Ah, the crescent Roll.
At $2.59 a pop from my local Publix (not including a $1-off coupon I can usually find floating around), these rolls serve as a solid foundation for some super easy — and affordable — dinners.
Plus, you get to pop the tube. What’s more satisfying than that? (Except maybe a room full of bubble wrap.)
This already-made dough has been helping bad cooks seem so-so in the kitchen since 1965.
Ahem, that’s me. Not since 1965, but you get the gist.
So, yeah, I’m not the most enthusiastic cook. I hate navigating the grocery store for bizarre ingredients, spending too much money, working up a sweat in the kitchen (and using too many paper towels to boot), then only feeling meh about the outcome.
But I can get down with some crescent rolls.
Pillsbury Crescent Roll Recipes Any Amatuer Cook Can Handle
I’ve put together a list of five dinner recipes — and one dessert because, yes, that’s 100% necessary — that are easy to execute and affordable.
Better yet, these creations withstood the test of my boyfriend, who’s probably a pickier eater than your toddler.
One last pro tip before we get rollin’: Sign up for Pillsbury’s emails to get more simple recipes — plus up to $250 in coupons delivered to your inbox annually.
1. Taco Crescent Ring
My mom used to make crescent tacos when I was growing up. She had nabbed the recipe from one of her Pampered Chef parties. The little poppers were one of my favorite meals.
So I’ve attempted to recreate it. Rather than stuffing the rolls individually, I decided to design a fancy ring, inspired by Pillsbury.
- 2 tubes Pillsbury Crescents dinner rolls
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning mix
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup water
- Any desired fixings, including lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream and/or guac
Total, excluding toppings: $14.75
Cost per serving: $1.84
Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 375 degrees first. This is usually my first of many mistakes in the kitchen.
Then brown the beef. Once you stop seeing pink, add your taco seasoning and half a cup of water. Simmer three to four minutes, just like you’re making tacos.
Turn the burner off and add the shredded cheese. It doesn’t need to melt; just mix it in.
Pop open the tubes of dough and separate them into 16 triangles.
On a cookie sheet, lay the triangles out in a ring, with the short base of the triangles making a circle in the middle. This part takes a little bit of patience. You might have to rearrange the triangles a couple times before you get the shape you’re lookin’ for.
Here, let me show you:
Now, fill the inner part of the ring with the beef and cheese combo. Then start making the ring by taking the tip of the triangles and wrapping them around to the inner circle. Once it’s totally wrapped, it should look like a doughy, beefy wreath.
Bake the wreath on a cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and beautiful.
Once cooled a bit, fill the center with your fixings. Or, if you’re like me and don’t really care about presentation, fill little bowls of toppings — sour cream, guac, salsa. This way your family can treat it like a taco bar.
Taco ’bout a party!
2. Baked Ham and Cheese Rolls
Whenever I roadtrip to visit my Mimi in South Carolina, she always has ham-and-cheese sandwiches waiting for me — alongside a pitcher of sweet tea, of course.
These lunch or dinner staples are easy to make ahead of time — and to enjoy as leftovers. Although my Mimi makes hers on Hawaiian sweet rolls, the recipe can easily adapt to the crescent roll.
- 1 Tube Pillsbury Crescents sheet (Note: This is a sheet — not the rolls. But they cost the same and should be right next to the rolls.)
- ½ pound deli ham, thinly sliced
- 4 to 6 slices swiss cheese (You can opt for shredded if you’d like.)
- ½ stick salted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 ½ tablespoons yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Servings: 12 mini sandwiches
Cost per serving: $1.19
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a casserole dish.
Pop open your crescent dough, and press it out to form a thin rectangle. Layer it with ham and cheese — really, as much as you desire. Then roll the dough up tight longways, like a yule log.
Next, pinch the ends closed, and face the seam down. Cut the roll into 10 to 12 pieces and set them upright in your greased pan. Here, they’ll look like meaty cinnamon rolls.
Mix together the melted butter, poppy seeds, mustard, onion and Worcestershire sauce. Brush the mixture over the roll-ups, then bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
These suckers will come out of the oven hot, hot, hot. Let them cool a minute before serving up.
In my opinion — and in my Mimi’s opinion — the rolls pair well with a colorful fruit salad. And you can’t forget that glass of sweet tea.
