Last updated on September 27th, 2017
My mother often made this bliss when I was a child. Like other 1960s- and 70s-era casseroles, its components are simple. The ground beef, crisp bacon, sauteed onions, and extra-sharp Cheddar cheese are lovingly layered between sheets of store-bought crescent roll dough. Need a comforting and delicious main course that you can assemble ahead of time and serve with homemade ketchup? This recipe is for you:
To start, stack 6 strips of “thick cut” (or regular) bacon…
And slice the stack crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces, or “lardons.” Set aside.
Then take a large onion…
And slice it thinly.
There. Our preliminary work is complete.
Put the bacon bits in a frying pan or electric skillet (I use this one), and saute them over medium-low heat until brown and crisp — about 8 minutes.
Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, and set aside.
Pour off and save the bacon fat, add a knob of butter to the skillet, and saute the onion slices until soft — about 8 minutes.
Transfer the cooked onions to a blue-rimmed bowl, and set them aside.
Probably I shouldn’t mention the colors of my kitchen arsenal. Why? Because I recently received the following comment:
“Why do I need a green spatula for mixing the batter? WTF are you talking about? I will NOT be reading your other recipes.”
When I read this comment to my green spatula, the poor thing burst into tears. Green spatulas are easily offended.
Back to the 1960s: Tip 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef (preferably 85% lean) into the skillet, and season it with a generous splash of Worcestershire sauce. Use a wooden spoon or green spatula to break up the beef as it browns and cooks. Drain the beef.
To assemble the casserole, preheat the oven to 375°F. Or, do what I did, and accidentally set your oven temperature to 475°F.
Yes, I had a Mr. Magoo moment.
Next, lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish, and line the bottom (not the sides) with a sheet of crescent roll dough.
Oh. You can find 8 ounce tubes of crescent roll dough in any American supermarket. I do not know if the same product is available in European markets.
Put the dish in the oven, and bake the dough for just 7 minutes. This par-baking step will mitigate a soggy bottom crust.
Scatter the ground beef evenly over the dough.
Then add the onions…
And 2 cups of shredded, extra-sharp Cheddar cheese.
Then grab another “can” of crescent roll dough…
And unroll it over the cheese layer.
Feeling brave? Brush the top of the dough with bacon fat. That’s what I did.
At this point, you can turn off the oven, and cover and refrigerate your casserole. Just preheat the oven again when you are ready to bake.
Bake the pie just until the top turns golden brown — about 20 minutes. Add 5 extra minutes if your pie is cold from the refrigerator.
If you’ve set your oven 100 degrees hotter than it ought to be, your crust will turn very brown indeed. Camouflage your boo-boo with fresh, coarsely-chopped parsley.
Then cut the pie lengthwise and crosswise into 8 portions.
Even when baked at a too-high temperature, this pie is absolutely delicious! I served my portion (okay, I ate 3 portions) with homemade ketchup (recipe here). Steamed broccoli would be welcome on the plate.
This pie lends itself to all kinds of variations. You could, for instance, add chopped, sauteed green bell pepper, sliced black olives, or sauteed mushrooms to the filling. Let your taste buds be your guide!
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Here’s the printable:
A classic casserole that tastes exactly like a bacon cheeseburger. You can assemble and refrigerate the dish until you are ready to bake it.
- 6 strips thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/4-inch lardons
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds ground beef (preferably 85% lean)
- A generous splash of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 (8-ounce) packages crescent roll dough
- 2 cups shredded, extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- In a skillet set over medium-low heat, saute the bacon until crisp -- about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, and pour off the fat from the skillet. Add the butter and onion slices to the skillet, and saute until the onions soften -- about 8 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl, and set aside. Put the ground beef in the skillet, and give it a sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce. Then increase the heat to "medium," and break up the beef with a spoon or spatula as it browns and cooks through. Drain the beef.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Open one package of the crescent roll dough, and unfold the dough along the bottom (not the sides) of the baking dish. Pop the dish into the preheated oven for 7 minutes, to let the dough partially bake. Remove the dish from the oven, and scatter the ground beef evenly over the dough. Then layer on the onion, followed by the bacon and the cheese. Cover the cheese with the remaining dough.
- Bake until the top crust turns golden brown -- about 20 minutes. To serve, cut the pie lengthwise and crosswise into 8 portions. Set hot with homemade ketchup and a green salad.
