Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna: Rethink Dinner with This Delicious Mashup

If you’re here, I’m guessing that you’re all about lasagna. Or pepperoni pizza. I mean either way, they are both really tasty.

However, this recipe is all about mashing these two iconic Italian-themed foods into one casserole dish of pure deliciousness.

Vertical image of a square portion of lasagna topped with a garnish of minced parsley on a white plate, with another plate and a pan filled with the dish in the background, beside a glass of red wine, printed with orange and white text in the top third and at the bottom of the frame.

When it comes to lasagna, you may not want to mess with a classic, but this recipe is going to change your mind about all that.

So what makes this recipe “pepperoni pizza”-inspired?

Well, you start with the classic layers that you usually find in homemade lasagna – tomato sauce with fresh basil, ground meat (turkey in this case, with a ton of spices), and noodles cooked al dente. In addition to that, there’s plenty of cheese.

And then you add slices of peppery, garlicky pepperoni.

I mean, both lasagna and pizza are known for being smothered and covered in cheese and tomato sauce, right?

I’m sure you can easily imagine adding pepperoni to make something truly unique and tasty!

Vertical image of two portions of lasagna on plates, with the remainder of the dish in a large metal baking pan in the background, with a folded white cloth towel, dark and light blue patterned cloth napkin, and a glass of red wine.

Instead of using ground beef in this recipe, the main meaty ingredient (besides those savory slices of deliciousness) is turkey.

So, why do we use turkey here?

Well, this lean, mildly-flavored meat plays well against the pepperoni, cheese, and added spices, resulting in a balanced dish that’s not too heavy.

It’s just what you need for your next family dinner at home.

Overhead horizontal image of a rectangular metal baking pan of lasagna topped with pepperoni and melted cheese, with a folded white cloth on a gray surface.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up doing about three hundred different things after school, from sports to various club activities to homework. Since my mom was a single parent, she worked a lot, and we didn’t always get to the dinner table at the same time.

However, at least once or twice a week, my mom and I would plan a family dinner night.

It’s something that I always look back on very fondly, and I still make family meals a priority in my home today.

Vertical image of a square portion of lasagna on a plate, with another plate and a metal baking pan filled with more of the dish beside a glass of red wine in the background, on a dark and light blue patterned cloth napkin, against a gray backdrop with a white kitchen towel in soft focus.

Even though it’s just my husband and I, life can get away from us easily, so I like to make sure that we are eat dinner together at the dinner table together at least a few times a week.

This is the kind of recipe I like to make for those occasions. It’s hearty and delicious, and simultaneously easy to prepare, a dish that really reminds me of home. It satisfies on every level, crushing those savory cravings and fulfilling your need for something comforting and warm.

Trust me when I say that everyone in your family will come running to the table when you make this killer recipe.

Plus, the leftovers are just as tasty to take with you to work the next day. If you have any leftovers, that is.

Print
Horizontal image of one square portion of lasagna topped with chopped parsley on a white plate in the foreground and another identical plate in the background beside a long-stemmed wine glass, with a fork and two dark and light blue patterned napkins, and a metal baking pan, on a dark gray surface.

Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 11x14" casserole 1x

Description

This pepperoni pizza lasagna is a mash-up of two of your favorite Italian recipes, all in one giant casserole dish.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 16-oz box lasagna noodles (use gluten-free if needed, not no-boil)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 4 oz sliced pepperoni
  • 12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook lasagna noodles until al dente, according to package directions. Drain well. Lay out on paper towels or clean kitchen towels in single layer without overlapping, so the noodles don’t stick together.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. While the pasta cooks, add turkey, spices (paprika through black pepper), and garlic to the skillet. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until the turkey is cooked through, breaking it up into small pieces. Drain any fat from the pan.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together crushed tomatoes and fresh basil.
  5. Sparad about 2 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes in the bottom of an 11-by-14-inch baking dish.
  6. Line the bottom of the dish with a single layer of lasagna noodles, overlapping the edges slightly.
  7. Spread half of the turkey mixture over the noodles.
  8. Spread half of the remaining tomatoes evenly over the turkey.
  9. Place half of the pepperoni in an even layer over the top.
  10. Sprinkle evenly with half of the cheese.
  11. Add another layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat layers of turkey, tomatoes, pepperoni, and cheese with the remaining ingredients.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  13. Remove from the oven. Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

  • Category: Lasagna
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: lasagna, pepperoni, pepperoni pizza, ground turkey

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Mince Garlic, Chop Basil, and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Peel and mince two cloves of garlic, or push it through your garlic press.

