I wanted to try a new recipe for the pound of local, grass-fed beef I defrosted. I did a Pinterest search for ground beef, and found a recipe I thought my boys would enjoy on the Real Mom Kitchen blog. The pie-like recipe used crescent rolls as a crust to hold in ground beef and cheese.
I took a look at the ingredients and realized that I could make this, if I chose my ingredients carefully. Instead of the recognized brand of refrigerator crescent rolls, I knew I could use Immaculate Baking Company’s Non-GMO Verified Crescent Rolls made with unbleached flour, no artificial preservatives and no hydrogenated oil. The recipe called for an Italian blend of cheese. I did a quick search and found that Organic Valley makes an Italian four-cheese blend. Off to Wegman’s I went for the ingredients I would need.
My version of the casserole that was adapted from Real Mom Kitchen’s version (that was adapted from a Pillsbury recipe) was a hit served with a heaping side of green beans. The boys both had second helpings. I stuck with one serving because of the calorie count. According to My Fitness Pal, one-eighth of this casserole has about 335 calories.
- 1/4 c chopped onion
- 1/4 c chopped red bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped (or one teaspoon of jarred chopped garlic)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 pd ground beef (you could also use ground turkey or a meatless substitute)
- 1 c of any brand of tomato-based spaghetti sauce
- 1 package 8 oz package of refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1 1/2 c shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Saute the onion and bell pepper in the olive oil until soft, stirring. Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
- Add the ground beef to the onion, pepper and garlic and brown the beef until no longer pink. Drain the beef and return it to the pan.
- Add the spaghetti sauce to the ground beef and mix well. Set aside.
- In an 8-9 inch pie glass pie plate, arrange the crescent rolls in a spoke pattern. The larger ends of the rolls should be in the bottom of the pie plate. The smaller ends should be evenly spaced apart with about 3-inches overlapping the plate.
- Press the crescent rolls together on the bottom of the pan so the entire pan is covered in an even layer. I had to rip pieces that were overlapping and fill in spots where there was none, but that helped to make sure there was an even layer.
- Sprinkle one cup of the cheese on the bottom of the pie plate.
- Spread the ground beef mixture on top of the cheese.
- Bring the tips of the crescent rolls into the middle. There will be gaps in between the rolls. That’s okay.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and then sprinkle on the basil.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- A glass pie plate will give you your best shot at making sure the top and the bottom crusts are evenly baked. If you don’t have a glass pie plate, make sure the bottom layer of crust is even – that there are no thicker portions – or you could end up with the bottom a little doughy.
- The additions you can add to the filling are endless - olives, mushrooms, all sorts of peppers… You could also use half ground beef/half sausauge or add some pepperoni to the mix.
- Next time, I'll add a few more seasonings to the ground beef - probably a little salt and some Italian seasoning.
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