Instant Pot Pizza Pasta Casserole

I love this easy pizza pasta dish featuring all of the popular pizza flavors in a delicious, easy casserole. With an Instant Pot I get all this in a one-pot meal, that’s easy to make, requires very little clean-up and is on the table in less than 30 minutes. And the best part? Kids will line up for this pizza-flavored dish.

This dish is super versatile. We add pepperoni, sausage, and mushroom, but feel free to add your own favorite toppings like green pepper, olives or ham! Want to use a different pasta? No problem! Just take the cook minutes on the box, divide by two and round up, if necessary. We love to make this with whole wheat or extra-protein pasta for an added punch of nutrition.

Pizza sauce is a raw tomato sauce and can usually be found near the pre-cooked pizza crusts in your grocery store. It differs from pasta sauce, which is a cooked sauce with a more rounded flavor profile. We use a mix of the two in this dish to marry the zippy pizza topping flavors with the pasta base.

As with any starch or cream dish, be aware that liquid may come out of the vent on release. If that happens, close the vent, wait 30 seconds to 1 minute and try again. It may take several tries. This method is known as a “controlled release” and comes in handy in a variety of Instant Pot dishes.

Kids will line up for this pizza-flavored dish.


Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 4 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 14-16 oz cavatappi, rotini, penne or other short pasta
  • 14 oz jar pizza sauce
  • 2 oz + 1 oz sliced pepperoni, divided
  • 4 oz + 4 oz shredded mozzarella, divided
  • Fresh basil for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cut 2 oz of the pepperoni in quarters. Leave the other 1 oz in whole slices. Set aside.
  2. Add butter to the Instant Pot. Using the display panel select the SAUTE function.
  3. When butter gets hot, add sausage and onion. Cook and stir until no pink remains.
  4. Add mushrooms (optional) and broth to the pot and deglaze by using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  5. Onto the meat mixture, evenly layer pasta sauce, then pasta, then pizza sauce. Do not stir.
  6. Turn the pot off by selecting CANCEL, then secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  7. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 5 minutes.
  8. When the time is up, quick-release the remaining pressure.
  9. Add the 2oz of quartered pepperoni and 4 oz of cheese and stir to combine.
  10. Top with remaining cheese and whole pepperoni and close the lid until the cheese is melted and pepperoni heated through. Serve warm.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.