This is the easiest and most family-pleasing pepperoni pizza casserole you’ll ever make. It’s loaded with veggies and perfect for weeknight dinners or weekend meal preps. Kids of all ages will happily dig into this hearty and satisfying dinner.
This post was created in partnership with Primal Kitchen.
The ultimate takeout fake-out…but with a twist
We love recreating some of our favorite takeout dishes at home and adding a veggie-focused spin to them. Since it’s hard to improve upon the perfect pizza, we’ve opted instead to steal the flavors we crave by creating a hearty, comforting, veggie-packed pizza casserole that requires minimal cooking and prep. The oven does most of the work for you.
The Secret Sauce: A flavor-filled shortcut
Make this casserole with a jar of thick, rich Primal Kitchen Unsweetened Pizza Sauce not only gives you that authentic pizzeria taste you crave. But it’s also the ultimate shortcut, saving you the hassle of making sauce from scratch. Just twist off the lid and pour or spoon your way to pizza perfection. Made with high quality ingredients like organic tomato puree, avocado oil, sea salt, organic dried onions, organic onion powder, organic garlic powder, organic basil, organic oregano, and organic black pepper, this sauce is just like you’d make at home only faster and far more convenient. It’s truly the secret sauce for this easy pizza casserole recipe.
Ingredients for the easiest Pizza Casserole Ever
Just like your favorite supreme pizza, this “couldn’t-be-easier casserole” is loaded with the good stuff. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
For the Homemade Italian Sausage:
- Ground turkey – may substitute lean ground beef or pork, if desired
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Fennel seeds – don’t sleep on these! Adding fennel seeds is the key to getting that Italian sausage flavor you love
- Fine salt and black pepper
For the Casserole:
- Quinoa – no need to pre-cook the quinoa; The dry, uncooked quinoa cooks while the casserole bakes
- Primal Kitchen Unsweetened Pizza Sauce – this is the secret sauce (pun intended!) Made with avocado oil, tomatoes, and spices, this thick, rich sauce makes everything it touches absolutely delicious
- Bell pepper – we used a green bell pepper for that authentic supreme pizza flavor but any color of bell pepper will work fine, as will a mixture of colors
- Mushrooms – dice the caps and stems, too, to cut down on food waste
- Turkey pepperoni – may substitute regular pepperoni
- Mozzarella cheese – if you’re feeling extra, sprinkle on some shredded Parmesan cheese along with the mozzarella
- Cooking spray – a generous spray makes clean up easier
- Fresh basil – optional, but highly recommended for an over-the-top pepperoni pizza casserole experience
How To Make Pepperoni Casserole with Quinoa
If you’ve ever wondered, “How do I make a pizza casserole?” we’ve got the answers you need. Here are the basic steps:
- Prep the oven and baking dish: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and generously spray a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Make the Homemade Italian Sausage: Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, spray generously with cooking spray (or use ½ teaspoon avocado oil or olive oil). Add the ground turkey and break it up with a spatula. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 7-8 minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. If using ground beef or pork, drain the excess fat from the skillet.
- Mix it together in the baking dish: To the baking dish, add the quinoa, water, and pizza sauce. Stir to combine. Add the cooked turkey sausage, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms to the baking dish and stir to combine. Add half of the turkey pepperoni and ¾ cup mozzarella cheese. Stir to combine. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes or until the quinoa is tender.
- Add more cheese and finish baking: Remove the foil from the baking dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 ¼ cups mozzarella cheese and remaining pepperoni. Bake for an additional 7-8 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before sprinkling with chopped basil, if using.
How to Serve this veggie-loaded Pizza Casserole
We suggest serving this family-friendly pizza-inspired dish with a simple side salad or a side of roasted broccoli or green beans for color, crunch, and a boost of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Q&A for Pizza Casserole with Quinoa
Here are some common questions we get about this popular quinoa pizza casserole:
- What is the best way to reheat a quinoa pizza bake? The microwave is the easiest and keeps the casserole from drying out while reheating. However, you can also get excellent results by reheating the casserole in a covered skillet over medium-high heat to which 1-2 tablespoons of water has been added.
- Can this dish be frozen for future meals? Yes! You can either freeze individual portions in oven-safe and freezer-safe glass meal prep containers like these or freeze the entire dish. For best results, allow the pepperoni pizza bake to thaw in the fridge before reheating.
- Can I substitute pasta sauce for pizza sauce? You can. Choose a sauce that’s thick (like Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce) and decrease the water to ¾ cup.
- How many carbs are in this pizza casserole recipe? There are 25 grams of carbohydrates per serving. See the recipe card below for full nutrition information.
- Can I add black olives to make this a true supreme pizza casserole? You’d better believe it! Black olives are an excellent addition to this dish. Want to spice things up? Throw some pickled jalapeños on top or sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes or go hog wild with some crumbled crisp-cooked bacon on top. Make it your own by using your favorite pizza toppings!
How to Store Leftover Pepperoni Pizza Casserole with Quinoa
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for longer storage. See Q&A above for reheating instructions.
- Cooking spray
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey (93/7)
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 1 jar Primal Kitchen Unsweetened Pizza Sauce
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced small
- 1 medium zucchini, diced small
- 1 small onion, diced small
- 8 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, caps and stems chopped
- 2 ounces turkey pepperoni, cut into quarters, divided
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (2 cups)
- Chopped fresh basil, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375℉. Spray a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, spray generously with cooking spray (or use ½ teaspoon avocado oil or olive oil). Add the ground turkey and break it up with a spatula. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 7-8 minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Drain any excess liquid from the skillet and set aside.
- To the baking dish, add the quinoa, water, and pizza sauce. Stir to combine. Add the cooked ground turkey, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms to the baking dish and stir to combine.
- Add half of the turkey pepperoni and ¾ cup of the mozzarella cheese. Stir to combine.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes or until the quinoa is tender.
- Remove the foil from the baking dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 ¼ cups mozzarella cheese and remaining pepperoni quarters. Bake for an additional 7-8 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before sprinkling with chopped basil, if using.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. May be frozen for longer storage.
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- Serving Size: 1/8th recipe
- Calories: 280
- Fat: 11 g
- (Sat Fat: 4 g)
- Sodium: 635 mg
- Carbohydrate: 25 g
- (Fiber: 5 g
- Sugar: 8 g)
- Protein: 28 g
© The Real Food Dietitians
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House