Spinach Manicotti: Tasty and Pretty

I made this recipe for Christmas dinner this past year. It is a great make-ahead dish that you can just pop in the oven about an hour before you’re ready to sit down and eat. Be sure and take the foil off the last ten minutes so get a nice crispy crust on top.

This is one of those tried and true recipes that you can count on when you want something special. It’s slightly different from stuffed shells. A little prettier. This is one of my kids’ favorite dishes.

I make my own tomato sauce, but it’s easier (and doesn’t taste that much different) to use a store-bought sauce. I also use part-skim ricotta cheese and prefer the taste to full-fat, but that is a personal preference on my part. You decided for yourself.

Please be sure and let me know if you try it. I always like to hear how my recipes turn out when others try them.

Spinach Manicotti

Chicken_Cheese_n_Spinach_Manicotti

INGREDIENTS:
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped
spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup minced onion
1 egg
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese,
divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti shells

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, onion and egg. Season with parsley, pepper and garlic powder. Mix in 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan. In a separate bowl, stir together spaghetti sauce and water.
3. Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Stuff uncooked manicotti shells with ricotta mixture, and arrange in a single layer in the dish. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
4. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until noodles are soft. Uncover ten minutes before done (when bubbling) and let the top get a nice crust on it.

Serve with garlic bread and salad.

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