Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake

~ This incredibly quick and easy pizza pasta bake is an absolute lifesaver on busy nights! It’ll be in the oven in no time flat – you can even mix it all up right in the pan (and you don’t even have to precook the pasta)! So cheesy and full of great pizza flavors! Your whole family will love it! Hint: this is also the perfect casserole to share with new moms and friends who could use the boost of a deliciously comforting meal! ~ 

Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}Why, oh why, is springtime so very {very} busy?

Even the hustle and bustle of the holidays just doesn’t hold a candle to the craziness that is my life in the spring!

In addition to the year-long activities the kids are involved in, we now introduce sports and other spring activities into the mix. And because it’s nearing the end of the school year, there are orchestra and choir concerts, school events, dance recitals, field trips … oh! I need a nap! Alas … there’s just not time for that!

Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Don’t get me wrong … I love to be busy. I actually feel like I’m more focused and efficient when there’s a time crunch (procrastinators, unite!) and we’ve got to be in 17 places at once. I don’t know why I’m wired that way, but I’m pretty sure it drives Shelley nuts – she’s a total planner.

But, this time of year, she’s in the same boat as I am! Her life in the spring is just as hectic as mine! We’re flying by the seat of our pants, doing our best to make sure everyone arrives where they need to be, fueled up for whatever activity lies ahead. And the majority of moms (and dads!) we talk to feel the exact.same.way.

Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

And obviously, the kids are in school during the day … so all of those extra activities are crammed into the evening. Makes sense. But sometimes I’m left with approximately 6.2 minutes to feed my kids dinner and have them back in the car to get to the next event.

Even mornings can be a little cuckoo … there are PTO meetings and end-of-the-year parties to plan by committee. So sometimes even crock pot meals aren’t an option, even though I love to use my crock pot!

On occasion, I need speedy quick meals that I can toss together and throw in the oven while I try (I really do try) to help with eighth-grade math and listen to elementary school poetry homework.

Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

I need something that the entire family loooooves, and that makes enough for leftovers (since tomorrow’s schedule is looking a tad hairier than today’s).

I need … I need … I need a dinner that requires very little attention from me. That honestly does the work for itself. Yes!!!

Cue the trumpets, ’cause I’m bringing in the hero!

Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Friends, I introduce you to the pizza pasta bake. I’m not joking when I tell you that this little beauty of a dinner is ready to go into my oven before the oven is even preheated.

The only real prep work here is chopping the turkey pepperoni. Everything else is dump and stir. Yep, I said it. Just dump and stir. (And you can do the stirring right in the pan! Not kidding.)

Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

My favorite thing about this recipe is that I’ve always got what I need to make this, right on hand. And considering it’s only five ingredients … it’s simple to keep everything in the pantry. (Ok fine, the cheese needs to stay in the fridge … but you get where I’m going!). So when lacrosse practice is moved up 45 minutes since it looks like the weather might be bad, I can whip this up in no time. Seriously, no time.

My kids are fed and I feel good about what I just fed them. I know they’ll get through that practice, or lesson, or concert, or mountain of homework – and be full and focused!

Schedules are already hectic … dinner shouldn’t be!

Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Take a breath … summer is just around the corner!

THK by Gretchen

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Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake

Preparation 5 min. 2017-07-22T00:05:00+00:00 Cook Time 30-40 min. 2017-07-22T00:00:00+00:00
Serves About 10 cups     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 12-14 ounces whole grain rotini pasta, uncooked (see note)
  • 23.9-ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 4-5 ounces turkey pepperoni (quartered)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • Additional parmesan cheese and fresh basil for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In an ungreased 9x13 baking pan, combine uncooked rotini, pasta sauce, water, 1½ cups mozzarella, and pepperoni, stirring thoroughly to combine.
  3. Top with remaining ½ cup mozzarella and parmesan.
  4. Cover tightly with foil.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until pasta is tender.
  6. Garnish with additional parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.

by

Recipe Notes

Whole grain rotini: Different brands of whole wheat pasta seem to be sold in widely varying amounts. We’ve tested this recipe with a range of pasta amounts, and recommend that you simply use the amount your favorite brand offers (anywhere between 12 and 14 ounces). Obviously, with 12 ounces of pasta, you’ll have proportionately a bit more sauce, and at 14 ounces of pasta, your final dish will be a bit more focused on the noodles.

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Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

 

Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Comments

Easy, Cheesy 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake — 11 Comments

    • Hi Sophie! One of the most marvelous things about this recipe is that you don’t even have to precook the pasta! It just cooks merrily along in the oven while the whole casserole bakes! I’ve updated the recipe card to make this point a little more clear for other readers – thanks so much for asking! Hope you love this recipe as much as my family does! 😀 ~Shelley

  1. Would you please recommend a brand of dairy free cheese that my 7 year old will eat? I would love to try a dairy free version.

    • Hi Pilar! Thanks for the question! We’re fortunate that we don’t have any dairy allergies in my family, so I almost always use dairy-based cheese in my cooking. As a result, I really have no experience with dairy-free cheese, and certainly don’t feel qualified to suggest which brands of dairy-free cheese might pass muster with a 7-year-old. I’d really like to help, though! I did a bit of checking around, and it looks like some brands of dairy-free cheese you might try include Daiya, Follow Your Heart, and Teese. If you’re specifically looking just to avoid the lactose, Go Veggie has lactose-free cheese options (as well as soy-free and vegan cheese), and numerous other companies like Cabot also offer lactose-free varieties. Also, I found a really interesting list of dairy-free cheese recipes – not brands that you’d buy at the store, but recipes for making your own. If you’re constantly looking for better dairy-free options, I thought that might interest you HERE. I hope these ideas help! ~Shelley

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  5. Aww I love pizza pasta! I’ve only made it as cold pasta salad, but I can imagine how much better it tastes heated up… And I’m sure my mom was extremely glad once I got my driver’s license and she had one fewer kid’s activities to drive to and worry about. The busy season (and years) will be over before you know it!

  6. This is one of those perfect weeknight meals – can be thrown together in a hurry, uses one pot, flavors everyone loves (pizza!) in a form everyone loves (pasta!). Love it! I always wonder how parents handle to craziness of Spring. My nieces and nephews were all in multiple sports/activities, often at the same time, and I was always so impressed with how she was able to keep everything straight. I guess I have that to look forward to! 😛

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