I've come to the conclusion that it's nice to have a few quick and easy dinners in my back pocket at the ready, regardless of how much I love to cook from scratch. I still cook from scratch 90% of the time, but life happens and sometimes it's more feasible to open a package of something to act as a base or accent to a meal.
That's exactly what this recipe is. I pinned this Italian Crescent Casserole from Real Mom Kitchen a few months ago figuring that one day this recipe could come in handy. Well, we've had a pretty busy winter in our house and something simple to assemble has been exactly what I've been gravitating towards.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much we liked it, though I'm not sure why because we love everything in the ingredients list, so what's not to love about the final outcome?! And, of course this is another recipe that you could easily adapt to whatever you have on hand, or craving. I bet this would be good with Italian Sausage, or a mixture of beef and sausage. Even with shredded chicken, spinach and ricotta... Mmmm!
Italian Crescent Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup favorite pasta or pizza sauce
1 8-oz. can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese blend of your choice (I used Mozzarella and Provelone)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9" glass pie plate with a spray of non-stick coating.
In a large skillet, cook beef until browned and cooked through. Drain fat, reserving 1 - 2 Tablespoons and set beef aside in a medium bowl.
Saute onions in reserved fat, until translucent about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add to beef.
Place dough in the glass pie plate in a spoke pattern, with narrow tips hanging over the edge of the plate rim about 3 inches. Press dough down to form a crust, covering the pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese over the dough.
Spoon the meat mixture evenly over the cheese.
Bring the edges of the crescents over the filling, not overlapping. Spinkle with remaining cheese over the dish, and basil.
Bake for 15-20 minutes and allow to sit for a few minutes.
While resting, heat up sauce to serve on the side.
I wasn't able to fit all of the crescents in the pie plate for some reason, so I just made an actual crescent for my son to snack on.
I saw some reviews that the bottom of the casserole was a little undercooked and doughy. I tend to have this problem with my stove, but did not with this recipe. Maybe it was because I was baking 1 less crescent?! If you noticing it's still doughy, bake it on a lower rack!
Next time I may mix the sauce in with the meat mixture (about 1 1/2 cups probably)
Source: Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen, originally from Pillsbury