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This 4-ingredient crescent roll ground beef casserole comes together in just minutes for an easy weeknight dinner! It’s a simple one dish meal that you will turn to again and again when you need to feed your family…fast! Serve the cozy casserole with a simple side salad, Arkansas green beans, or sauteed zucchini.

A ground beef casserole on a plate with a fork

Recipes with Ground Beef are Always Winners

Along with chicken breasts, ground beef is one of those staples that makes its way onto our meal plan just about every week. It’s easy to buy the meat in bulk and then save it in the freezer for nights when you don’t want to make a separate trip to the store, and the versatile protein works in so many different types of recipes. Easy ground beef recipes are a busy parent’s best friend — and this 4-ingredient dish is no exception!

Since I’m always looking for new ways to keep dinnertime interesting, you can imagine how happy I was when a reader named Stephanie shared the ground beef casserole recipe with me. One look at the list of ingredients and I instantly knew that it would be a winner in my house, too! Here’s what Stephanie had to say:

One of our favorite “quick” dinners is one that we had when both our children were growing up, and now my husband and I still enjoy it! The bonus now is that there are more pieces leftover for lunch the next day!

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need to make one of our favorite recipes with ground beef. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Ground beef: of course, you can also substitute with ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork, or ground sausage if you like.
  • Crescent roll dough: if you can find it, use a tube of Pillsbury crescent dough sheet, which doesn’t have the perforations that you’ll find in a regular can of crescent roll dough. If you can’t find the sheet of dough, just use the regular crescent rolls and pinch together the seams.
  • Salsa: seasons the meat and brings the casserole filling together. Use a spicy variety for more flavor, or keep it mild for the sensitive little ones. You can also swap out the salsa for marinara sauce or seasoned tomato sauce (for an Italian twist) or for barbecue sauce.
  • Cheddar cheese: for topping your casserole. Any good melting cheese will work, so feel free to substitute with mozzarella, Colby, Colby Jack, Cheddar Jack, or a Mexican blend.
Ground beef casserole in a white dish with a spatula

How to Make Ground Beef Casserole

Although I called this recipe a ground beef casserole, it’s also a lot like a taco pizza. The crescent rolls form the crust, which is then filled with salsa (or barbecue sauce), ground beef, and cheese. Who knew that 4 simple ingredients could taste so darn good!? It’s a nice change from the regular ground beef tacos dinner, and it’s one of the best ground beef recipes you’ll sink your teeth into!

  1. Unroll the crescent dough and press it into a 13 x 9-inch or 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off any excess grease.
  3. Stir about 1 cup of salsa into the meat.
  4. Spoon the beef mixture over the crescent roll crust.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  6. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Serving Suggestions

Pair the casserole with any of these easy sides:

Storage

  • Store the leftover crescent roll bake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The bottom of the crust will get soggy as it sits, so this meal is best enjoyed immediately.
  • To extend the life of your leftovers, freeze the casserole in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • You can also freeze the casserole before baking. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as instructed, or (if using a freezer-to-oven-safe dish), bake directly from frozen. If baking a frozen casserole, keep the dish covered in the oven for about 20 minutes, then remove the cover and continue baking for 20-25 more minutes.
  • To reheat the casserole, cover the dish with foil and warm in a 350°F oven until heated through, about 15-20 minutes. You can also reheat individual squares in the microwave for about 1 minute.
A slice of ground beef casserole on a blue plate topped with green onions

Recipe Variations

  • Prep ahead! Make this dinner in advance and just leave it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it later that same day. You can even prepare the ground beef mixture over the weekend and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days before you need to assemble and bake the casserole.
  • For a thicker crust, prepare the casserole in a smaller 11 x 7-inch casserole dish.
  • Substitute 1 lb. of ground turkey, ground chicken, ground sausage, or ground pork for the hamburger meat.
  • Use a packet of taco seasoning mix or some chili powder to give the beef even more flavor.
  • For an Italian twist on this dish, try this Italian Sausage Crescent Roll Casserole.
  • Swap out the salsa and use bbq sauce instead.
  • Try adding other toppings, vegetables, and spices to your casserole. Good options include chopped sautéed onions, garlic, and bell peppers, canned diced tomatoes, frozen (thawed) corn, or beans (such as pinto beans or black beans drained from the can).

