Craving pasta? ME TOO. This spinach and ricotta manicotti is creamy, cheesy, and packed full of greens making it an excellent weeknight option.
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Can I tell you a dirty dirty little secret?
I grew up on manicotti…FROM THE FREEZER AISLE.
Yes, yes, yes my 100% Italian mother felt that manicotti-making was so bothersome that she just.couldn’t. and so whenever the urge struck (or whenever she just couldn’t think of anything else to make), she pulled out a premade tray and into the oven it went.
Now that I’ve finally, for the first time in my 28 years of life, made manicotti in my own kitchen….I have no idea what the problem was. It’s so simple!!
Okay, sure, you have to boil water and cook the shells first but that is so not a big deal. After that, it’s just fill –> bake –> eat. In that order.
As it’s written below, this recipe makes enough to serve just one, so it’s perfect for when that pasta craving hits but you don’t want to be carb loading for a week straight. However, it can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to accommodate your family’s needs. I’ve also found that it tastes just as good if you prepare it and set it up in a baking pan the night before you want to eat it and then bake it off the next day, so feel free to go at it however it suits your timing needs best.
- ⅓ cup frozen chopped spinach
- ½ cup fat free ricotta cheese
- 1 ½ tbsp. Parmesan cheese
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 pieces manicotti, uncooked
- ¼ cup jarred or canned spaghetti sauce
- 3 tbsp fat free mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 1-oz whole wheat dinner roll
- 2 tsp margarine or butter
- ½ cup seedless grapes
- Preheat oven to 375°. Thaw the spinach and squeeze to remove excess water. Combine the spinach with the ricotta and parmesan cheeses, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Prepare manicotti per package directions.
- Pipe or spoon mixture into manicotti shells. Place in a baking dish and top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven until bubbling and cheese has melted.
- Serve stuffed manicotti with a roll spread with margarine.
- Complement meal with grapes for dessert.
*Nutrition facts are estimates only.
My dirty little secret is that my manicotti always falls apart after boiling.
Mine is that up until now, I had never heard of manicotti
I stuff the shells when they aren’t cooked. I use one jar of sauce. Assemble, put it in the refrigerator overnight, then cook it the next day. Learned this trick from a friend. Works great!
Oh yeah, that is an excellent meal and I never mind stuffing the tubes of pasta. Love it!
That’s a very comforting and delicious meal!
This sounds amazing!
when am I ever not craving cheesy pasta?!
It cracks me up that your Italian mother would buy frozen manicotti. Your meal looks perfect!
I’m always craving pasta! This one looks irresistible!
I always have trouble with the thought of the leftover ingredients; i.e. spinach, ricotta, store bought spaghetti sauce. What to do with the rest. I guess make a big batch that uses all of everything.
ohhhhh these manicotti look OUTSTANDING-I love that they have spinach and ricotta!
My family really went crazy over these. Will make again, thanks for a great recipe!