Pepperoni Pasta

5 from 3 votes
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Pepperoni pasta with lean ground beef and jalapeño is a home run meal. Easy, tasty and loved by everyone.

White plate with pasta and pepperoni.
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Why Make This Pepperoni Pasta

This pasta is a family and friend favorite. Everyone who tries this recipe is blown away by the flavors. This is a hearty recipe and a great switch up from your typical pizza night. Pepperoni pasta is really easy to whip up, you can customize it with your favorite veggie add ins, use beef, turkey or even vegan pepperoni, you can also try my Veggie Ragu if you want to avoid the meat.

I love this recipe with ground beef, but ground turkey works great too. You can easily use up leftover product in this meal as well, the skies the limit. Make it mild or spicy (you know i like it spicy!) Also give my Pizza Bowls a try if you love pizza!

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients for the recipe in small bowls on a grey counter.

Ground Beef. I love lean ground beef for this recipe, it gives it a hearty, Bolognese texture. You can use ground turkey meat as well if you want to cut back on calories.

Olive Oil. Just a little bit to help sauté the meat.

Onion. This gives a great aromatics to the sauce, it’s also a wonderful way to give the lean ground meat some moisture.

Jalapeño. Diced jalapeños add a wonderful heat to this pepperoni pasta.

Garlic. Fresh cloves of garlic are best for this recipe. It adds aromatics and depth to the sauce.

Seasoning. Garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, chili powder.

Pepperonis. I try to use a good quality that is nitrate free. You can also use turkey or vegan pepperoni if you want to cut back on the fat content. They are all tasty in this, yes I have tried them all!

Red Pasta Sauce. Use your favorite! Marinara or spaghetti sauce will work great.

Chicken Broth. This thins out the sauce and helps to combine everything together. I opt for low sodium broth. You can also just double the pasta water measurements if you don’t have broth.

Pasta. I use rigatoni for this but any will work.

Spinach. I add lots of fresh spinach to the sauce to add some nutritious minerals from the leafy.

Basil. Optional for topping.

Recipe Variations

Ground Beef. You can also use ground turkey to cut back on calories.

Rigatoni. Any pasta shape will work, ziti, penne or spaghetti will also work.

Pepperoni. Use turkey or vegan pepperoni.

Red Pasta Sauce. Use marinara if you’d like a sweeter flavor.

Spinach. You can skip the spinach or add chopped zucchini instead.

Chicken Broth. Beef, or vegetable broth will also work.

How To Make This Recipe

Steps to make this recipe in a grey skillet with meat and pepperoni.

Step One. Start pasta and cook according to the package (al dente) In a large skillet, heat oil in the pan. Add onions and jalapeños. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Add in ground beef and cook all the way through, about 6 minutes.

Step Two. Add seasonings and garlic, sauté for another 2 minutes. Add in the pepperoni, broth and pasta sauce. Bring to a light simmer. Once the pasta is done, reserve 1.5 cups of the pasta water before draining. If you already drained the pasta, no worries just use more broth.

Pasta and sauce with pepperoni in a large grey skillet.

Step Three. Add the cooked pasta to the large skillet, spinach and add in the pasta water, simmer for another 2 minutes and serve! Garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan.

White plate with pasta up close and a silver fork.

Recipe FAQ’s

Can this recipe be made without ground beef?

Yes, you can skip the ground beef and only use pepperoni

Can pepperoni pasta be meal prepped?

Yes, you can make this ahead of time and freeze it or eat it throughout the week.

Recipe Pairings

This recipe is very hearty on it’s own, but it’s really great served with Air Fried Garlic Bread or my Overnight Bread or Kale Salad With Lemon Honey Dressing.

Other Pasta Meals To Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

White plate with saucy noodles and pepperonis.
5 from 3 votes

Pepperoni Pasta

Pepperoni pasta with lean ground beef and jalapeño is a home run meal. Easy, tasty and loved by everyone. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 12 -16 oz rigatoni
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 jalapeños, chopped, *see notes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup onions, chopped
  • ½ tsp italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt, *more to taste as needed
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 cup pepperoni, *see notes
  • 1 32 oz jar pasta sauce
  • ¾ cup low sodium beef or chicken broth
  • ½ cup pasta water
  • 1 cup spinach

Instructions 

  • Start pasta and cook according to the package (al dente) In a large skillet, heat oil in the pan. Add onions and jalapeños. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Add in ground beef and cook all the way through, about 6 minutes.
  • Add seasonings and garlic, sauté for another 2 minutes. Add in the pepperoni, broth and pasta sauce. Bring to a light simmer. Once the pasta is done, reserve 1.5 cups of the pasta water before draining. If you already drained the pasta, no worries just use more broth. 
  • Add the cooked pasta to the large skillet, spinach and add in the pasta water, simmer for another 2 minutes and serve! Garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan. 

Notes

*use only one jalapeño if sensitive to heat, discard seeds and white flesh if wanting a mild heat.
*turkey or vegan pepperoni will work

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 902mg | Potassium: 605mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 847IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 474
Keyword: 30 minute, dinner, pasta
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2 Comments

  1. This is a great meal prep for the family. As you mentioned it got better throughout the week! Loved it.

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this today. It was delicious. Loved the pepperoni addition. I never thought of it. Dispatches enough to feed us all weekend.