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Zesty Italian Casserole Recipe – How to Make it in 20 Simple Steps

On busy week day evenings, the temptation to run through a fast food drive through can be overwhelming when everyone is hungry and you're running late. This recipe for Zesty Italian Casserole gives you a quick and convenient dinner option that the whole family will enjoy.

A batch of freshly-made Italian casserole.

Most people want to serve their families meals that are created from scratch, as well as nutritious and tasty. But, sometimes real life gets in the way. Picky kids, events that run late, and homework can make even the most dedicated parent contemplate running through a fast-food drive-through for dinner.

A batch of freshly-made Italian casserole.

Zesty Italian Casserole Recipe

April Freeman
This recipe is a great dinner solution for those kinds of difficult days. While Zesty Italian Casserole does use pre-made crescent roll dough, it is loaded with favorite pizza flavors and nutritious tomatoes and cheeses. Add a bagged side salad, and you can have a mostly homemade dinner baking in the oven in less than twenty minutes.

Video Version

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 Servings

Equipment

  • 9 Inch Pie Pan
  • Large skillet
  • Small bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Tomato-Based Pasta Sauce
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Pepperoni Pieces
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tbsp Sliced Olives
  • 1 package Crescent Roll Dough
  • 1 pound Ground Italian Sausage

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a nine-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large skillet, brown the Italian sausage over medium-high heat, chopping and stirring it until it is fully cooked.
  • Drain the fat from the meat. Place the meat in the bottom of the prepared pie pan.
  • Pour the pasta sauce over all of the meat, stirring the mixture to combine.
    The pasta sauce and cooked meat in a pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese and the sour cream, stirring to combine.
  • Spoon the cheesy creamy mixture over top of the meat mixture in the pan.
  • Top the cheese with the pepperoni and the olives.
  • If you want to add any other of your favorite pizza-style toppings feel free to do so at this point. You may want to add peppers, onions, or other kinds of meat. This recipe will turn out well no matter what you add!
    The cheese and toppings are added.
  • Open your crescent roll dough by peeling the outer paper wrapping, and popping the seal on the can.
  • Unroll the dough and separate the dough triangles from one another.
  • Place the wedges over top of the filling in the pie dish, arranging them in triangles to cover the pan with the longs sides on the outer rim of the pie pan.
  • You may want to leave small gaps in between each triangle of dough to help the steam vent from the casserole. This can help prevent the casserole from boiling over and dripping into the bottom of your oven.
  • You may want to roll up the outside edges from a decorative rim around the outer edges of the pie pan.
  • Top the crescent roll dough with the Parmesan cheese, sprinkling it evenly all over the dough.
    the toppings are covered with dough.
  • Bake the casserole in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top of the casserole is golden brown and fragrant.
  • Make sure that the middle of the casserole is completely baked to avoid having a doughy topping when you serve it.
    the casserole freshly-baked from the oven.
  • Let the casserole cool for five to ten minutes before serving by cutting into wedges.
    A slice of zesty Italian casserole.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • You can reheat leftovers in the microwave, but for best results, place the whole casserole dish in the oven, heated to 350 degrees, for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Notes

This recipe is so simple that any kid older than nine or ten years old can create it for the whole family. It may not be the most nutritious thing you ever served your family, but it’s not half bad for a rushed weekday evening.
This recipe features flavors that most kids are familiar with. Italian spiced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and soft, delicious breading can satisfy the taste buds of everyone at the table. These flavors are pretty much identical to the tastes that you will find on a pizza or in a plate of spaghetti.
Our recipe includes toppings like pepperoni, Italian sausage, and olives, but if you have other toppings that you know your family will enjoy, feel free to toss them in the mix as well. Onions, peppers, mushrooms, or bacon would be fabulous additions if you wanted to customize the recipe.
Additionally, if you want to switch out the kind of meat, such as substituting ground beef for the Italian sausage, that would be a great idea too. Just add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning to make up for the seasoning difference in the plain beef versus the Italian sausage. If you want to make a vegetarian version of this, add a can of well-drained, Italian seasoned, diced tomatoes along with liberal handfuls of the veggies that you want to include, like peppers, onions, or mushrooms.
Keyword Italian Casserole, Main Course, Recipe

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Related: Sausage Casserole Recipes | Ground Beef Casserole Recipes | Italian Casserole

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