This was one of our easiest (and most fun) recipes for our freezer meals to put together! These are so tasty, my advice is to make A LOT OF THEM and freeze them on a baking sheet separately without the sauce, then pop them into large freezer bags. That way you’ll be able to take out as many as you need at a time and bake them off, without any leftovers!
With enough forethought, we could probably have quadrupled the recipe and made TONS of these tasty little guys. As it is, we doubled the recipe in order to have enough filling left over to add a thin layer to each of our freezer batch lasagnas (yum…).
Check back for that recipe in later posts! You can see that recipe HERE.
Just remember to thin out your spaghetti sauce, either homemade or store-bought, so it has the opportunity to plump up the pasta while it’s cooking, and sprinkle some cheese on the top before tossing them in the oven.
These delicious pasta tubes go very well with a tossed salad, a little garlic bread, and a nice Chianti (why does my brain *insist* on thinking of Sir Anthony Hopkins whenever I talk about Chianti?! STAHPPIT…)
Spinach Cheese Manicotti
Yield: 16 manicotti = 8 servings
Original source: Allrecipes.com
- 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
- ½ cup cooking onion, finely minced
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons parsley (dried is fine but fresh is better)
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1¼ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 (8 ounce) box manicotti shells, uncooked
In a large bowl, combine ricotta, onion and egg. Mix in mozzarella and Parmesan. Season with parsley, pepper, salt and garlic powder, and add thawed, squeezed spinach. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Stuff uncooked manicotti shells with ricotta mixture; the easiest method is to half-fill a disposable pastry bag or large freezer bag and snip a small hole in one corner, then pipe the filling into each manicotti. Use a spoon or your fingers to fill in any holes or gaps on each end with filling. Keep at it until you run out of shells or filling.
If freezing for later, lay filled manicotti onto parchment covered baking tray. Freeze on tray for a minimum of 1 hour until solid, then place into freezer bags and put back in freezer until needed.
To Bake (per 8 manicotti):
- 2 cups homemade spaghetti sauce plus 1 cup water, OR
- 1 (26 ounce) jar plain spaghetti sauce plus 1 cup water
- ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Stir together spaghetti sauce and water.
- Spread half of the thinned out sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish, and arrange frozen manicotti in a single layer in the dish. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan/Romano.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, uncovered, or until manicotti are al dente. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.
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