Easy, Cheesy Pizza Pasta

I saw this one linked on my neighbor's Facebook page and had to save it right away - I've seen various "pizza pasta" recipes floating around and have been wanting to fix one for awhile now! This one looked great, with a nice combination of seasonings, sauce, meats, cheeses, and of course pasta. This meal goes great with a crisp Caesar salad and some Texas Toast. It was a fabulous meal! We all really enjoyed it, and thought the flavors were great. The pepperoni was a really nice addition (though we agreed it should at least be diced in half next time, maybe fourths depending on how "bite-sized" you prefer things). This recipe lends itself to personalization as well; we were talking about adding fresh mushroom, bacon, and half beef / half ground sausage! You can play with it a lot, and make it just right for you and your family's preferences. The original recipe calls for about 1 cup of pepperoni slices, but I probably only used about 1/2 a cup (about half of a 3.5-oz package) - you can use as much or as little as you'd like; I thought one layer across the pasta on a 9x13 pan was the perfect amount.

Cheesy Pizza Pasta adapted from Sweet Tea and Cornbread

1 lb ground beef
1/2 - 1 (3.5-oz) package pepperoni slices (diced in halves or fourths)
2 24-oz jars or cans spaghetti sauce
1 lb pasta (rotini noodles or penne)
1 TBS sugar
1/2 cup grated or shreddeed Parmesan cheese
1 cup Cheddar cheese
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder

  1. Brown ground beef with onion and green pepper for about 10 minutes or until beef is cooked through. Drain off any excess grease. Add salt, pepper, and garlic salt and stir to combine. Add spaghetti sauce, sugar, and basil. Stir and bring to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta just until al dente (about 12 minutes at a boil). Drain and pour noodles into a 9x13 casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Pour the meat sauce over the pasta (stir gently to coat noodles with sauce) and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
  4. Sprinkle on 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and all of the cheddar cheese.
  5. Layer pepperoni on top of cheese and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and starting to brown.


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