Tips for the Best Ground Beef Casserole Recipe

  • Look for a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Dough “Sheet,” which is just like the crescent rolls, but without the perforations. That way you can just unroll the tube of dough and press it into the pan.
  • If using crescent roll dough instead of the crescent dough sheet, make sure to press and seal together the perforations before using the dough as a crust.
  • Use just enough salsa to moisten and flavor the meat. You don’t want the filling too “wet,” or it might make the crust soggy.
  • Garnish the crescent roll casserole with fresh herbs (such as parsley or chives) for a touch of bright flavor and color, or with sour cream, sliced olives, chopped tomatoes, or even jalapenos.
A ground beef casserole in a white dish with a spatula

More Recipes with Ground Beef to Try

Need even more idea for dinner tonight? Here are some of our favorite recipes with ground beef:

Slice of crescent roll ground beef casserole on a plate

4-Ingredient Ground Beef Casserole

4.95 from 17 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 287.6 kcal
This easy 4-ingredient ground beef casserole with a crescent roll crust is always a family favorite!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (8 ounce) can Pillsbury crescent roll dough (I like to use the Crescent Dough Sheets, which don’t have any perforations)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup salsa (or substitute with barbecue sauce)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Optional garnish: sliced green onions, chopped fresh parsley, or other taco toppings like sour cream, sliced olives, avocado or guacamole, or pickled red onions

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Spray an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. You can also use a 9 x 13-inch dish — it will just yield a slightly thinner crust and beef layer. Either works well, though!
  • Unroll crescent roll dough and press into the bottom of the prepared dish to form a crust. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain any grease from the skillet.
  • Stir in 1 cup of salsa.
  • Spoon beef mixture over the crescent roll dough. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Cut into squares and serve.

Notes

  • Look for a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Dough “Sheet,” which is just like the crescent rolls, but without the perforations. That way you can just unroll the tube of dough and press it into the pan.
  • If using crescent roll dough instead of the crescent dough sheet, make sure to press and seal together the perforations before using the dough as a crust.
  • Use just enough salsa to moisten and flavor the meat. You don’t want the filling too “wet,” or it might make the crust soggy.
  • Garnish the crescent roll casserole with fresh herbs (such as parsley or chives) for a touch of bright flavor and color, or with sour cream, sliced olives, chopped tomatoes, or even jalapenos.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 287.6kcalCarbohydrates: 17.3gProtein: 23.5gFat: 14.7gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 63.8mgSodium: 827mgSugar: 2.7g
Keyword: beef casserole, easy casserole, easy ground beef casseroles, recipes with ground beef
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Easy dishes like this were made for me! I make a similar dish, except with taco flavors. I’ve got to try your version next time! Thanks to Stephanie for sharing! 🙂 Love the simplicity of this and the fact that it’s easy to jazz up, too. Sounds like a winner for dinner! 🙂

      1. Blair,

        I have tried so many of your recipes from your blog and have loved every single one of them. Thank you so much for sharing and God bless. By the way, I live in Richmond Virginia and envy that you live in the mountains. The Blue Ridge Mountains are so beautiful and I make it up there every year for my birthday. Luckily, my birthday is in October so I get to hit the mountains at the perfect time.

        1. Hi, Leslie! Thank you so much for your note! We’re practically neighbors! 🙂

          I do love the mountains, but I also think Richmond is a really great little city. I used to spend quite a bit of time there when I was working as a lawyer, and you can’t beat the Jefferson Hotel! The kids and I also love the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. It’s such an easy city to navigate and get around, which I appreciate — not too overwhelming!

          Thanks so much for reading the blog and for saying, “hi!” Enjoy the holidays!

      2. 5 stars
        I just tried this recipe wth the bbq sauce variation, & let me tell you what!!! It was absolutely amazing, my husband loved it!! Thank you!!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made a similar dish for the past few years except I’ll pour about a cup and a half of mexican white cheese dip over the top and then put another layer of crescent rolls on top. I’ll sprinkle taco seasoning on the top and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the rolls are done.

  3. 5 stars
    Savory barbecue sauce mixed with ground beef and topped with a buttery crescent roll crust is sure to impress your family and guests. With just a handful of ingredients, what’s not to love?

    1. Hi, Yvonne! If you don’t have anything like refrigerated biscuit or pastry dough, I would use regular refrigerated pizza dough! 🙂

    2. I’m in the UK… Read recently that “crescent roll dough” is essentially croissant dough, and sold in tubes in Tesco freezer aisles.

