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.

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Cavatini is a saucy baked pasta full of Italian sausage, pepperoni, veggies and mozzarella cheese!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Servings 8


  • 1 lb rotini pasta
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 24 oz jars pasta sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 8 oz can sliced mushrooms drained
  • 1 3 oz pkg pepperoni slices
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan


  • 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.

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