completely melted.
- Top with the basil and serve.