My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pizza Pasta

Pizza Pasta! I love pizza. It is probably one of my favorite meals. This is a recipe that I have made since my kids were small. I used to just use assorted noodles - whatever I had in the cupboard that needed used up. Now with a gluten allergy, I use a gluten free elbow macaroni noodle but it still tastes great! The great thing about pizza pasta is that you can add any of your favorite pizza toppings to customize it. I personally love lots of mushrooms, salami, pepperoni, some ground sausage, hamburger, olives and a little bit of garlic & onion. Sometimes I even throw a little fresh basil in there. However, not everyone in the family likes mushrooms or olives so unless I do individual little casseroles then I just make the basic pepperoni, cheese & garlic. It is a great alternative to pizza because it is quick, easy and you don't have to roll out pizza crust. It also freezes great.

This is another one of those casual meals that I really love because you can make it in advance and it re-heats well. It is also great for "pizza night". You can pre-cook noodles and have disposable metal pie pans or mini bread loaf pans available for each person then lay out all the toppings on the counter as a "pizza topping bar" and let everyone make their individual pizza casserole with their favorite toppings and just bake them. It is great as a stand alone dish or you can add salad and some gluten free bread or rolls for a complete meal.  (Check out my recipe for Baked Cheesecake December 2012 for a killer desert that goes great with this meal!) Kids and adults both enjoy making their own custom pizza pasta casserole. I just like to have large ziploc bags on hand so I can write their name on their "to go" bag and slip the leftover casserole that is already in a disposable metal pie pan (cooled down of course!) right into the ziploc bag. Ready for them to take home!

So the next time you are planning a movie night with the family, having friends over for the big game or just having a casual dinner...consider making individual pizza pasta casseroles! Or you can just make a 9x13 pan for a casual dinner! (If you don't have a gluten allergy then you can just use regular noodles! I used to use fun shapes for the kids when they were younger. If you are making it for just one person then you can start off with a box of macaroni & cheese and just start adding your other ingredients. How easy is that?)

Pizza Pasta Recipe (makes 9x13 pan):
  • 1.5 - 2  cups of pasta (I use the potato starch elbow noodles from Winco Grocery store bulk section but you can use your favorite gluten free noodle and I also love using the Ronzoni brand gluten free noodles). If you do not have a gluten allergy, then of course you can use regular noodles! If you are adding a lot of toppings then I would start off with 1.5 cups of cooked pasta.
  • 2 cups of spaghetti or pizza sauce (if you have a gluten allergy then make sure you read labels and it is gluten free!) 
  • 1.5-2 cups of shredded Italian blend or Mexican blend cheese or use Mozarella or Provolone cheese. There are a lot of great cheeses out there and you can use your favorite or a combination of several different types. (If I am doing the "make your own" thing then I try to have a couple different types of cheeses available)
  • Pepperoni, cooked & drained sausage and/or hamburger or any other meat you like on your pizza. I happen to like salami so I dice up some of that also. Cooked bacon or ham is also a great meat for pizza. Vegetarians can leave out the meat or substitute the soy crumble type stuff (like Morning Star Crumbles).
  • Pizza Toppers like olives, peppers, onions, garlic, Italian seasonings, fresh basil, mushrooms or whatever other toppings you like.
Boil and drain your  noodles. Cook & drain your sausage, bacon or hamburger if you are using them. Spray 9x13 pan or individual disposable pie pans with cooking spray. Spoon noodles into pan(s). Top with spaghetti or pizza sauce, cheese and toppings. Bake in 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and everything is warmed throughout, approximately 20 minutes. (You can also microwave it instead as long as you have a microwave safe casserole dish!)

Here are my two favorite basic ingredients for the pizza pasta that I like to make. The Hunt's pasta sauce is slightly spicy and does not contain gluten. It runs about $1 at Walmart so it is easy to find & very convenient. They also have other flavors but this one happens to be my favorite. I like it better than the more expensive brands and I like the fact that I don't have to run to a specialty store to find it. I first discovered it when we were going camping and making some campfire pizzas and didn't want to transport glass containers. We discovered that we really liked it and was pleased it was inexpensive! Of course, homemade sauce like my dear friend Judi Bahr makes is the BEST but since she doesn't live at my house...I am forced to use canned sauce because I have never really made a good homemade pizza/pasta sauce.
This is one of my favorite sauces to use

Up close view of the pizza pasta in the 9x13 pan
Baked in a 9x13 pan

Up close view...ready to eat! Check out the melted cheese! Yummy!

I will try to add some pictures when we do the "make your own pizza pasta" in the near future.
I hope you enjoy this simple and very casual, fun meal!

Note: Barilla Pasta & Ronzoni both make Gluten Free Noodles which are available at most grocery stores with the regular pasta. If you can't find it, ask your grocery store manager if they can special order it for you. The average price is about $2-3 per box. 

Happy Eating!
Gluten Free Casually


  1. the only thing I hate about your blog is that it makes me so hungry. lol I will have to try this out and see if Roman like Pizza Pasta. It might make my life a little easier. What types of noodles are good for this. I know you put on there that you can use elbow noodles but are there any that are recomended to not use?

  2. I have also used Ronzoni brand GF noodles which turn out great also!