Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely weekend!
The past couple of days have been pretty low key for us. Lincoln caught a nasty cold late last week (and has been experiencing night terrors which might be related? Either way – so heartbreaking, especially when he can tell us what they’re about! ?) which means the three of us haven’t slept much over the past few days. We did manage to host our friends and their kids on Saturday night, but I didn’t leave the house except to go grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon. That said, I’m looking forward to sunshine and outdoor adventures this week…and, you know, public interaction. ?
But first, pizza! Pizza Pasta, to be specific. Ok, 5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake if we’re going to get really technical. Guys, I have been experiencing a string of recipe flops lately (gloopy Fresh Strawberry Pie and 100% flavorless Crock Pot Steak Fajita Tacos – I’m looking at you!) but this one totally hit the mark and you’ve got to get it on your meal plan ASAP.
A couple weekends ago after being out all day, Ben and I fed Lincoln a quick dinner before bedtime only to realize that we didn’t really have anything to feed ourselves. So, while I put the little man to bed, he ran to the grocery store, snagged a few ingredients, and whipped up this here masterpiece. Pizza meets casserole is really unlike Ben – usually he’s more of a thoughtfully layering flavors kind of cook, vs a throw stuff in a casserole dish and bake it – but this is one time when I was glad he went the simple vs sophisticated route because the dish knocked our SOCKS off. It really does taste just like pizza!
We both licked our plates clean then went back for seconds and…yep, thirds. This Pizza Pasta Bake, made up of just five ingredients – pasta, marinara sauce, pizza toppings (we went with black olives and pepperoni,) and two types of cheeses – proves that simple really is better. Like buttered noodles, chicken soup, and, yes, pizza, recipes don’t have to be complicated or fussy to be outstanding.
Well, two types of cheese doesn’t hurt either. ?
Like I said, this recipe could NOT be easier – I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for the pasta to cook! You’ll need 12oz gluten-free penne or rotini pasta, cooked a couple minutes shy of al dente as it will continue to cook in the oven. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce from a 24oz jar into the bottom of an 8×8″ baking dish then scoop half the pasta on top. Next spread enough marinara sauce on top to cover.
Topping time! Sprinkle on half a 4oz package gluten-free mini pepperoni (I like Applegate Naturals) that have been sliced in half, and half a 3.8oz can sliced black olives that have been drained. These are the pizza toppings Ben and I like but feel free to swap out them for something your family loves. Next sprinkle on 4oz shredded mozzarella cheese and 2oz shredded provolone cheese.
Repeat all the layers one more time – pasta, marinara sauce, toppings, and cheese.
Cover the baking dish with a piece of foil sprayed very well with nonstick spray (otherwise the cheese WILL stick,) then place it onto a baking sheet. Bake covered for 20 minutes then remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes, then dive in!
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5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake
5-Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake is a cheesy and decadent way to get your pizza fix. Simple and gluten-free!
- 12oz gluten-free penne pasta (could use rotini)
- 24oz gluten-free marinara sauce
- 4oz gluten-free mini pepperoni, sliced in half (I like Applegate Naturals)
- 3.8oz can sliced black olives, drained
- 8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4oz shredded provolone cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add pasta to a large pot of salted boiling water than cook a couple minutes before the pasta reaches the al dente stage (pasta will continue to cook in the oven.) Drain then set aside.
- Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce into the bottom of an 8x8" baking dish. Spoon in half the pasta then spoon enough marinara sauce over top to cover. Sprinkle on half the pepperoni and black olives, and half the cheeses. Repeat layers then cover with a piece of foil sprayed very well with nonstick spray and place baking dish on top of a baking sheet.
- Bake covered for 20 minutes then remove foil and bake for 10-15 additional minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Let casserole sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- Use your favorite pizza toppings if you don't care for pepperoni and/or black olives!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Cheesy, decadent, and ALL the pizza flavor you adore in casserole form. We couldn’t love this dish more. Enjoy!