20 Clever Ways To Use Canned Crescent Rolls

Grabbing a warm, buttery crescent roll from the breadbasket during a family dinner is nothing short of a nostalgia-inducing experience. One bite in, and you'll experience a buttery, soft, and tantalizing mouthfeel that will have you reaching back into the basket for yet another one. And although there's nothing wrong with eating a crescent roll as intended — by rolling it up and baking it plainly — the canned crescent roll is a versatile ingredient that you should always keep in your fridge. You can stuff it with your favorite fillings and transform it into different foods or use it as a simple ingredient swap for many different dishes, including pizza or roll-ups. 

The dough is versatile because it lacks a sweet or savory-leaning flavor. Plus, when baked in the oven, it develops a melty, buttery quality with the texture of a dinner roll and the flavor of a buttery pastry. It's the best of both worlds and one of the reasons why you can use the canned crescent dough for so many different applications. Here are some of our favorite ways to use this refrigerator must-have. 

Homemade beignets

If you travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, you must try beignets. The modern beignet crust, which is deep-fried until decadently crunchy, is made from bread flour, butter, milk, and eggs. It takes a copious amount of time to mix, knead, and rest the dough, so DIY beignet enthusiasts will want to turn to this easy crescent roll hack instead. 

Instead of using traditional beignet dough, a variation of choux, try substituting it with canned crescent dough instead. The crescent dough is made from similar ingredients — yeast, sugar, milk, eggs, and flour — and will produce a similar texture to the traditional dough. All you have to do is pop the can, unroll the sheet of dough, and slice it into small squares. From there, place the pieces into the deep fryer, or baste the sections with butter before popping them in the air fryer. After they are golden brown and crispy, toss with powdered sugar and enjoy a Mardi Gras classic. 

Pigs in a blanket

Pigs-in-a-blanket are a hit at tailgates and parties for good reason. Pop one (or two) in your mouth in a single bite, and you'll get the feeling of eating a ballpark frank, and a classy appetizer meshed into one. 

Although you could try making your own pastry dough to wrap your tiny dogs in, the easiest way is to use pre-made crescent dough. You can use regular, reduced-fat, or buttery rolls for this herby pigs in a blanket recipe. After you've rolled out the dough, slice each of the perforated triangles out with a sharp knife. Then, place the mini sausage at the wide part of the triangle and roll towards the point. Before baking, add an additional brush of butter for better color and a sprinkle of dried herbs. You can serve your pigs in a blanket with the traditional ketchup dip or try a classy upgraded aioli. 

Apple dumplings

Mini apple dumplings are the perfect pastry for people who like portable apple pie. To make these autumnal bites at home, start by cutting peeled baking apples (like Granny Smiths or Cortlands) into wedges. Place the whole, raw wedge at the top of the crescent dough triangle and roll it down towards the point. Nestle the wrapped slices tight in a baking dish and coat them with a generous topping of melted butter, cinnamon, and granulated sugar. Then, bake the dish for 30 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and crisp to the touch. 

This easy five-ingredient recipe is the perfect way to get kids involved in the kitchen and make a treat that can be eaten for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack. Top the dumplings with whipped cream or ice cream, or eat them right out of the dish. 

Mini cinnamon rolls

Making cinnamon rolls can take hours because you must let the dough rise multiple times before placing a tray in the oven. If you want to make cinnamon rolls without the hassle, turn to canned crescent roll dough instead. Start with a roll of crescent dough that has been pinched on the perforations. Then, smother the dough with your favorite cinnamon roll filling.

You can make Crockpot cinnamon rolls instead of the traditional baking sheet or dish method; this allows you to flip the slow cooker on for two hours, walk away, and come back to the tantalizing smell of cinnamon wafting throughout your house. If you're using this method, try placing a paper towel on top of your cinnamon rolls before turning the slow cooker on. It will capture any lingering condensation from the rolls and create a perfectly crisp roll — right in time for breakfast. 

Pizza rolls

Don't feel ashamed if you have a guilty pleasure for pizza rolls. But with a can of crescent rolls, you can transform this childhood favorite into an upgraded appetizer or game-day snack. You'll only need a few ingredients besides your dough, like pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and any additional toppings. Place the toppings and cheese in a line on the short end of the crescent and roll as you would with a normal crescent roll. Serve your rolls with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top and a side of warmed pizza sauce for dipping. 

One of the best parts about this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and refrigerate the rolls for up to two hours before baking. If you don't have mozzarella shreds handy, try substituting it with sliced cheese sticks instead. 

Baked brie

Baked brie is an appetizer with a cult-like following. After one bite of melted savory cheese, you won't be able to turn back to a boring plate of cheese and crackers ever again. 

