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Cavatini is a saucy baked pasta full of Italian sausage, pepperoni, veggies and mozzarella cheese! Once a popular dish at Pizza Hut, Cavatini is a perfect meal for a hungry, pasta-loving family!

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close up of a plate of cavatini

When I was growing up, it became a tradition to eat at Pizza Hut for lunch on Sundays after church. But as much as I enjoyed their pizza, I was always disappointed they didn’t have their buffet available on the weekend. Why, you might ask? Well, two reasons really.

First off, the buffet always had some sort of fruity dessert pizza piping hot, ready to enjoy. And second, their Cavatini pasta was always on the buffet line and that was a quick go-to for me!! I loved it – so saucy and cheesy and went perfectly with their delicious breadsticks! 🙂

Cavatini is no longer on the Pizza Hut menu, but I’ve recreated it so we can enjoy it whenever we’d like at home! Turns out my husband and girls are also a huge fan of this pasta…thank goodness, because it makes a large batch!!

a gold colored plate full of cavatini with cheese on top

Ingredients Needed

  • Pasta – I use rotini pasta, simply because that’s what I remember Pizza Hut using! However, you could certainly use penne, ziti, bowties, or whatever other pasta you’ve got on hand
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Italian Sausage – I love the added flavor Italian sausage gives, however, feel free to use ground beef or ground pork instead
  • Green Bell Pepper – You could certainly sub yellow or red pepper instead OR skip the pepper altogether
  • Onion – Again, feel free to skip if you’re not an onion-loving family!
  • Pasta Sauce – I used Prego brand, but use whatever you’ve got on hand
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sliced Mushrooms – We love mushrooms, but if you don’t, you can certainly leave them out
  • Pepperoni Slices
  • Mozzarella Cheese
A bite of cavatini being scooped up by a fork

What to serve with Cavatini

Make it a Freezer Meal!

This does make a very large batch. It would serve at least 8 hungry individuals, so if you don’t need that much, you’ve got a couple options.

Freeze it! You can simply place half of the mixture in a greased 8 or 9-inch square pan and put the rest in a square aluminum pan to freeze for later!

Half it! Not interested in making it a freezer meal? No worries. Halving this recipe is pretty darned simple. Other halving all of the ingredients, you’ll just bake it in a square dish for 20 minutes and an additional 5-10 minutes with the cheese on top.

Other Recipes to Try

Lasagna Casserole

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Cheesy Tater Tot Pie

Bruschetta Chicken Skewers

Connect with Dance Around the Kitchen!

Follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook so you never miss a recipe!! And as always, thank you for following along with my blog, making my recipes, liking and sharing on social media and any other way you support Dance Around the Kitchen!  -Kelsey

Cavatini
5 from 2 votes

Cavatini

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
8
Cavatini is a saucy baked pasta full of Italian sausage, pepperoni, veggies and mozzarella cheese!

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • Two 24 ounce jars pasta sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • One 8 ounce can sliced mushrooms drained
  • One 3 ounce pkg pepperoni slices
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13" casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Cook rotini according to package instructions, to al dente, then drain.
  • While the rotini is cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Saute the diced green peppers and onions for 3-5 minutes, or until softened.
  • Add the Italian sausage and cook thoroughly; remove from heat.
  • Add the cooked pasta, both jars of pasta sauce, garlic powder, mushrooms, pepperoni slices, half of the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese.
  • Stir well, then pour into the prepared casserole dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top; bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Enjoy warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 564kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 1561mg | Potassium: 777mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1337IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 284mg | Iron: 7mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I used rotini, cavatelli, mostaccioli, and wheels which is what the original recipe called for back in ’73 when PH rolled this out. Your sauce was most like what I remembered the product tasting like. Thanks so much.

    1. I’ve never thought to add the wheels! I haven’t had the PH cavatini in SO many years but when I was testing this recipe was so excited with how familiar the sauce tasted! I knew it would be a hit! 🙂 Thank you for the fantastic review! -Kelsey

  2. PER BOWEN says:

    5 stars
    I loved it also. Thanks for recreating the recipe. I do remember the sauce had a SPECIAL punch… I don’t think they used the pizza sauce.. or did they? It was not HOT/spicy.. just a rich, spicy tomato taste. I ordered some Italian tomato paste in a tube and this may be the time to use it! I’ll report back! THANKS!