Cheesy Pizza Casserole



  • 2 medium heads cauliflower, cleaned and cut into florets (about 5 cups)*
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Pinch coarse salt and ground black pepper

Tomato Cream Sauce:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1-pound ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dried basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried fennel seeds (optional)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, thoroughly drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half


  • 2 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup pepperoni slices
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and basil, for garnish
    Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet. Coat with two tablespoons olive oil and toss with a generous pinch of coarse salt and black pepper. Roast cauliflower for 20-25 minutes, until just tender. Remove from the oven. If there is any moisture on the cauliflower, pat it dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
  3. In the meantime, heat remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot to medium heat. Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add ground turkey or Italian sausage and break it up with a spatula, cooking until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, basil, oregano and fennel. Add tomatoes, crushing with the spatula, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer at medium-high heat and allow to cook 15-20 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper and sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Stir in heavy cream. Optional: Use an immersion blender to puree, if desired.
  4. Grease a glass or ceramic casserole dish. Layer half of the cauliflower, tomato cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and Parmesan cheese. Repeat with remaining cauliflower, tomato cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees, until cheese is bubbly and brown
    . Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve with parsley, basil and red pepper flakes.

Laura Mariano

Written by Laura Mariano

Laura Mariano is a food blogger who founded Recipes By to make cooking easier. Growing up on a farm in Spain, Laura was inspired by exquisite dishes prepared using simple ingredients. Laura Mariano is particularly known for making anyone can cook.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Easy Blueberry Quesadilla

Dry Rub Spice Roasted Chicken