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Original content posted February 2018. Updated April 2019.
I’m not sure what exactly made me think of this Upside Down Pizza Casserole this week. It’s a recipe that I enjoyed my mom making when I was a child and when I looked in the recipe book that she had given me – and where all my favorite recipes from home are kept – I noticed it’s actually a recipe that had been passed down from my grandmother.
Comfort food at it’s finest. And if every one of my four children eats a dish without complaint, I can practically guarantee that whoever you serve it to will enjoy it as well.
This is where I admit that my version of this recipe is a bit different than the Upside Down Pizza Casserole my mom made for me as a child. The original recipe was made in an 8″ x 8″ baking dish. Let me tell you, that’s simply not going to work for our family of six.
It also wouldn’t make for any leftovers which are perfect for school lunch thermoses the next day. This casserole reheats beautifully as I can make it earlier in the day when I have time to spare and then simply reheat it in the oven when we’re ready to eat dinner.
I also chose to amp up the pizza flavor. Because really, when is more flavor a bad thing? The original recipe was a layer of ground beef topped by tomato sauce, slices of American cheese and then a mixture of Bisquick and milk.
My Upside Down Pizza Casserole recipe has more flavor in each and every layer. Instead of just ground beef, I also included Italian sausage as well which was an instant boost of flavor and interest. I also included onion, green pepper and pepperoni – all of my favorites! – to really up the pizza quotient.
Pizza sauce replaced the tomato sauce, again, more flavor. And as I’m not quite sure when I last purchased American cheese slices, I went with my favorite thick sliced sharp cheddar cheese. (Friends, look for the Tillamook brand the next time you’re grocery shopping, those cheddar slices are legit!)
Instead of using something store bought, my four ingredient mix is the perfect substitute and is made with pantry staples. I also added garlic powder and Italian seasoning to it to once again add flavor. The biscuit topping was my favorite as a child and I can verify that it still is some thirty years later! Serving each piece upside down so that the crust is sitting on your plate is half the fun.
How to Make Upside Down Pizza Casserole
 Add ground beef, sausage, onion and green pepper to a large saucepan over medium heat.
TIP: If you don’t want to add an extra item to your grocery list, you could easily substitute another pound of ground beef for the sausage.
 Cook until beef and sausage are browned and cooked through and onion and green pepper are softened.
 Drain beef mixture and pour into 9×13 casserole dish.
TIP: Want to make this a one pot meal? No problem! Simply drain the beef mixture and continue with the recipe in the same oven proof saucepan. I love using my Le Creuset Round Brasier for recipes like this.
 Layer pepperoni slices evenly over beef mixture.
TIP: Love other pizza toppings? Feel free to substitute! Canadian bacon would be a great swap for the pepperoni if it’s one of your faves.
 Pour pizza sauce over pepperoni and spread into an even layer.
 Top with cheddar cheese slices. You may have to halve slices to create a single layer.
 In a medium bowl, add baking mix, milk, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
TIP: In a pinch you could use Bisquick instead of my Homemade Baking Mix, but I promise mine tastes better and is worth the minimal effort involved!
 Stir together until just combined.
TIP: You only want to stir together until you can no longer see any dry ingredients. Stir too much and you’ll be left with a tough biscuit topping. And really, nobody wants that!
 Drop biscuit mixture onto cheese and spread into an even layer.
TIP: I find it easiest to use my hands when adding the biscuit mix to the top of the casserole so that none of the other layers below shift.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until top is golden. Serve upside down.
If you’ve tried this Upside Down Pizza Casserole or any other recipe on Melanie Makes, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you and respond to each and every comment!
Upside Down Pizza Casserole
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 2 ounces pepperoni slices
- 14 ounces pizza sauce
- 9 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 cups Homemade Baking Mix
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- fresh chopped parsley, to garnish if desired
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Add ground beef, sausage, onion and green pepper to a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook until beef and sausage are browned and cooked through and onion and green pepper are softened.
- Drain beef mixture and pour into 9" × 13" casserole dish.
- Layer pepperoni slices evenly over beef mixture.
- Pour pizza sauce over pepperoni and spread into an even layer.
- Top with cheddar cheese slices. You may have to halve slices to create a single layer.
- In a medium bowl, add baking mix, milk, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
- Stir together until just combined.
- Drop biscuit mixture onto cheese and spread into an even layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until top is golden. Serve upside down.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.