Crescent rolls are a popular refrigerated dough product found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. They come in a cardboard tube and consist of small crescent-shaped biscuits that can be separated and baked. Crescent rolls are commonly used to make quick and easy appetizers, breakfast pastries, and even desserts. But many people wonder – just how many calories are in those convenient tubes of crescent roll dough?
What are Crescent Rolls?
Crescent rolls, sometimes referred to as croissants, are a sheet of flaky layered dough that has been rolled up into a crescent shape. The dough is made from flour, oil or butter, milk, and sometimes eggs. It’s then rolled up into the signature crescent shape before being sliced into individual portions.
When raw, the crescent roll dough is compressed and stored in a cardboard tube. From there, consumers can open the tube, separate the pre-cut sections, and bake them until golden brown. Crescent roll dough requires no proofing or rising time.
The finished baked crescent rolls are soft, fluffy, and slightly crispy. They make a delicious accompaniment to many meals and appetizers. Some of the most popular ways to serve crescent rolls include:
- As a side to soups or pasta dishes
- As a breakfast pastry or bread
- As an appetizer or snack with butter and preserves or cheese
- As a “roll” for sandwiches
- As a base for appetizers like pinwheels or pigs in a blanket
- For desserts like crescent roll apple pies
Crescent Roll Nutrition Facts
The exact nutrition facts for crescent rolls will vary slightly between brands and products. However, most follow a similar nutritional profile. Here are the basic nutrition facts for a typical tube of 8 unbaked crescent rolls:
|Amount Per Serving||Calories||Fat||Carbs||Protein|
|1 crescent roll (17g)||70||3g||9g||2g|
As you can see, a single raw crescent roll contains about 70 calories. It also has 3g of fat, 9g of carbohydrates, and 2g of protein.
These nutrition facts are based on the unbaked dough. Once baked, a crescent roll will likely have slightly higher calories and lower moisture content.
Calories in a Whole Tube of Crescent Rolls
Crescent roll tubes typically contain 8 individual rolls. Based on 70 calories per roll, this equals:
- 8 rolls per tube
- 70 calories per roll
- Total calories per tube: 560
So in total, there are about 560 calories in an entire 8-count tube of crescent rolls.
Some brands may contain fewer or more rolls per tube, which will alter the total calories. You’ll need to check the package directions to confirm how many come in one container. But for most standard tubes, you can expect around 560 calories.
Daily Calorie Needs
To put the 560 calories per tube into perspective, here is how that fits into average daily calorie needs:
- Women: Require 2,000 calories per day
- Men: Require 2,500 calories per day
Based on those figures, here is how many calories a tube of crescent rolls represents:
- For women: 560 calories is 28% of the average daily intake
- For men: 560 calories is 22% of the average daily intake
As you can see, a full tube of crescent rolls accounts for over 20% of your total daily calories. While not incredibly high in calories, it’s important to account for these extra calories within your daily food intake.
Ways to Reduce Calories in Crescent Rolls
If you’re looking for ways to lighten up crescent rolls, here are some tips:
- Use reduced-fat crescent roll dough
- Substitute 1 regular roll for 2 mini rolls
- Eat 1 roll instead of 2-3
- Use lighter fillings like turkey and cheese vs. fatty meats and sauces
- Skip butter or dipping oils
- Opt for a fruit or yogurt dip instead of jams or sugary dips
With a few simple substitutions and portion control, you can still enjoy crescent rolls as part of a healthy diet.
High-Calorie Crescent Roll Recipes
While crescent roll dough starts off relatively low in calories, what you put on top, fill it with, or serve it with can quickly increase the calories.
Some higher-calorie ways to serve crescent rolls include:
- Pigs in a blanket with hot dogs or sausage – 148 calories per pig
- Crescent roll pizza bites – 85 calories per piece
- Crescent roll breakfast sandwiches with bacon, egg, and cheese -418 calories each
- Crescent roll apple pies – 312 calories per pie
- Crescent roll dessert braid with cinnamon and icing – 354 calories per braid
While these all make delicious options, just be mindful of portion sizes. Sticking to 1-2 higher-calorie pieces is recommended.
Low-Calorie Ways to Eat Crescent Rolls
You can also keep crescent rolls light by opting for healthier fillings and toppings such as:
- Turkey and cheese pinwheels – 148 calories per roll
- Egg salad sandwiches on crescent rolls – 233 calories each
- Loaded crescent rolls with veggies and hummus – 80 calories per roll
- Baked crescent rolls with whipped butter spray – 90 calories per roll
Getting creative with lighter ingredients will allow you to keep enjoying these doughy treats.
Should You Avoid Crescent Rolls When Dieting?
Crescent rolls can absolutely be part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. There is no need to avoid them completely when watching your weight.
Some tips for indulging in crescent rolls while dieting include:
- Limit yourself to 1-2 rolls at a time
- Pair them with proteins and healthy fats
- Avoid heavy cream cheese, sauce, or sugar-laden toppings
- Opt for healthier cooking methods like baking instead of frying
- Work them into your daily calorie goals
By carefully planning when and how you eat them, crescent rolls can be a treat even when dieting.
Healthier Homemade Crescent Roll Options
To control calories and ingredients, consider making your own healthy crescent rolls at home. There are several recipes for lower-calorie crescent dough:
- Whole wheat crescent rolls – Uses whole wheat flour instead of white. 60 calories per roll.
- Vegan crescent rolls – Made with plant-based milk and oils. 47 calories per roll.
- Greek yogurt crescent rolls – Uses Greek yogurt instead of milk and butter. 51 calories per roll.
Experiment with swapping in nutritious ingredients for a more diet-friendly crescent roll.
Are crescent rolls high in carbs?
Crescent rolls do contain a moderate amount of carbs, with 9g per raw roll. This comes mostly from the refined wheat flour. While not extremely high in carbs, those limiting carbs may want to watch portion sizes.
Are crescent rolls unhealthy?
In moderation, crescent rolls can be part of a healthy diet. They provide calories, carbs, and fat. But when eaten in large amounts, their calorie, carb, and saturated fat content could contribute to weight gain and other issues. As with most foods, balance and control portions.
Can crescent rolls be frozen and reheated?
Yes, leftover unbaked crescent roll dough can be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed. You can also freeze baked crescent rolls and reheat in the oven or toaster oven until warmed through.
How long do unbaked crescent rolls last in the fridge?
Most refrigerated crescent roll dough lasts 7-10 days past the printed sell by date. The dough may develop a few air pockets, but it will still be safe to bake and eat. Always inspect dough before baking.
The Bottom Line
Crescent rolls can absolutely be a healthy part of your diet when enjoyed in proper portions. A standard tube contains about 560 calories total. Stick to 1-2 rolls at a time and pair them with lean meats, cheeses, veggies, and other nutritious toppings to keep calories controlled.
Experiment with lighter crescent roll recipes and fillings to get the delicious flavor while avoiding excess calories. With a little mindfulness, crescent rolls can be a delicious part of a balanced diet.