Recipe by Sandir
"I have used this basic principle and adapted it to make stuffed shells and lasagna. If making lasagna, I buy a second, smaller jar of spaghetti sauce. I always feel like I need a bit more. Merry Manicotti!"
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1 (10 ounce) package
frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
shredded mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons
ground black pepper
1 (32 ounce) jar
Very simple and very tasty! I recommend putting the filling mixture in a large ziplock bag and cutting a corner off so you have a "pastry bag" type thing to pipe the filling in.
I was VERY disappointed with this dish! Served it last night for dinner guests, and was sad to see they didn't clean their plates! I found this dish to be dry. The long cooking time is required to cook the noodles, but by the time the noodles are done, the sauce and filling was dry and crusty. THUMBS DOWN...
A WINNER! I made only a few chamges....I used 2 jars of sauce in their entirety; halved the amount of spinach called for and added a half pound of sweet Italian sausage (crumbled and browned)to the filling. We are hosting a dinner party next month and this recipe will be on the menu for sure. My Italian husband pronounced this a "keeper" (trust me, HIGH praise!).
Came out perfect.......way easier than trying to stuff cooked shells with filling. Also, to make it easier on me I put filling ingredients in a zip lock bag, snip one corner with the scissors and squeeze into the shells.
Recipe was easy, the sugar must have brought out the cheese flavor?? I used a combination of ricotta and cottage cheese and used only about 8 oz of spinach and more sauce. I also made a whole bunch of "make ahead" by stuffing the manicotti and kept them in the plastic tray that came with the manicotti and into ziplock bags. I left the make ahead stuff (without the tomato sauce) in the fridge overnight and then put them in the freezer. To rehead: take out the frozen manicotti and cover it in the tomato sauce the evening before to let it thraw and cook it according to the recipe direction, my husband and his family raved about it, even the kids ate it!
This is a wonderful recipe. I would suggest, depending on your taste buds, decide if you would prefer a sweeter Manicotti or not, the sugar did not agree with my taste for Manicotti. If people think it has a bland taste, it not just about the taste, it's supposed to be mild on flavor. It's more about texture. I added Cottage cheese, because my hubby loves it. And I could see from the start that one jar of sauce just wouldn't due. I love lots of sauce so I used two. I noticed that the spinach kept the mixture moister longer, so this is good recipe for a nice moist Manicotti. I pre-boiled my noodles as well, for about 3-5 min. to get them prep and ready (I was in a rush to get it done). The noodles were still hard enough for me to put the mixture in. I used one of those cake-frosting bags. I was nervous about that and by the end there was a bit of a mess, but I got those shells full! :) I would make this again without the sugar completely and use more cheese!! Lots more!! To thicken the sauce, add a little Parmesan before you put it in the oven to bake. Don't forget the Italian sausage. I bake those before I bake the Manicotti. This way you don't have unwanted grease in your Manicotti. After I take the cover off I bake the sausage with the Manicotti for the 15 minutes. Yummy!!
I loved this recipe! It takes just a few minutes to prepare and stuff the shells and best of all it doesn't create a huge mess in the kitchen if you do it before bed like I did. Like another person said, I would add more sauce as it cooks because the noodles on the outside got a bit tough. It called for 12 shells and I used the entire package as there were only a few more than 12 and I had plenty of the cheese mixture. For those not so fond of spinach, like my husband, he recommends using half the spinach or better yet none. He thought it would have been good with just the cheese mixture and then adding ground beef to the sauce. So next time I make this, I might split the cheese mixture in half and use spinach only on my half. I could make 2 dishes with half spinach and half plain cheese and try freezing one. This is also a great dish if you need to deliver a meal to someone in snap.
Average. Sugar made it too sweet and I would cut back a little on the spinach. Use plenty of sauce as it tends to be dry.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Make Ahead Manicotti
Serving Size: 1/6 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 172
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