Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Italian Crescent Casserole

Randy is not picky when it comes to food. I hear about husbands who won't eat casseroles. Others won't eat leftovers. Some won't eat sandwiches.

Randy is kind of like Mikey of the old Life cereal commercial fame: He will eat anything (within reason).

Of course, given a choice between beef or chicken, he will choose beef every time. As beef producers, our freezer is well stocked with hamburger, steaks and roasts. So lucky him: Most of the time, I do use beef in meals at the County Line.

This casserole is no exception.

I got the recipe from one of Eric's cousins. Before Jill & Eric's wedding, I wrote letters to friends and relatives from both sides of the family. I enclosed matching recipe cards and asked them to send one or two of their favorite recipes.

After I sent the letters, I loved going to the mailbox and discovering recipe cards and notes tucked among the bills and newspapers. It was like getting Christmas cards and letters, but it lasted longer since I'd given people plenty of time to respond. Once I had the cards back, I compiled the recipes.

In fact, I had so many recipes that I ended up putting them in two matching books. I then went to a shop and had metal labels engraved for the spines, noting that Volume I had appetizers, salads, vegetables and main dishes and Volume II had desserts and breads in Jill's & Eric's Family and Friend Favorites.

I could have typed them all or sent the requests for recipes out by email, but I liked having each friend or family member write out the recipe card in their own hand. It seemed more personal that way.

Italian Crescent Casserole is one of several recipes I copied before I gave them the recipe book. I've used it several times, including serving it to Eric's family when they arrived before the wedding.

It's easy and tasty. Enjoy!

Italian Crescent Casserole
1 lb. hamburger
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 envelope spaghetti sauce mix (dry)
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup sour cream (not fat free or light)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 8-count can refrigerated crescent rolls
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Brown hamburger and onion in skillet, stirring until ground beef is crumbly; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce mix and tomato sauce. Heat over medium heat until bubbly, stirring frequently. Pour into 7- by 11-inch baking dish. Mix sour cream and cheese and drop by spoonfuls over the beef mixture. Spread out over meat.

Unroll crescent rolls. leaving in a sheet. Place over the cheese mixture to form the top crust. Brush the rolls with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 17 to 25 minutes until browned and bubbly.

Serves 8.

A Photo Step-by-Step

I figured you could brown hamburger and add all the ingredients. Actually, I'm sure you can do all this without my photographic help, but here we go anyway.

Spray pan with cooking spray. Put seasoned meat mixture in prepared pan.

Dollop with the mixture of sour cream and mozzarella cheese. A recipe note: I often use fat free sour cream in recipes. But in this recipe, I think it makes it too watery, so I would use regular sour cream.

I like to use this little metal spatula to spread the cheese mixture around. It is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I don't remember what I paid for it (it wasn't much), but it has been worth every penny. I use it to spread bar cookie doughs, frosting, etc. For some reason, it works better than a knife.

Put the crescent rolls on the top. And here is another recipe tip: I took the crescent rolls out of the refrigerator this time when I started browning the hamburger, etc. I had trouble separating the dough because it was soft. So, I would recommend you leave it in your fridge until you're ready to use it. It will be easier to get it to stay in a sheet and will be more attractive than my results this time!

Brush with the melted butter. You really don't need to melt 2 tablespoons like it calls for in the recipe. One will be plenty.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake until browned and bubbly. (Again, this isn't the prettiest one I ever made because the crust was kind of a mess.) However, it tasted just fine!

Didn't your mother tell you? Looks aren't everything!

Serve with a a Waldorf salad and some green beans and supper is ready!


  1. We skip the butter at our house to save on calories and we don't miss it!! LOVE THIS CASSEROLE! Probably one of my all time favorites from the books!

  2. I am making this tonight! Do you not add any water to the hamburger/spaghetti sauce mixture? I notice on the sauce package it calls for water but your recipe doesn't. Thanks!