Italian Crescent Casserole

Italian Crescent Casserole: A Flavorful Feast for the Senses

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey to Italy with this mouthwatering Italian Crescent Casserole recipe. Bursting with savory flavors and featuring layers of ground beef, marinara sauce, creamy sour cream, and gooey mozzarella cheese, this casserole is the epitome of comfort food. Topped with flaky crescent rolls and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, it’s a dish that will delight your taste buds and warm your soul. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to create a memorable meal that will transport you to the heart of Italy.


  • 1 lb ground beef: The foundation of this comfort casserole.
  • 1 onion, finely diced: For that hint of sweetness and texture.
  • 1 cup marinara sauce: Choose a brand that makes your heart sing or better yet, your homemade version!
  • 1/2 cup sour cream: For that creamy, indulgent twist.
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese: Because cheese makes everything better.
  • 1 package (8 oz) Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls: Your shortcut to a flaky, golden crust.
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted: The golden touch.
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese: The perfect crust topping.


Preparing the Casserole:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and diced onion until the beef is browned and the onion is tender. Drain any excess grease.
  3. Stir in the marinara sauce and sour cream until well combined. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  4. Spread the beef mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the top.

Adding the Crescent Roll Crust:

  1. Unroll the crescent roll dough and separate it into triangles.
  2. Arrange the crescent roll triangles over the beef mixture in the baking dish, slightly overlapping them if necessary to cover the entire surface.
  3. Brush the melted butter over the crescent roll dough.
  4. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the top.

Baking the Casserole:

  1. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crescent roll crust is golden brown and the casserole is heated through.
  2. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Vegetarian Option: Replace the ground beef with a meat alternative such as crumbled tofu, lentils, or meatless ground beef substitute.
  • Add Vegetables: Enhance the flavor and nutrition of the casserole by adding diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach to the beef mixture.
  • Spice it Up: For a little extra kick, add crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños to the beef mixture.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different types of cheese such as cheddar, provolone, or fontina to customize the flavor of the casserole.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

Keto Version:

  • Substitute the Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls with a homemade keto-friendly dough made from almond flour, cream cheese, and eggs.
  • Use a low-carb marinara sauce or make your own using fresh tomatoes, garlic, and Italian herbs.
  • Replace the sour cream with full-fat Greek yogurt or cream cheese for a keto-friendly option.
  • Choose a keto-friendly cheese such as shredded mozzarella or provolone.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Use a low-carb tortilla or flatbread as a substitute for the crescent roll dough.
  • Opt for a sugar-free marinara sauce or make your own using tomato paste, water, and spices.
  • Replace the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt or a low-carb cream sauce made from heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.
  • Choose a low-carb cheese such as shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack.

In conclusion, Italian Crescent Casserole is a deliciously comforting dish that brings the flavors of Italy to your dinner table with minimal effort. Whether you’re serving it for a weeknight family dinner or a casual get-together with friends, this casserole is sure to impress. With its layers of savory beef, tangy marinara sauce, and melty cheese, it’s a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone coming back for seconds. So, whip up a batch today and savor the comforting flavors of this Italian-inspired dish!

Additional Tips and Tricks

  • Make-Ahead: Prepare the casserole up to the point of baking, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator, uncover, and bake as directed.
  • Freezing: Italian Crescent Casserole freezes well. Once baked and cooled, wrap the casserole tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake in a preheated oven until heated through.
  • Serve with Salad: Pair the casserole with a crisp green salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette for a complete and satisfying meal.
  • Leftover Ideas: Use any leftover casserole to make delicious sandwiches or wraps for a quick and easy lunch option.

With these additional tips and tricks, you’re well-equipped to master the art of Italian Crescent Casserole and enjoy the delightful flavors of this comforting dish. Buon appetito!

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