But green spatulas are gorgeous. Anyway…a must try recipe! I have a red spatula and its equally gorgoeus so am certain this caserole recipe will still be conforting! Thanks Kevin!
Kevin, I really want to make this recipe but my spatula is red! Will my red spatula effect the bake time?
Lizee A. says
Descriptive adjectives make written compositions far more interesting. I have three spatulas; a very large white one for mixing large amounts of ingredients, a medium clear one and a small slender navy blue perfect for of course for small bowls of ingredients. One requirement for mine is a removable wooden handle.
When our children were home Cheesburger Pie was a hit. Much like your recipe we used a pie crust, combined the meat, bacon,onions plus a tablespoon of flour. The best part was the addition of diced dill pickles 1/4 cup and a tablespoon of pickle juice. Once combined we drizzled with yellow mustard and topped with cheese. Think the next time they are all home I will surprise them for a quick easy dinner. Thanks Kevin for resurfacing this classic.
Lecker!!! A german compliment.
You can geht the dough in normal german Supermarktes.
Leslie D says
Hi Kevin, that looks wickedly delicious and I can taste it from the description alone. It is 2:21 AM, I am having a rare sleepless night, and I am also hungry. Tomorrow I will make this casserole and indulge in comfort food to the max. Thanks, and give the sleeping beagle a little pet for me. I enjoy all your posts. Goodnight to all.
Fortunately for me, a green spatula for Christmas one year was my first silicone spatula! If not, I would have purchased one just for your recipes. Unfortunately for me, my electric frypan is a Farberware (one of three) and about forty years old. It cooks up bacon great and does a fine job on onions. However, I’ve never browned ground beef and don’t know if it will be okay or not. Please cross your fingers for me, Kevin! I do have two RevereWare similar pans, but they are both older. And there’s the cute looking, smaller pan but I don’t know who made it. The plug doesn’t fit the other two brands, so I know what it isn’t!
I don’t know if I can get that dough in the uk but I will look for it – this sounds like a great quick meal. What’s not to like with that?
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Ursula – Nice to read that crescent roll dough is available in Germany.
Hi Kim – Let me know if you find the packaged dough in the UK. Happy hunting!
Oh, jeeze, someone really wrote that???? I think I will make this with my blue spatula and see if it comes out different. Love this recipe, even though I think you should rename it, “Heart Attack on a Plate.” I can smell the deliciousness just from the photos. BTW, I made your lemon tart for guests a while back and it was a huge it–my all time favorite dessert recipe. EVER. Thanks! Bonnie
Oops: *hit (not it). Too early, only one cup of coffee so far.
Sherlie Magaret says
This looks really yummy, may have to try it in a smaller baking dish with one roll of crescent dough for just the two of us. Thank you for sharing.
Hello you gorgeous man. I love your house, I love your recipes, I love the Hudson Valley, but most of all I love your writing style. I look forward to each and every one of your posts. It boggles my mind to think that someone really wrote that! I choose to believe it was a clumsy attempt at humor. But even if it wasn’t, I hope you had a good laugh over it. I can’t wait to try the recipe. Thank you for sharing!
Looks and sounds yummy! and the packaged crescent dough reminds me that I may need to be purchasing biscuit dough soon, astomatoes are finally ripening and in a quantity sufficient for tomato pie!
Your humor and humanity would be reason enough to visit your site, even without the delicious recipes and great advice!
What a nostalgiafest! I’d love to make this, but wonder if I could use puff pastry instead of crescent rolls…
Speaking of Mr. Magoo – How are your eyes doing? Second surgery soon?
Oh, you’re breaking my heart! This dish is a killer (in the very best way). And easy. My kind of cooking (and eating).
Green spatula and blue bowl comments, so funny!!
Green, red or white, spatula color does not a great recipe make. This looks delicious. Thanks for another wonderful recipe. Personally, I have all three colors – green (my favorite), red and white. Your email always brightens up my inbox. Thanks Kevin
Kip Morrissette says
Oh dear, ANOTHER negative person with a negative mouth piece. So tired of all the constant complainers. I never thought about ‘color’ being something a person couldn’t understand and since I’ve been one of your ‘oldest’ (literally) fans, I find myself looking at colored spatulas when in a kitchen store (even though I don’t need any spatulas), and laugh as I always think of you. Humor is the best medicine and it is that person’s loss no longer reading your recipes! They make all us ‘Kevin fans’ day!! And YES, I will make this recipe. Wish I had a plate of it right now.
