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.

Ingredients

  • 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
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the spaghetti sauce to the ground beef and mix well. Set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Sprinkle one cup of the cheese on the bottom of the pie plate.
  8. Spread the ground beef mixture on top of the cheese.
  9. Bring the tips of the crescent rolls into the middle. There will be gaps in between the rolls. That’s okay.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and then sprinkle on the basil.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
My notes
  • 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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