Roni’s Redo: Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole

http://greenlitebites.com/2010/10/21/deep-dish-crescent-pizza-casserole/
20101021_pizza11

You may have noticed some changes around here. Check out my edited All Recipes By Photo page, my new Weight Watchers page and changed layouts for the categories like our video posts. In honor of my recent housecleaning, I’m also adding a new section, Roni’s Redos. This category will be specifically reserved for my healthy spin on your recipes and I’m starting with an email Amy sent me a few months ago…

How would you make this recipe healthier?  It is a favorite in my family.  The biggest problem is that I cannot actually add any of the veggies I have listed because of people not eating certain ones.  We love pizza and this hotdish is fantastic but deadly to our health. Ideas?

  • 2 rolls crescent rolls
  • 1 jar pizza sauce
  • 1 pound lean hamburger
  • 1/2 pound spicy italian sausage
  • pepperoni
  • Shredded Mozzarella and Chedder cheese
  • 2 cans black olives
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper

Fry the hamburger and sausage together to mingle the flavors and add any spices you want for flavor. Add in the following layers:  layer of crescent rolls, pepperoni, cheese, 1/2 pizza sauce, hamburger/sausage mix, veggies, remaining pizza sauce, pepperoni, cheese, layer of crescent rolls, cheese on top.

I have to be honest. When I originally read her email I was in LOVE. This is my kind of meal. It’s PIZZA! Only my absolute favorite food on the planet! I had so much fun making this tonight and my family LOVED It. The Little Guy devoured it and so did I. The husband was his usual un-enthused self. I told you, he only gets really excited about food when you shove a can up a birds a$$. ;)

Here’s what I did. I’ll give you some of my thought process as I share the recipe.Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole

  • 1 small onion chopped small
  • 8 oz (1/2 lb) lean ground beef (95%)
  • 2 hot Italian sausage links (preferably turkey but I didn’t have any)
  • 1 medium zucchini chopped small
  • 8 oz mushrooms chopped small
  • 1 large bell pepper chopped small
  • 2 Reduced Fat Packages of Crescent Rolls
  • 2 oz Turkey Pepperoni slices (60g)
  • 4 oz fancy shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz fancy shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
  • 16 oz of your favorite pizza/red sauce
  • garlic powder
  • dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the casing from the sausage and brown with the ground beef and onion.

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - the sausage

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - the meats

For the meats I used half the amount of beef and sausage because will knew I’d be bulking up the filling with all the veggies. Diced small they mix right in and add not only nutrients to the dish but flavor! I skipped the olives but added zucchini as it’s pretty much flavorless and will soak up all the yummy goodness from everything else.

Chop the zucchini, mushrooms and bell pepper and add it to the browning meats.

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - add the vegetables

While the meats and veggies are cooking spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread 1 of the packages of crescent rolls on the bottoms sealing the seems and pushing to the edges and corners.

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - before baking

Bake for about 10 minutes until just browning.

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - bottom layer

Top the cooked crescent roll with a layer of turkey pepperoni, 2 oz of mozzarella and 2 oz of mexican cheese blend.

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - cheese and pepperoni

Layer in the cooked meat/veggie mixture and top with the remaining pepperoni.

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - add the meat

Pour on the sauce and spread around. I only used a small, 16 oz jar, knowing the addition of veggies will add even more liquid to the dish once baked. Top with the remaining cheese.

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - sause and more cheese

Lay the remaining crescent dough on top pressing down firmly and spreading to the edges again. I sprinkled with a bit of garlic powder and dried parsley instead of adding additional cheese.

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - top layer

Bake for about 30 minutes until the top crescent starts to brown.

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - finished baking

Remove from the oven and let cook for 5 minutes to help it set. Then cut a piece and marvel at the wonder…

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - slice

Isn’t it beautiful?! And oh.. the SMELL.. just glorious! :)

As you can see, the casserole held together wonderfully. Here it is minus our 3 pieces…

Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole - leftovers

I don’t feel comfortable doing a side by side nutritional information comparison since Amy didn’t have measurements for things like the cheese and pepperoni. Even if I use the same amounts I did for them I’m getting almost a 200 calorie savings! Regardless this version is only 9 points for a nice size slice. Totally worth it in my opinion!

Thanks Amy! This was fun. If you have a recipe you want me to redo let me know by filling out the form!

Any other suggestions for Amy? What would you add to your families Deep Dish Crescent Pizza Casserole?

