This Slow Cooker Pizza Bake has all of the favorite flavors of pizza in a hearty pasta dish. I like the convenience of being able to make it ahead of time. It doesn’t cook that long in the slow cooker, just two or three hours. I like to put it in the slow cooker just before picking the kids up from school. It frees up that hectic dinner time rush to spend on homework or running errands, or maybe even relaxing for a little while with a good book – wouldn’t that be nice! This recipe is very adaptable to your favorite toppings. You can omit or add any pizza topping you like and it will turn out great. Additional topping ideas are green peppers, Canadian bacon, diced tomatoes, pineapple, bacon, red onion, etc. If your slow cooker has a hot spot and tends to burn casserole type dishes, check out tips on how to prevent this from happening on our Slow Cooker Lasagna recipe here. You can use your preferred type of pasta on this recipe, but keep in mind that thicker pastas work best in the slow cooker. I prefer using Rigatoni in this dish because it holds it shape and firmness well.
Slow Cooker Pizza Bake
- Coat slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Spread 1 cup sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Boil pasta according to package directions, but only cook for 5 minutes. The pasta will finish cooking in the slow cooker.
- In a large skillet, crumble and cook sausage until it is browned on the outside. Add onion and mushrooms. Continue to cook until sausage is no longer pink in the middle.
- Layer ingredients in the following order: 1/3 of sausage/onion/mushroom mixture, 1 cup sauce, 1/3 of cooked pasta, 1 cup cheese, 1/3 of pepperoni slices, 1/3 olives.
- Repeat layers until ingredients are all used. On the 3rd layer, use 2 cups of cheese. This makes the top extra cheesy and it will look like the top of a pizza.
- Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
- Layer ingredients in a deep dish pan or large casserole dish, omitting the last layer of cheese and pepperoni. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle on the last layer of cheese and pepperoni. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.