Meat Lover's Pizza Hot Dish Recipe
Meat Lover's Pizza Hot Dish Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Meat Lover's Pizza Hot Dish Recipe

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I make this hearty casserole for the men who help us out during harvest time. Every year they say it’s the best, hands down. Throw in any pizza toppings your family likes—Canadian bacon, black olives and green peppers are some of our picks. —Brook Bothun, Canby, Minnesota
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 3-1/4 hours
MAKES:10 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 3-1/4 hours
MAKES: 10 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 4 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) pizza sauce
  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef, sausage, onion and mushrooms over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking up meat into crumbles; drain.
  2. Transfer meat mixture to a greased 6-qt. slow cooker. Stir in tomato sauce, pizza sauce, pasta, water, tomato paste, pepperoni and Italian seasoning. Cook, covered, on low 3-4 hours or until pasta is tender.
  3. Stir thoroughly; mix in 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Cook, covered, 15-20 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Meat-Lover's Pizza Hot Dish in Simple & Delicious February/March 2014

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

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Reviewed Sep. 21, 2015

"I haven't tried this dish but wanted to throw in my two cents worth. Whenever a slow cooker recipe calls for pasta, I usually throw it in for the last 30 minutes & it turns out fine."

Reviewed Apr. 10, 2014

"I agree this would probably be good as a baked dish instead of using a crockpot. Noodles are notoriously difficult to cook in a crockpot. My noodles also ended up mushy. I'd also kick up the seasonings more."

Reviewed Feb. 7, 2014

"For this dish I believe cooking the noodles seperate, then stirring them in the last 20 minutes or so of cooking would be the best. My noodles were mushy. I did like the idea of doing this in a crock pot. It also needs instead of prepared Italilan seasoning your own additions of garlic, oregano, sweet basil, crushed red pepper, some parsley and a little grated parmesean would have helped this a lot."

Reviewed Feb. 1, 2014

"I agree with the previous review. I watched the pasta carefully but there is still a very fine line between too under cooked and mush. I added black olives, more mushrooms and green pepper and still thought it tasted pretty bland. Did not really have a pizza taste to it at all. I liked the idea that it could be cooked in the crock pot but honestly I have much better recipes for the oven and I think I will stick to those."

Reviewed Jan. 4, 2014

"What a disappointment! So many great ingredients to end up in the garbage. After three hours, the pasta had cooked to mush. We tried to eat it (an hour earlier than we expected) but somehow the texture was too unappetizing. I might make this as a baked casserole because it does seem to be a good idea; but I don't recommend using a slow cooker. I'd cook the pasta, cut back on the tomato ingredients, add more Italian seasoning and then just bake it enough to melt the cheese. Some cottage cheese or ricotta might lighten it up a little, too."

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