Chop enough basil leaves until you have 2 teaspoons total.

Horizontal overhead image of square and round glass and metal bowls of various sizes, filled with sliced pepperoni, spices, garlic, chopped parsley, ground turkey, shredded cheese, and tomato sauce, with a pile of uncooked lasagna noodles, on a blue-gray surface.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Note that you should not use the no-boil kind of noodles for this recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350˚F.

Step 2 – Cook Noodles

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Horizontal overhead image of cooked lasagna noodles arranged on a paper towel, on a gray surface.

Be sure to arrange the noodles in a single layer on paper towels without overlapping, so they don’t stick to themselves or each other.

Step 3 – Cook Turkey

While the pasta cooks, place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the turkey, dried spices, and garlic to the skillet.

Overhead closely cropped horizontal image of cooked ground turkey in a nonstick pan, on a blue-gray surface.

Cook until the ground poultry is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes. Be sure to break up the turkey into small pieces as it cooks.

Drain any fat from the pan, discard it, and set the pan aside.

Step 4 – Make Sauce

Overhead image of a glass mixing bowl of red marinara sauce being stirred with a blue silicone spatula, on a blue-gray surface.

To make the sauce, stir together the crushed tomatoes and fresh basil.

Step 5 – Assemble

Place about 2 tablespoons of the sauce in the bottom of an 11-by-14-inch baking dish or pan, and spread it around.

Horizontal overhead image of a thin layer of tomato sauce spread in the bottom of a large rectangular metal baking pan, on a sponge-painted blue-gray and white surface.

Cover the bottom of the dish with a single layer of noodles, overlapping the edges just a bit.

Horizontal overhead image of cooked lasagna noodles arranged in a single layer over a thin coating of red tomato sauce in the bottom of a large rectangular metal baking pan, on a blue-gray surface.

Top the noodles with half of the turkey mixture.

Horizontal overhead image of a large rectangular metal baking pan of lasagna noodles topped with cooked grown turkey, on a mottled blue-gray surface.

Spread half of the remaining tomatoes over the turkey.

Horizontal overhead image of slices of pepperoni arranged in a slightly overlapping single layer in a large rectangular metal baking pan, on a white-speckled blue-gray painted surface.

Arrange an even layer of pepperoni on top of the turkey, using about half of the total quantity.

Horizontal overhead image of a rectangular metal baking pan of noodles topped with sauce, shredded cheese, and sliced pepperoni, on a gray surface.

Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over the top.

Repeat these layers once more in this order, from noodles through cheese, using up what remains.

Step 6 – Bake

Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

The sauce should be bubbling around the edges, and the cheese will be melted and slightly golden.

Horizontal close-up closely cropped image of homemade lasagna topped with melted mozzarella and sliced pepperoni in a large rectangular baking pan, on a blue-gray surface.

Remove the casserole dish from the oven. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Can I Freeze This Dish?

If you are planning to freeze this lasagna, I highly recommend cooking it BEFORE you do so. I mean, you just spent time making it, why not eat it?

What I mean to say is, my favorite option with this recipe is to enjoy a few slices, and then freeze the leftovers. Let the lasagna come to room temperature, and then wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap. Make sure each one is wrapped up nice and tight, then place the portions in a zip-top bag and freeze.

To reheat, simply remove from the plastic wrap and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for about 4-5 minutes, or until warmed through.

You could also cook and cool the meat, assemble the lasagna, and freeze it before baking. Make sure to cover the pan with several layers of plastic wrap. I usually wrap the entire dish with plastic wrap all the way around, to make sure there are no gaps for air to get in.

When you are ready to cook, thaw the lasagna in the refrigerator overnight. Then bake as directed.

Horizontal image of one square portion of lasagna topped with chopped parsley on a white plate in the foreground and another identical plate in the background beside a long-stemmed wine glass, with a fork and two dark and light blue patterned napkins, and a metal baking pan, on a dark gray surface.

Pro tip: Put your meal prep hat on and double this recipe to make two casseroles at the same time. You can bake one for dinner tonight, and freeze one for later.

Want even more lasagna recipes to chow down on? Try these Foodal favorites next:

When will you make this recipe? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate it after you’ve tried it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 8, 2013. Last updated: December 2, 2019 at 16:23 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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