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
8 1/8th of the recipe
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
405 19g 2g old: 9 new: 11
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
11g 8g 36g 26g
55 comments »»
Posted in: 11 WWPP, 9 WWP, Casserole Ideas, Dinner Ideas, Food Photos, Pizza Ideas, Roni's Redos, Toddler Approved
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54 Comments and 1 Replies

  1. Emily

    This looks so yummy! I am definitely going to be giving this a try! I love the idea of sending in a recipe for you to make better. I try to do it on my own, but I never know how well I manage :) You are very inspiring for me and have absolutely gotten me to try new healthier options in the kitchen. Thanks!

  2. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy

    That looks great! I love to try to do that also, take a super high calorie recipe and attempt to make it healthier. Do you think a quick no rise dough would work instead of the crescent rolls? That way you can use whole wheat flour? That’s how I make my pizza dough. It looks great though!

  3. Krista S.

    Oh wow Roni!!! This is such a fun idea! Loving the new changes on the site and really look forward to recipe redo’s.

    p.s. That pizza….omg *drools*.

  4. roni

    Debbi – TOTALLY! But sometimes convenience wins out. I try to make the easy changes that keeps the recipe as similar to the original but has a slightly healthier spin. Making my own dough, although something that would totally be fun, would change the original recipe too much in my opinion. The crescent texture isn’t easily replaced. Although a quick whole wheat pizza dough would also be awesome! Just like a supreme deep dish pizza!

  5. Lisa

    This looks great. I would eat it, but my family – no way. The son won’t eat mushrooms and the husband won’t eat it if it has anything green (zucchini/pepper) in it. Sausage is also a no-no. I’m thinking that if I had to leave all that goodness out, it would be pretty much nothing. Any ideas for how to bulk this up for the super-picky eater! I was thinking chopped tomato or just using the veges on half for myself and hoping they don’t slide over too much.

  6. roni

    Seriously.. you can not even tell the mushrooms are in there. Out of all the veggies that’s the one to keep because they melt right into the meat. Diced tomato would be a great substitute for green bell peppers but I’d see if you could still sneak in the zucchini. Cut up small it also blends right in. It’s worth a shot… They may be willing to give it a shot it you just call it deep dish pizza. :)

  7. Rhiannon

    It may be irritating, but for very picky eaters (like me…) it can so be worth cutting the vegetables up really tiny. Especially when cooked with something else like meat, they really do vanish. Of course, you have to be careful with veggies with noticeable texture, but cooking them in the frying pan will definitely help reduce that.

    Also, red capsicum/pepper swap for green? Or orange, yellow, purple(?). I don’t particularly like zucchini, but yellow squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli (including the stems cut up really small), celery, carrot… there’s plenty of other veggies. Pick your family’s favourite (or least disliked), cut them up tiny and either mix them with the meat or the tomato sauce if you use your own, like Roni’s ‘Don’t Know What’s In There’ sauce.

  8. Laurie

    To make the zucchini disappear even more, shred it on a box grater. I froze two cup *portions* of shredded zucchini this summer when there was too much from the garden to eat. It’s wonderful to throw into soup or spaghetti sauce or anything. I don’t even thaw it.

    No one will know it’s there. ;-)

  9. Crystal

    My stomach is growling looking at the pictures! Did the cresent roll crust seem soggy at all? It almost looks like lasagna. Love the Roni’s Redo section.

  10. Barbara

    sorry this is not a recipe redo
    But I have a question Did you hear that ww is redoing the points system? It suppose to come out the end of Nov. How might that affect your points on here?
    I am hearing roarers that the way they figure out the points is changing.
    I will let you know once we know for sure.

  11. roni

    Hi Barbara – Everyone freaks out every year when WW announces the changes and then we all grow to love the new plan. I’ll keep my ear to ground as well and make any adjustments if necessary. No biggie. :)

  12. Jessica

    Oh HELLO!! This will be making the rounds on BTL! I’m going to make this and post it within an inch of it’s life!!:) (maybe I should change my e-mail from fireeater to pizzaeater…)

  13. Sheila

    Wow! This is something that will definatley go in our recipes to use especially with the cooler weather that should be here soon! :) (I am in Texas, and it has been pretty warm this week). And a fantastic meal that I can teach my 11 year old to prepare that can become one of her specialties when one of those busy weekday nights seem to take over.