You'll need a couple of tubes of crescent dough to make an all-in-one wrapped brie. Slice the dough sheets into squares and wrap the wheel like a delicately-folded burrito before baking it until golden brown. Your guests will love cutting into the wheel to reveal the creamy, flowing cheese and crisp crescent crust. Alternatively, you can also wrap tiny brie wedges into individual crescent rolls for a more portable party appetizer. Serve your crescent-wrapped brie with honey, pepper jam, or fruit jam — and don't forget to have napkins handy. 

Chicken pot pie

Chicken pot pie rivals lasagna as the ultimate Sunday night dinner recipe. The combination of veggies, chicken, and creamy filling may seem like the star of the dish, but it's really all about the crust. Crescent rolls are the perfect topping for your chicken pot pie because they tend to withstand the moisture from the filling well and develop a perfect golden hue after baking in the oven. 

You can make your crescent-roll-covered chicken pot pie as a big batch or individually. If you're going with the baking dish route, add your filling to the bottom of the dish and top with the sheets of crescent roll dough. Be sure to pinch the dough's perforations and edges to ensure that it stays intact during baking. Alternatively, you can drape a piece of roll on top of a tiny ramekin of filling for an individual pie serving. 

Taco rings

Ring, ring, who's calling? It's taco night! You're bound to impress all of your taco night dinner guests (including the pickiest taco night eaters) with this crescent roll taco ring. Using two cans of crescent rolls, shape the dough into a sun shape on a baking tray, with each crescent roll overlapping the other. Then, add your seasoned taco meat and shredded cheese to the inside ring of the shape and wrap each of the tails up and over the meat to secure it in place. 

You can fill the center of the baked roll with a blend of lettuce, chopped vegetables, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole to make it easy for eaters to dip their pieces in. The best part about this recipe is that it can be easily altered to suit different proteins, like chicken or turkey. 

Pizza crust

Add pizza crust to the list of the most finicky doughs you can make yourself. Seriously, there's a reason why you can buy bags of it at the grocery store. Instead of buying pizza dough to satisfy your family's DIY pizza night, try using crescent rolls instead. Roll out the crescent roll dough on a baking pan or pizza stone, pinching all the perforations together. No pre-baking or dough tossing is needed here! 

You don't necessarily need to pinch the edges of the crust to form a designated edge either, but you can if your favorite part of the pizza is the crust. Add your favorite pizza sauce and toppings, bake, and enjoy a stress-free pizza night with your loved ones. 

Sopapilla cheesecake

Sopapilla cheesecake is a recipe inspired by the Mexican sopapilla pastry — which are small fritters dusted with cinnamon sugar and honey or piloncillo syrup. It takes things up a notch by sandwiching layers of crescent roll dough between an unctuous sweetened cream cheese filling. Since these desserts are served in bars, they are easy to eat — and especially fun to make. 

Use one can of crescent dough (or pinched crescent roll sheets) to line the bottom of a baking pan. Be sure to stretch the dough so it reaches all of the edges of the pan. Then, add your cream cheese filling and top with another dough layer. To infuse the sopapilla flavor, brush the top of the dessert with melted butter and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar. After baking and cooling, slice them up and leave them plain or top them with an additional honey drizzle.

DIY Hot Pockets

Snack time for kids isn't easy. Luckily, crescent rolls are here to help. You can whip up quick Hot Pockets (hand pies) with crescent rolls and whatever ingredients you have in your fridge. Start by pinching two sets of triangles together to form two rectangles. Fill one side of the dough with your desired fillings before folding it over into a smaller rectangle and sealing the edges with a fork.

The fillings are endless when it comes to this recipe. One popular combination is sliced turkey and Swiss cheese. You can also make them into kid favorites like pizza with mozzarella and toppings with a side of tomato sauce or a take on an Uncrustables sandwich with creamy peanut butter and grape jelly. 

Pumpkin or sweet potato pie bites

Apple pie isn't the only variety that can be crescent-ified. Treat your friends and family to a plate of sweet potato crescent rolls during the autumn months. Although the sweet potato pie is the idealized version of this recipe, it can also be substituted with pumpkin purée for a take on pumpkin pie. 

For this recipe, you'll need the same ingredients as you'd use in a sweet potato pie — just substitute the traditional pie crust with a can or two of crescent rolls. Spoon a little bit of sweet potato filling with a sprinkle of pecans and mini marshmallows. Then, roll the crescent roll — just be careful none of the precious filling spills out, as it will burn on the baking tray. 

Buffalo dip wraps

Do you have a favorite football appetizer? The crescent roll trick chicken wing fans need to try will have you serving it up at every tailgate going forward. Start with your favorite buffalo chicken dip and a can of crescent rolls. You can either make the dough into a hand pie or stick to the traditional crescent shape. After you've filled and folded your dough, brush on a layer of buffalo sauce and add a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Then, bake the rolls until the cheese melts and the pastry puffs up. 

The exact baking time will depend on your chosen shape; the squares finish in eight minutes, while the crescents may take closer to 15. Serve your appetizers with other pigskin favorites and a side of celery sticks. 