BTW: I am having my first cataract surgery this Thursday and second one Sept 14th. I was looking through previous pictures of you and couldn’t find one showing what your eye used to look like…..I enjoy ‘before and after’ pictures. Your eye looks so alive!!! So happy for you.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Kip – Good luck with your eye procedure. Amazing what ophthalmologists can do these days!
Hi Maraya – Crescent roll dough is ideal for this casserole, because it doesn’t puff much. (Vision in my right eye will be corrected this Tuesday. Thanks for asking!)
Love your recipes Kevin and keep up the good work. Love your sense of humour! Am going to try to gf this recipe.
Gina G says
I think that green-bashing reader is sexually repressed because we all know that green “anything” means you are horny and obviously he’s not and wishes he was!!!! Haha I remember lots of casseroles as a kid in the 1970’s and this one is a must try!!! Love you Kev, and ADORE your sense of humor!! Gina
This brought back
Memories! My husband and I are trying to eat Keto for health and weight loss. Now I need to figure out how to make this sans the dough! Love your writing style.
Jamie in Manitowish Waters, WI says
You know, Kevin, I have found that RED spatulas have more courage, and are less sensitive to the rude, humorless, comments from readers who totally DO-NOT-GET your charming wit and creativity.
Meanwhile, I would wipe the green spatula’s tears, sit him down and give him the “sticks and stones” talk and remind him how vitally important his work is.
Kevin, my family are vegetarians but I think I can make this work. I love the make ahead aspect of it.
A question: did you mean unseparated instead of unrolled in the instructions for the crescent rolls in the bottom? The picture looks like that.
Who cares about color? I cannot believe that someone actually wrote that. Wonder what else they are missing because they didn’t “get it”?
BTW, my spatulas are red and green. Not so fond of blue but somehow the instructions using blue ones seem to work with mine.
Oops. “Unfolded, not unrolled.
LOL. Your commenters are the best. Love the recipes, green spatulas and all.
Patricia Panuccio says
I love your green spatulas and blue rimmed bowls, and you know you can’t fix stupid.
Sharon Weber says
Poo on the agitator…I love green spatulae! All kinds of them!
Love you and your blog too!
Andree Dionis says
I’m going to make it but Low Carb! Will use Cauliflower instead to replace the dough.
Marcia Colby Truslow says
Oh crikey! The green spatula criticizer mustn’t have an ounce of good humor in his or her soul. I love a good laugh and Kevin’s descriptions of his china and cooking utensils always make my day! Keep it up, Kevin!
I love dishes that I can assemble ahead of time and throw in the oven while I teach my final piano student of the day. This looks like a winner. Let’s just hope my red spatula won’t be too brash and ruin the dish!
I made this for dinner tonight. My husband really liked it. I liked the taste of it but I think it needs some sort of binder to hold the hamburger together. It fell all over the plate. Maybe an egg as a binder.
Good luck with your surgery, Kevin.
Mary Lou says
Green spatulas are necessary if one wants the food to be delicious. Red is an acceptable second choice.
Sounds great Kevin. My Mom’s one dish meal was a similar idea – browned ground beef, onions, celery, bacon in a 9×13 pan baked, them ‘frosted’ with mashed potatoes, slices of fresh garden tomatoes cover with chopped basil, and grated cheddar cheese return to oven etc….. Nothing is better than cooking comfort food. BTW my garden is overflowing with peppers of every heat. Started all from seed and they have all survived and are producing like crazy. Continue your wonderful light hearted banter. Love it always. Thanks.
I always love your instructions… sometimes it’s important to have a green spatula and the imagination to go with. Thanks and keep on keepin’ on.
GREEN SPATULAS UNITE!!!
Poor green spatula – I give him a kiss! Wha-la, he is better!
Everyone of your recipes that I have ever tried has turned out fantastic (no, it is not especially my cooking skills). Sometimes I have to veganize them; they have worked well that way, too. This one will not veganize . . . besides, it is too perfect as is.
We are only minutes away from donning our eclipse glasses out here in Oregon. Lucky for us we can just stay in our own back yard to do this.
One good tip deserves another: You showed me the glory of using a heating pad for keeping bread dough perfectly warm (DUH!) How did I miss that??
Here’s a tip back to you: When cutting up lardons it’s VERY helpful to freeze the bacon first. That way you can easily cut through several slices at a time quickly and cleanly.
