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Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Manicotti

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“This is a wonderfully cheesy manicotti recipe made easier by not having to cook the shells first. Comfort food at it's finest. The original recipe source idea is RecipeGirl, but made a few of my own changes and additions. Hope you try it, it is worth the time.”
READY IN:
1hr 45mins
SERVES:
6
YIELD:
12-14 manicotti
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Combine sauce and sausage in the same skillet sausage was cooked, keep warm.
  3. In a large bowl, mix spinach, cheeses, eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir together until well blended.
  4. Place about 2 cups sauce in a 9X13 inch casserole dish. Spread it around to cover the bottom.
  5. Now, to fill the manicotti. You can do this however you wish. You can use a pastry bag, or a zip-lock bag with a corner cut, or a spoon. I chose to use an old baby spoon (from when my daughter was a baby, the kind with the rubber temperature controlled end). I had fantastic results doing it that way. I highly recommend doing it that way. You may have to fill half, turn manicotti around and fill from the other end, as I did. Try to get as much filling in as possible, letting it over flow from the ends. Place the filled shell into the sauce-lined dish. Repeat with the remaining manicotti shells, and fill the dish with the stuffed shells, until you either run out of room, or shells or filling. I ran out of room first, I got twelve into my casserole dish. (I did have left over filling, which I froze.) You could also use two separate smaller dishes, and freeze one for another meal.
  6. Cover pasta with sauce, you don’t have to use it all, just make sure all the exposed manicotti are covered in sauce, about 2 ½ cups. Place sliced mozzarella on top of sauce and sprinkle remaining ½ cup shredded cheese mix over the mozzarella. At this point, you can cover with foil and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake, or you can cover with foil and place it in the oven immediately.
  7. Bake, covered with foil, 50 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
  9. Tips:
  10. It's perfectly fine if you want to use full fat versions of the cheeses, we just prefer the low fat and fat free versions.
  11. It's perfectly fine to leave the spinach out and turn this into just a cheese manicotti.

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