3. Personalizable Crescent Pizzas
Placing an order for Papa John’s was a weekly occurrence when I was growing up. My mom welcomed the break from cooking — and we welcomed the garlic butter.
Sadly, pizza nowadays isn’t something I’m willing to splurge on. Most of the time, I buy the ingredients at the store and make one at home.
This proves tricky when you’ve got a house of picky eaters. No, I don’t have a house full of kids, but I do have that super picky boyfriend I mentioned earlier. We always settle with the most basic pizza — half cheese and half pepperoni.
With crescent rolls, though, we’ve found we can personalize them with what we want without having endless leftovers. We started with a basic Pillsbury recipe — then went wild and made it our own.
- 1 tube Pillsbury Crescents dinner rolls
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- Shredded cheese (any variety, as much or as little as you’d like)
- Any toppings, including pepperoni, sausage, ham, pineapple, peppers, black olives — or all of the above… or none of the above, if you’re picky…
Total, excluding toppings: $7.37
Cost per serving: 92 cents
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Pop the tube of dough and separate the individual triangles. You’ll want to pat these out a little — more surface area means more room for fillings.
Place your desired cheese and toppings on the short end of the triangle. Don’t get too crazy here as you’ll end up with a mess and a half. Also, leave the sauce out. Trust me when I say it gets really messy when you try to add that, so simply use it as a dipping sauce later.
Roll the crescents up, starting from the shortest side of the triangle. Set the rolls on your cookie sheet point side down, then bake for 10 to 14 minutes.
Once you’re ready to eat, pour some tomato sauce for dippin’. Enjoy!
4. Crescent Dogs
Hot dogs. Another easy-peasy party-pleaser.
This is arguably the simplest creation on our list, but it’s such a classic, I had to include it.
- 1 tube Pillsbury Crescents rolls
- 8 hot dogs (Note: The brand I typically buy comes in a pack of seven. If you want eight, check quantities!)
- Any desired condiments and toppings
Total, excluding toppings: $8.58
Cost per serving: $1.07
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Pop the tube of crescent rolls, divvy up the triangles and wrap your hot dogs in them.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Once cooled a bit, serve with your favorite condiments. Mine? Ketchup and mayo. (I know, ew, gross.)
5. Chicken Crescent Bake
This is probably the least attractive dish of these all, but it’s a darn-good comfort food. It reminds me of my mom’s cream-of-mushroom-soup experiments, which always turned out surprisingly delicious.
Plus, this is something I can easily stick in a Tupperware and take to work the next day.
(Inspiration for this one comes from Plain Chicken.)
- 1 tube Pillsbury Crescents rolls
- 1 cup of cooked chicken breast, chopped
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup shredded cheese (your choice; I opted for cheddar)
Cost per serving: $1.95
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, mix the soup, milk and cheese together. Spread about a third of the mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish.
Now, separate your crescent rolls into those eight trusty triangles. At the base of each, add a spoonful of the chopped chicken, and dab a teaspoon of the soup mixture on top before rolling them up, base-side first.
Place the rolls into the dish. Whatever soup mix you have left, go crazy, and dump it on top.
Bake for about 30 minutes. You’ll want to see the dish bubbling.
Serve with a green vegetable (because this is full of carby goodness). Try oven-roasted asparagus or broccoli.
Bonus Round: Nutella Cheesecake Crescent Rolls
Remember the picky boyfriend? Put Nutella on anything, and he’ll eat it.
The chocolate-hazelnut spread has long been a weakness of mine, and it’s not uncommon to see me indulging in a spoonful.
Get a spoonful of this amazing, wonderful, beautiful dessert, inspired by Food Fun Family.
- 1 tube Pillsbury Crescents rolls
- ½ cup Nutella
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
Cost per serving: 63 cents
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl, mix your cream cheese (make sure this is softened/melty!), sugar and egg.
Break open your crescent rolls and divvy them up into eight triangles.
Now roll up your sleeves, because this might get messy. Take a spoonful of Nutella and place it at the short base of each triangle. Do the same with the cream cheese mix.
Roll the crescents up. Slide them into the oven for about 12 minutes.
This one pairs well with a huge glass of milk.
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She could really go for a crescent roll right about now…
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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