  14. Melanie

    Roni – This looks amazing so many veggie options with this one. Add a Salad for a complete meal! I love to take family favorite recipes and make them healthified. By the way .. I love your website .. the recipes and photos are so colorful and inspirational. But I have one question – is there a possibility of a “printer-friendly” version for your recipes.

  15. Paige @ Two Runners And A Brown Dog

    Roni! I just cooked this casserole for dinner tonight. I thought that it was going to be really good…but it was REALLY GREAT!!!! My husband gave it the ultimate compliment, which I wanted to share with you. He said, “I know you aren’t going to believe this, but I think this is better than Geno’s East (in Chicago)! We loved it!!! Thanks for another great recipe!!!

  16. Jenn

    This looks amazing! How well to the leftovers save? Cause it’s just me, and anytime I make something like this I have to eat it for days or hawk the leftovers off on my stepdad (or both lol)

  17. roni

    I’ve been LOVING the leftovers! If heated in the microwave the crescent become real soft. If heated in the oven, it’s super crunchy! I love it both ways! :)

  18. Joanie

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for dinner tonight and it was amazing! It is definitely on our go to list of things to make for dinner!

  19. RG

    This does look a lot like Chicago deep-dish style, and my favorite of those is spinach. That should get hidden in there pretty well, right?

  20. Amy P

    I’m glad that you enjoyed it :) I’m going to have to take Roni’s suggestions and see if my family will like the new version as much as the old one.

  21. BeckyJ

    This was delicious! My husband loved it too! And although he did request more sauce next time, I take that as he wants there to be a next time. Success!
    Also, I’m not sure why, but the casserole seemed done after only 15-17 minutes (dough was brown and sauce was bubbly). So I might suggest checking it half way through.
    Thanks Roni- can’t wait for the next recipe redo.

  22. kitty

    Made this last night, it was good, especially the meat/veggie mix. The problem i had was the bottom was so wet and soggy. Is that normal?

  23. kitty

    Yes, i totally baked it and it was golden brown. I was thinking maybe i should of cooked it longer and more brown. I didn’t let it cool before i started building on it, do you think could of made is soggy? Did you let your stand and cool before building?

  24. Cindy

    I made this tonight exactly as written but added 1/2 teasp dried red peppers for a little extra kick. It was great, and hubby loved it! He never realized it was turkey pepperoni, and I chopped the mushrooms up so small, he didn’t even realize they were in there! They simply blended in nicely with the zucchini and green pepper.

    Quick question…if I wanted to add spinach, what are your recommendations? Fresh or frozen? Do I cook it with the rest of the veggies as the meats are browning? Any idea how much to add? Spinach pizza has always been a personal favorite, and I think it would be a great addition to this dish. Thanks for a healthy revision that is a real family pleaser!

  25. roni

    Cindy – I would add fresh and chop it up as small as possible. You want to prevent those stringy pieces. Add it to the meet veggie mixture while it’s browning as the end. Let it wilt and cook in but not to death, if you know what I mean. I think the mushrooms do better cooking a long time with the meat but the spinach would be better off just cooking.

    Spinach in a great addition! I’ll add that the next time I make it too!

  26. Donnis

    I am planning to try this but I will use Ground Turkey. Ground turkey is available with italian seasonings already mixed in. It may be in a flat like ground beef with no casings. I use it very often.

  27. Keri

    YUM! I made this tonight with 16oz of sweet italian turkey sausage. It was delicious! My husband & daughters all loved it too! We’ll definitely make this again. Thanks for the wonderful low-cal recipe, Roni!

  28. Angeline

    I made a vegetarian version of this last night used boca crumbles, veggie pepperoni, and tofurky italian sausage. It turned out really good. I used a small can of sliced olives since we like them. Thanks!

  29. Marie

    Looks delicious! Going to try this but will add our homemade hot italian venison instead of the turkey sausage since it’s what I have on hand. Thanks!

  30. Jodi

    Hi Roni! First of all, I just found your sites about a week ago and I am so inspired! Thank you for all your recipes with weight watchers points and all your tips. You are such an inspiration to me as I start out on my journy to lose 75 pounds.
    I made this recipe tonight and it was amazing! Can’t wait to try more of them.

  31. Misti

    Oh my this was amazing!!!!! I didn’t have sausage (forgot it) but it was still so amazing without it. Ever since starting my diet, pizza is the one thing I’m really missing…it’s just SO high in points. This satisfied my cravings! And my 2 year old loved it!!!!

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