Pepperoni Pasta Bake

November 7, 2012 by Ali

When I was in college, one of my roommates introduced me to the glory that is a “Pepperoni Pasta Bake”.

We were always on a quest to figure out how to make meals that could feed 4 for less than $15. And I have to say, we were pretty inventive! But more often than not, our meals revolved around pasta, and this simple dish was our favorite.

It’s all of the goodness of pepperoni “pizza” flavors, wrapped into a delicious and uber-simple pasta bake. We would always just use pasta, pepperoni, Mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce, which was a fabulous start. But there are endless variations. For a “lighter” version, you could of course sub in some turkey pepperoni, whole wheat pasta and part-skim Mozzarella. Or for a more well-balanced version, you could easily throw in lots of your favorite veggies (I like using mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and broccoli). But when I am occasionally craving a more purist version of the college classic, I at minimum add in some sauteed garlic, onions and some extra seasonings to kick things up a tiny notch, but to still stay true to our memories.

However you make it, this classic can still be made for under $15, and I guarantee that it will be a crowd-pleaser. :)

Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6 Servings


  • 1 lb. dry pasta of your choice
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • half a white onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • about 30 pepperonis, sliced into halves
  • optional toppings: chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley, shaved Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, until it is cooked and translucent. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 1 minute more, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat.

Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and return the pasta back to the pot. Stir in the garlic/onion mixture, the marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, Mozzarella (reserve a small handful of the cheese for the topping), Parmesan and pepperonis. Mix until well-blended.

Transfer the pasta to a greased baking dish, and then sprinkle the remaining Mozzarella cheese on top. Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starts to brown around the edges.

Serve immediately.

Pepperoni Pasta Bake |

filed in Entrees, Pastas

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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36 thoughts on “Pepperoni Pasta Bake

  1. Sounds delish! How well do you think this could be converted for a crockpot? Due to the heat index I don’t use my oven during the Summer. Thank you for sharing!

    - Terri

    • Hi Terri,

      I haven’t tried it in a crockpot. But I imagine that if you cooked it on high for 45-60 minutes or so, that might be a close equivalent in the crockpot. I would just keep a close eye on it. :)

      Good luck!

      - Ali

  2. been Italian cooking for many years the secret is boil macaroni for 5 minutes then add to baking dish and bake for 25 minutes and it will never be over cooked also make an easy lasagna use no boil macaroni bake for only 30 minutes let set for 5mins and your good to go totally awesome

    - kay herald

  3. This is one of my favorite pasta dishes. I make it all the time! Thank you so much for sharing!

    - Stephanie

  4. Need recipes for 20 as I help feed the homeless folks with our church each Sunday. Just want to make sure I’m getting it right! This looks yummy!

    - Ann

  5. I’m try9ng this today.

    - Angela

  6. Thanks for sharing!!!! Making this tonight for dinner! :)

    - Briana

  7. This seems like an extra long time to cook….shouldn’t 20-25 minutes be enough time for this to bake, with 5 minutes extra for cheese to melt??

    - Janelle

  8. Great recipe. I’m always looking for great tasting “value” meals for my little family of four. Can’t wait to try this tonight! :-)

    - Liza

  9. This looks amazing!!!! Even better that its an affordable recipe! Definitely gotta try this tonight!! Thank you for this! I’m a huge pepperoni fan…

    - Samantha

  10. I made this tonight and even though I made some changes this was a WONDERFUL, Hubby’s two thumbs up, dinner! Thank you so much for posting.

    - Melody

  11. I made this for dinner tonight. Added some green bell pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Turned out delicious!

    - Sierra

  12. This sounds absolutely amazing! Love how versatile it is too! Definitely making this soon!

    - Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake

  13. I wish I’d been this creative when I was at university – it looks so utterly delicious!

    - Kathryn

  14. What a fantastic dish. Pizza in a bowl – what a great idea. I’d love to have you share a pasta dish with Presto Pasta Nights before it retires forever. It’s a weekly pasta roundup that I’ve been doing for almost six years and it’s time to call it a day. You can check the details here –

    - Ruth

  15. this looks like the most amazing pasta dish, ever. i love that it is like a pizza in pasta form. i’m dying for this!

    - Julie @ Table for Two

  16. This looks INCREDIBLE!!!

    - Ashley - Baker by Nature

  17. Oh my word that looks AMAZING!!! =D


    - Summer

  18. pasta is my go-to when i’m looking for something cheap and quick. it’s like a blank canvas – you can literally create ANYTHING starting with it. This looks SO comforting Ali – I could eat forkful after forkful. I secretly LOVE pepperoni – i eat it with sliced cheese and crackers and make little sandwiches as a midnight snack. i’ve done that since i was little!! And yes – this dish DOES look like a crowd pleaser! Perfect for a football sunday party :)

    - sally @ sallys baking addiction

  19. I love pasta bakes but never think to use pepperoni. Paul would love this!

    - Cassie | Bake Your Day

  20. This looks so tasty…love the pepperonis!

    - sara

  21. I love that this can be made with just less than $10! And you have my favorite ingredients in this! I actually have some pepperoni to use up so this here is absolutely perfect!

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

  22. Yes, please! Total comfort food right here. I just marked a baked pasta with a pepperoni layer that I saw in a magazine a few months back. Thank you for the reminder! Gotta try it!

    - kelley {mountain mama cooks}

  23. I love pasta bake! Perfect recipe for a cold winter :D

    - JoJo

  24. this looks like pure comfort food heaven!!! great idea for a weeknight meal. thanks for sharing! xx

    - little kitchie