I can’t wait to try this old fashioned drool-worthy casserole…with homemade ketchup!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Annie — Love your freeze-the-bacon tip. Thank you!
Lord save me from humorless people! Love, love, love your posts!
I’m right in the midst of this oldie but goodie. The lardons are draining and the onions are doing their thing in their knob of butter. Thank you for resurrecting this one!
Deborah Goodman says
I like green spatulas. And purple bowls too for that matter. Some people have no sense of humor. The way you write is what makes reading preparing your recipes so much fun and so enjoyable. Although I have to chuckle. I’m like one other poster on here, and probably many more, I’m always on the look out for pretty spatulas and snazzy bowls.
Joanne in Zone 6b says
As you can see, Kevin, we, your fans, love your recipes just as they are and encourage you to continue in your delightful style. Constructive criticism is always helpful, but silly criticism is best ridiculed (to remove its sting), then ignored.
Diane C says
Can’t wait to try this recipe! I can’t believe I missed it in the 70s. Oh well, no internet back then. I will be looking through my cupboards to find a blue bowl so, mine will turn out right 🙂
Liliana Blanco says
But then, do I really need a blue-rimmed bowl for this? (just kidding…).
I enjoy reading your recipes almost as much as eating the results.
Thank you, Kevin!
virginia mead says
Cant wait to try this recipe. I enjoy your sense of humor.
Lois Herrick says
I’m wondering if the biscuit layer would allow freezing.
I’m making some small casseroles to freeze and send off to college and this recipe sounds yummy!
I purchased a GREEN SPATULA specifically to use on your recipes. I believe it could be that “secret” ingredient all cooks have.
Jan in CA says
Oh my goodness, I laughed out loud when I read that comment about the green spatula. Luckily, I have a green spatula, as well as a pink, red, purple, and a tiny blue spatula, so I think I’m covered for your recipes. You make the recipes so much fun with your “colorful” bowls, spatulas, etc., as well as your Mr. Magoo moments (which I seem to have more and more of). Keep the humor and the recipes coming!!!
Catherine Caskey says
A Black spatula for the sautéed onions, then put into a white bowl with a blue design to rest. Husband cooked the lardons. He loves bacon!! Wooden spoon for browning the beef. Metal one cup measure for the shredded cheese. An orange brush for brushing the pastry with the bacon grease!! That is so tasty!!!
Served with roasted sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and a little brown
sugar added, and sliced fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the
farmer’s market doused with s & p, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
The casserole was delicious and my husband gives it 9 3/4 ****’s.
He has very discriminating taste.
Kevin, What do you suggest for the left overs? Have you reheated them?
At what temperature and for how long? Have you frozen the leftovers?
I can’t imagine it, because I would think the pastry would become soggy.
I think next time I will halve the recipe, unless guests are coming.
Thanks again and I hope you will share your thoughts on the leftovers.
Horrors but I adapted this wonderful recipe for my vegetarian family. It worked great! Modifications:
Veggie crumbles instead of beef
Bag of frozen mixed peppers and onions (instead of just onions because I was too lazy to slice and dice)
Bunch of frozen kale (2 handfuls) and liquid smoke with dark maple syrup for flavor boost
Could have added veggie bacon (family likes Morningstar version), but I did not have on hand
It worked great and was gobbled up before I knew it. I love that I can make ahead and have it be oven ready. Thank you sending along these sorts of recipes Kevin – practical and tasty!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Jane – I love your variation on this make-ahead dish!
Kevin, I so enjoy reading your blog posts. You’re so funny and entertaining! Of course, I don’t get offended by spatulas of color. In fact, I enjoy the whole wide world of colored utensils.
Love this…. cooking in oven now. Didn’t use Bacon, all other ingredients. My Family is in Awe! Serving with mashed potatoes, green beans, and Garlic bread! Marvelous!!!!
Doris M. Doody says
Many thanks for your front foyer tour; definitely would like to see more of your beautiful home and what you did to improve it!
My Mom did not make this dish. Cannot wait to try it! My favorite spatula is my teal one. Shhhh, don’t tell the others. They came in a four pack of all lovely colors!
David Deutsch says
Your engaging, witty writing is as enchanting as your recipe. And I DO own a green spatula.
talk about being a poo bear 🙁 I love cooking with color. Please don’t ever change your writing style, you always make me smile.
My mother never made this casserole, I’d really like to make it but I’m trying to think of something else for the topping because there’s too many artificial ingredients in pre-packaged crescent rolls.