30 Minutes or Less/ Kids Love This/ Main Dish/ Pasta & Rice/ Recipe

Pizza Mac and Cheese that will Make Your Family Happy

pizza mac and cheese 2

If you’re looking for a dish that will make the whole family happy AND is easy to make, then Pizza Mac and Cheese is calling your name!

Do you hear it? Coooook meeeeeee, cook me!!!!!

I “almost” feel silly for posting this simple recipe. Because it’s really, really simple.

But then again, I know what it’s like to have to make dinner for your family when you really don’t want to. I get it – I really do!

Pizza Mac and Cheese is especially delicious on those nights!

And given all that’s going on in the world, I’ll take simple and easy for now. Work smarter, not harder, right??

We like to pair pizza mac and cheese with 4 ingredients roasted Brussels Sprouts with bacon!

Why we love Pizza themed macaroni and cheese

Our 7 year old has been a fan of macaroni and cheese since birth. For the longest time, she was a total mac and cheese snob, wanting Panera mac and cheese all the time. 

Luckily, I found a Panera looking mac and cheese at our local Aldi store. It’s been our go-to ever since. Even though she loves a traditional mac and cheese, the mom and me felt the need to mix things up a bit.

This family friendly meal is:

  • Easy to make with ingredients I already have in the fridge and pantry.
  • A meal that makes the entire family happy. They’re not settling, I’m not settling. It’s what I call a win-win meal!
  • Full of flavor and more substance than plain old mac and cheese
  • Fully customizable, based on what your favorite pizza toppings may be!

Ingredients in Pizza Mac and Cheese

Like I said before, you can use whatever you favorite ingredients in pizza are. I’ll tell you how I make it and give you some extra options to make it all yours!

  • boxed macaroni and cheese. I like to use the white mac and cheese, which is sometimes called Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Shells. Whatever type of mac and cheese your family likes, use it!
  • butter and milk to prep the mac and cheese, just like any other day.
  • Italian Chicken Sausage links – I love using these because they’re already cooked which significantly reduces cook time and they’re full of protein.
  • marinara sauce – for the pizza type sauce
  • Italian seasoning – turns the marinara into “pizza sauce”
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese – because what pizza would be complete without cheese and lots of it??!?

Other shortcut ideas for you:

  • If you have pizza sauce on hand, use that instead of the marinara sauce and Italian seasoning.
  • A three cheese or Italian cheese blend is a great option for the mozzarella cheese. We just always have mozz in the fridge so that’s what I went with.
  • Pepperoni, cooked and crumbled sausage, leftover cooked chicken are delicious add ons.
  • Vegetable add ins – like I said, we have some picky eaters, so even the Italian sausage was a stretch here. But you could add all sorts of veggie toppings from bell peppers to black olives, diced onion to mushrooms!

How to Make Pizza Mac and Cheese

  1. Preheat your oven: Set it to 350°.
  2. Prepare macaroni and cheese: Super easy step here! Just cook it like you would any other day, according to the package directions using milk and butter.
  3. Blend ingredients: In a large bowl mix your prepared macaroni and cheese, marinara sauce, sliced Italian sausage and Italian seasoning. Give it a stir to gently combine the ingredients and transfer the mixture to a oven safe baking dish. This can be a casserole dish, a skillet, or even the pan you used to make the mac and cheese.

    (If you reuse the pan you cooked in, it will taste great, it just won’t look quite as pretty and will be deeper than a casserole dish.)
  4. Add cheese: Top with your shredded mozzarella cheese or cheese of choice. Bake the pizza mac and cheese for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted on top and the mixture is heated through.

Other family favorite recipes you’ll love:

pizza mac and cheese pinterest
Shortcut Pizza Mac and Cheese

Shortcut Pizza Mac and Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 packages Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Shells or regular boxed macaroni and cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 12 slices pepperoni, quartered
  • 4 Italian Chicken Sausage Links, sliced
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare macaroni and cheese according to package directions using milk and butter.
  2. In a large bowl mix cooked macaroni and cheese, marinara sauce, sliced Italian sausage, pepperoni and Italian seasoning. Stir gently to combine and transfer to a medium sized casserole dish.
  3. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted on top and mixture is heated through.

Notes

Other shortcut ideas for you:

  • If you have pizza sauce on hand, use that instead of the marinara sauce and Italian seasoning.
  • A three cheese or Italian cheese blend is a great option for the mozzarella cheese. We just always have mozz in the fridge so that's what I went with.
  • Pepperoni, cooked and crumbled sausage, leftover cooked chicken are delicious add ons.
  • Vegetable add ins - like I said, we have some picky eaters, so even the Italian sausage was a stretch here. But you could add all sorts of veggie toppings from bell peppers to black olives, diced onion to mushrooms!

Did you make this recipe?

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