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Recipes: Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole

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Did you know crescent rolls are believed to have originated during the thirteenth century?

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They are considered a modified version of kipferl, a more basic roll, while crescent rolls are more of a pastry. These pastry-like rolls are believed to have evolved by 1838 or 1839 when an Austrian artillery officer, August Zang, started a Viennese Bakery in Paris, France.

There are also tales claiming the invention of crescent rolls occurred in Europe to celebrate the conquering of a Muslim assault at the significant Battle of Tours by the Franks in 732. The roll’s design was indicative of the Islamic crescent.

Other tales relate them with the kifli and the blockade of Buda in 1686. Yet another story points to Marie Antoinette’s yearning for a Polish specialty.

Share these intriguing stories with your family when you serve this recipe for zesty Italian crescent casserole. Madella Bathke of Wells, MN won the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest 28 in 1978 with this tasty crescent recipe.


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup tomato pasta sauce
  • 6 oz. (1 ½ cups) shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain.
  3. Stir in pasta sauce; cook until thoroughly heated.
  4. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine mozzarella cheese and sour cream; mix well.
  5. Pour hot beef mixture into ungreased 9 ½ or 10-inch glass deep-dish pie pan or 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish. Spoon cheese mixture over beef mixture.
  6. Unroll dough over cheese mixture. (If using pie pan, separate dough into 8 triangles; arrange points toward center over cheese mixture, crimping outside edges if necessary.) In small bowl, mix Parmesan cheese and butter. Spread evenly over dough.
  7. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown.


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