      1. OH!!!! Yes, I didn’t realize that you can purchase croissant dough in the UK. That’s definitely what you would want to use, since crescent rolls are basically just little croissants! Thanks for that tip, Alice!

  4. 5 stars
    Blair,

    I have tried so many of your recipes from your blog and have loved every single one of them. Thank you so much for sharing and God bless. By the way, I live in Richmond Virginia and envy that you live in the mountains. The Blue Ridge Mountains are so beautiful and I make it up there every year for my birthday. Luckily, my birthday is in October so I get to hit the mountains at the perfect time.

  5. Hi Blair,
    Do I need to bake the bottom croissant till it’s half baked and then add the hamburger mixture so that it’s not soggy?

    1. Hi, David! No, I have never pre-baked the crust. It’s not going to be a crispy crust like you would find on a brick-oven pizza, but I never found it to be soggy. You could certainly pre-bake it if you want to try it that way, though. If the edges start to get too brown when it’s in the oven for the second time, just lightly cover the edges with foil (like you would do with a pie crust). Hope that helps!

    1. Hi, Sam! You can use ground chicken breast in exactly the same way that the recipe calls for ground beef. It’s an equal swap.

      If you want to replace the beef with cooked, diced chicken breast, you will need about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of the cooked chicken. All other instructions remain the same. Enjoy!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night. It was super easy and delicious. I always know if it was liked when my picky eater significant other takes three helpings. The only thing I changed was I put a layer of the crescent rolls on top as well.
    Thanks sharing recipes that are quick, easy, AND delicious!

    1. Hi, Marisa! That totally depends on the type of salsa that you use. If you can find a mild salsa, it should be totally fine. Medium or hot salsas will probably be too spicy, but every kid is different! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Awesome dish, as a new empty nester making full meals are a thing of the past! So when the girls came down for the weekend, this dish was truly right on time….WE LOVED IT!!!!!!! TY so much

  8. Want to try this tonight. Can I subsitute with biscuits and thin them some like crossiant rolls?

    1. That might work, but you want to be sure that you create a crust without any seams or holes in the bottom. If you can press the biscuit dough together enough to create that crust, then I think it would be fine. 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve made it several times now and my family loves it. I’ve added black beans and corn a couple of times along with diced tomatoes when I was out of salsa, which is really good too. I also bake them in muffin tins, using one crescent triangle per hole, which the kids love!

  10. 4 stars
    A few months ago I had 2 major surgeries and discovered during my time off I LOVE TO COOK! Several times a week I “Google” for recipes using ingreduents I have on hand and while doing this I found your site. While I’ve found some really good recipes, Ive never been impressed enough before to sign up or even make a comment till now. I love the way you interact with your followers and the food I have tried so far is on point! Thank you for sharing your food and your time!!

  11. 5 stars
    We used the bbq sauce one and added onion and it was awesome! We will try the salsa one next. Thanks lots for this wonderful recipe.

      1. It is delicious, thank you for sharing , I made cole slaw on the side next time I will try regular salsa, or just barbecue sauce.

  12. This was delicious and so easy! I used a 9×9 pan (that’s the closest I had), and that worked well. I used the BBQ sauce substitute and threw in some tomatoes, spinach, and onion. It was great and I will definitely make it again!

  13. 5 stars
    I made this using sloppy joe sauce and it was delicious. Family licked the pan clean. Thanks so much for the easy recipes.

  14. 5 stars
    Great easy recipe! I have several teenage boys so I added a can of refried beans to make the hamburger mixture go further. It was a hit! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  15. This looks & sounds really good & quite easy..my husband just requested tacos, so I think I’ll give this a try..I know I’ll love it & hopefully so will he! TY for your recipe.

  16. 5 stars
    This was delicious. My family ate it all up! I didn’t have salsa so I added taco seasoning and 1/2 cup tomato sauce to the meat and cooked it a couple minutes before adding to the crescent layer. It was delicious! Fed 6 people just fine! I will definitely make it again! Very quick and easy!

    1. 5 stars
      I forgot to add that chopping up some taco toppings would also go great with this. Lettuce, olives, sour cream, etc. Yum!

  17. I make this often, it’s always a hit with my family. I add a packet of taco seasoning and instead of salsa I use 8 oz can of hot tomato sauce. Simple and delicious!!

  18. 5 stars
    Super versatile! Did bbq sauce and added onions and a little leftover corn. So easy, fast, and yummy! Excited to try other recipes of yours!