Monkey bread

Monkey bread is a magical experience that everyone needs to try at least once in their lives. It's like a cross between a French toast bake and a cinnamon roll — just served in a bite-sized form. Although monkey bread is often made with biscuit dough, using crescent rolls is an easy way to upgrade the recipe and not cost a fortune. Start by cutting your crescent dough into about 20 small pieces. Toss the dough in a bowl with melted butter, sugar, and spices. Then, bake the monkey bread in a pan (we recommend a bundt for extra aesthetic points) until bubbly and browned. After the pan is adequately cooled, it can be inverted and served. 

You can make variations on this recipe by adding chopped nuts, apples, or a medley of your favorite spices.

Thanksgiving cornucopias

Thanksgiving leftovers are unequivocally the only acceptable leftover meal. But after you've tried transforming your Thanksgiving leftovers into sandwiches, wraps, and even waffles, you might be getting a little bored. Crescent rolls are an easy way to upgrade your turkey-day leftovers — and kill off the leftover crescent roll can you bought "just in case." You'll need to start by wrapping a few sugar cones (yes, the kind you use for ice cream) with tin foil. Roll out the dough sheet and pinch all the perforations together. Then, cut long strips of dough out lengthwise. 

From there, you can wrap the tin foil cones starting at the point and working downward. Be sure to overlap each layer and place seam-side down on a baking tray. Chill the dough before pulling the rim back to create a lip before baking. Once the rolls are cool, remove the sugar cone and fill with your Thanksgiving leftovers — extra cranberry sauce, of course. 


Making homemade pretzels are likely not an experience many home cooks have under their belts. But if you have a can of crescent rolls, you can make a batch at home. Start by heating water and baking soda together in a Dutch oven. This solution will help develop the characteristic pretzel exterior. Then, carefully stretch the dough triangles and roll the crescent loosely, bringing the ends of the crescent together in a ribbon.

Once your ribbons are shaped, you can boil them in the water for about 30 seconds. Take your pretzel crescent rolls out, dry them on a paper towel, and top them with an egg wash and pretzel salt. From there, you can transfer the pretzels to a baking sheet and bake until they turn a deep golden shade. Serve with honey mustard. 

Garlic knots

The only better bread option than crescent rolls is a garlic knot. All of its small crevasses are filled with fragrant chopped garlic that has the perfect blend of sharpness and savoriness. If you don't have regular bread handy, you can transform your crescent rolls into dreamy garlic knots with a few steps and simple folds. Unroll the dough from the can, pinch the perforations into a sheet, and slice out dough strips. From there, you can tie the pieces into small knots. 

Place each of the knots into a baking tray and cover with a mixture of melted butter, garlic, and olive oil. You can add some chopped basil or parsley for an extra vegetal flavor. Serve your knots warm and alongside your favorite Italian dishes. 

Candy bar croissants

Upgrade your Halloween haul with this crescent roll trick. Start by brushing each dough triangle with butter and placing a mini candy bar of choice on the wide end. Slowly roll to the pointed end and tuck the point underneath. After brushing with an egg wash, bake the crescents until brown and crisp. 

This recipe is the perfect after-dinner dessert that won't leave you feeling too full or sugared out. Depending on the candy bar you use (we recommend an Almond Joy, Three Musketeers, Twix, or a Snickers bar), you can also add complementary fillings, such as peanut butter, shredded coconut, or chopped nuts. You can also garnish your crescent rolls with a drizzle of chocolate, nuts, or a sprinkle of sea salt. 

Breakfast Danishes

Let's face it, playing with flaked pastry isn't most people's version of a fun time. If you don't have access to traditional Danish pastry dough (a multi-layered, viennoiserie-style dough), a can of crescent dough will do. Roll out the sheet of dough and pinch all the perforations together. Then, cut out squares or circles using a sharp knife or a cutter. Fold the sides to create a basket, fill the center with your cream cheese mixture, and bake until flakey. 

The other, much easier, way to make Danish pastries with crescent dough is to leave the dough rolled up — just remove it from the can. Slice the roll into three-inch rounds and top with your choice of jam, chopped nuts, or cream cheese. 

Breakfast ring

If you're in charge of making the family brunch, don't make another boring frittata or hash brown casserole. Instead, try a breakfast ring filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, meat, and veggies. 

Start by arranging the triangles into a sun shape, with the wide edges touching. Then, fill the ring with a heap of your fillings. You can use almost any type of breakfast-type ingredient for this recipe, so long as your filling, with the exception of the vegetables, is fully cooked. Once you've finished stuffing the ring, fold the triangles over and affix them to the bottom of the ring. Pop your ring in the oven until golden brown and serve it with hot sauce, ketchup, and salsa. Our favorite thing about this recipe is how easy it is to serve. Simply cut a wedge out, and you'll have a whole meal in the palm of your hand. 

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table, Mashed, and The Daily Meal.