Beef & Pumpkin Crescent Bake

by sammymoniz

Homemade pumpkin marinara sauce and ground beef topped with crescent rolls make this Beef & Pumpkin Crescent Bake the perfect fall weeknight meal.

Beef & Pumpkin Crescent Rolls on a plate.

The grocery list.

  • Olive oil – To cooke your onions and peppers.
  • Sweet onion – The light sweetness of the onion blends so well with the sweetness from the pumpkin.
  • Red bell pepper – Chopped peppers add a delicious crunch to this dish.
  • Garlic, grated – Fresh garlic is always more flavorful.
  • Kosher salt – Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Ground black pepper
  • Diced tomatoes – Although the main ingredient of your pumpkin marinara will be the pumpkin (duh), the tomatoes add a bit of tartness.
  • Pumpkin puree – Around this time of year canned pumpkin puree is hard to come by, so get it while you can! If the shelves are cleared of this necessary fall ingredient, use fresh pumpkin instead!
  • Fresh parmesan – To top your dish with.
  • ButcherBox ground beef – I ‘ll take any opportunity to use my delicious and high quality ButcherBox meats!
  • Mozzarella cheese – I used grated mozzarella cheese.
  • Crescent rolls – Does anything beat store-bought crescent rolls? I think not.
  • Fresh thyme – Start taking advantage of those fresh herbs in your garden, winter is coming!
Beef & Pumpkin Crescent Bake in a cast iron pan.

No canned pumpkin?

Last year at this time, store shelves were cleared of canned pumpkin, a definite misfortune for anyone like me that loves fall baking. Hopefully the same does not occur this fall, but if it does I’ve got you covered! Thankfully, there are alternatives to canned puréed pumpkin.

If you’re looking for something just as convenient as canned pumpkin, canned puréed sweet potato or butternut squash have a very similar flavor and texture. Personally, I prefer to make squash pie instead of pumpkin at Thanksgiving. You can’t even tell the difference between the two!

Another option is to use fresh pumpkin purée. I normally opt for fresh ingredients whenever possible. In the case of pumpkin, canned is much more convenient than fresh and there is no difference in the texture and flavors of the pumpkin dish.

If you do choose to use fresh pumpkin, you must make sure you buy the correct kind of pumpkin. Yes, there are different kinds of pumpkins. The ones that are meant for cooking and baking are called “sugar,” “sweet” or “pie” pumpkins.

To prepare your pumpkins for using in recipes, first gut and clean them (save the seeds for a snack!). I think the easiest way to do this is to cut the pumpkin in half (remove the stem) and scoop out the seeds. Then you can roast the halved pumpkin on a baking sheet in the oven. Make sure you pierce the skin of the pumpkin a few times with a fork before putting it in the oven. Your pumpkin will be done roasting when it is soft and tender to pierce with a fork.

After roasting your pumpkin, remove the flesh from the skin. Discard the skin. Place the flesh in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Now, you have puréed pumpkin to use in allll the fall recipes!

Closeup of Beef and pumpkin crescent bake on a plate.

Looking for more recipes?

Smoked Pumpkin Pie with Eggnog Whipped Cream

Chouriço Pumpkin Chili Bowls w/ Spicy Cornbread

Sheet Pan Pop Tart with Pumpkin Butter and Maple Bacon Glaze

Lastly, if you make this Beef & Pumpkin Crescent Bake recipe, be sure to leave a comment! Above all, I love to hear from ya’ll and do my best to respond to every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of your dayyyummm good recreations is my favorite!

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Beef & Pumpkin Crescent Bake

sammymoniz Homemade pumpkin marinara sauce and ground beef topped with crescent rolls make this Beef & Pumpkin Crescent Bake the perfect fall weeknight meal.… ButcherBox Beef & Pumpkin Crescent Bake European Print
Feeds: 6-8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat



  1. Add 1 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add 1/2 the minced onion and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring often for 5-7 minutes until softened and lightly charred. Add the grated garlic, a pinch or two of kosher salt and the black pepper. Cook for an additional minute. 
  2. To the bowl of a blender, add the diced tomatoes and pumpkin. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. Add the onion / bell pepper mix to the blender and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth and well combined. Return the blended sauce to the hot pan, simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of grated parmesan. Taste and add salt as needed. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 375.
  4. In a separate oven-safe skillet or cast iron pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the ground beef to the pan. Push it around to break it up from its packaged form and then resist the urge to move it around for at least 2 minutes. This will help develop a crust on the beef. Once a nice brown crust has development on the bottom of the beef and little pink remains on the top, begin to break it up into small bits. Add a large pinch of salt to the beef along with the remaining minced onion. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until full cooked.
  5. To the cast iron of cooke ground beef, add the pumpkin pasta sauce. Mix until well combined and fully coated. Remove the pan from the heat. 
  6. Flatten the beef in the bottom of the skillet and top it with shredded mozzarella cheese. Roll each crescent roll and place in two rows, slightly staggered, on top of the beef and cheese. 
  7. Tent a piece of aluminum foil over the skillet and bake for 30 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the crescent rolls are golden brown and fully baked.
  8. Sprinkle the bake with fresh thyme and additional grates parmesan cheese before serving.


Leave a Comment


Jayme November 3, 2021 - 9:25 am

I made this last night and it was so good!! I was surprised how easy it was too! Will definitely be making it again.

Melissa McPherson November 11, 2021 - 9:10 pm

This meal was amazing! My husband and I wanted to eat the whole pan by ourselves. It had so much flavor!

Megan Ruble March 1, 2022 - 9:27 pm

What a fun combination!! I basically did pumpkin foods this week for meal prep and this recipe is GREAT! I really had no idea there was pumpkin in the meal because it does not come off with the typical “pumpkin spice” flavor we all know. The sauce had a nice subtle taste that less acidic than a tomato sauce which was really really nice! I used Bison in place of ground beef which gave it an extra zing. This is definitely a repeat contender in my meal prepping!

sammymoniz May 5, 2022 - 7:47 am

Megan, We love to hear you love it. It’s on rotation for us too! -Sammy


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