Italian Crescent Casserole
How to make Italian Crescent Casserole
I love it when I cook something and it is such a hit that I don’t have to worry about leftovers. It is sad though and a waste but leftovers tend to be forgotten about in our house and the dogs usually end up with a messy experiment or something tasty.
They are dogs so they win either way. Well this recipe I made is very similar to the Pillsbury Italian Crescent Casserole Recipe but I changed the kind of sauce used but I am sure it is just as good either way.
I recently taught a cooking class for the youth in our church. I explained to them that if you can brown beef you can make so many meals. This one included.
1 lb ground beef, cooked, drained
1 cup Three Cheese Pasta Sauce (the original called for a different kind. I love this one more so I used it)
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1½ cups shredded Italian cheese blend (6 oz)
¼ teaspoon dried basil leaves
In skillet, mix beef and pasta sauce.
Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Separate dough into 8 triangles.
Place dough in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate in spoke pattern, with narrow tips overlapping rim of plate about 3 inches.
Press dough in side and bottom to form crust; sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese.
Spoon meat mixture evenly over cheese.
Bring tips of dough over filling to meet in center; do not overlap.
Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese and the basil.
Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.
Calories: 470 kcal | Protein: 24g | Carbohydrates: 22g | Dietary Fiber: 1g | Total Sugars: 6g | Total Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 930mg
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I use a different type of meat instead of ground beef?
Yes, you can! Ground turkey, ground chicken, or even plant-based ground meat alternatives can be used as a substitute for the ground beef in this recipe. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time if needed.
What other sauce options can I use instead of Three Cheese Pasta Sauce?
Feel free to experiment with different pasta sauces based on your preferences. Marinara sauce, tomato-basil sauce, or even Alfredo sauce can be used to give the casserole a unique flavor twist.
Can I add vegetables to the casserole?
Absolutely! Adding vegetables like sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, or zucchini can enhance the nutritional content and flavor profile of the casserole.
Just make sure to cook and drain the vegetables before adding them.
Can I prepare the casserole ahead of time and bake it later?
Yes, you can partially prepare the casserole by browning the beef, mixing it with the sauce, and arranging it in the pie plate with the cheese and dough.
Cover and refrigerate it, then bake it when you’re ready. You may need to adjust the baking time slightly if the casserole is chilled.
What can I serve with this casserole to make it a complete meal?
This casserole is quite hearty on its own, but you can pair it with a simple side salad, steamed vegetables, or even garlic bread to round out the meal and add some extra nutrients.
Can I use homemade pasta sauce instead of store-bought sauce?
Absolutely! You can definitely use homemade pasta sauce in this recipe. Just make sure the consistency and flavors match well with the dish.
Is it possible to make a vegetarian version of this casserole?
Yes, you can make a vegetarian version by substituting the ground beef with plant-based meat alternatives like crumbled tofu or tempeh.
Additionally, choose a vegetarian cheese blend and ensure your pasta sauce is vegetarian-friendly.
Can I freeze this casserole for later?
Yes, you can freeze this casserole for later. Assemble the casserole but don’t bake it. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze.
When ready to bake, you might need to increase the baking time since it’s starting from a frozen state.
What are some optional add-ins to enhance the flavor?
You can customize this casserole by adding ingredients like sautéed onions, garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or even cooked crumbled sausage.
These additions can provide extra depth of flavor.
Can I use a different type of cheese for the Italian blend?
Of course! While the Italian cheese blend is recommended for its flavors, you can substitute it with mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, or any other cheese that complements Italian dishes.