This Three Cheese Manicotti is a GREAT easy weeknight dinner! Stuffing your favorite Italian flavors and three kinds of cheese into a large piece of pasta is delicious! It is a favorite for large gatherings because its creamy and rich but won’t be hard to prepare. You can't go wrong with cheesy, delicious pasta!
Happy second to last day of 2015! We have spent the past few days in southern Indiana enjoying time with family, floods and food. We will travel back to Minnesota on New Year's Day, where and when I will begin my healthy transformation. In the meantime, bring on the FOOD!
We made this delicious Cheesy Manicotti a few weeks ago and it was SUPER easy and yummy. Manicotti is one of those "scary" recipes that seems daunting, but it's really not daunting at all. This entire dinner is done in less than an hour.
WHAT IS MANICOTTI PASTA?
The word manicotti means “little sleeve” or similar to a muff. The American version of manicotti is different from it’s Italian counterpart. There a manicotti is a crepe that's filled. In the US, it’s a tube shaped pasta that can be stuffed with different ingredients making a delicious filled pasta surrounded by a sauce.
HOW TO MAKE THREE-CHEESE MANICOTTI
Just a few steps to make this baked casserole - perfect comfort food!
Cook manicotti shells in boiling water until 3 minutes shy of al dente. Rinse in cold water and set aside. Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well. Even pour half of the spaghetti sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Divide the cheese mixture between 10 cooked manicotti pasta shells. Carefully stuff the cheese into the shells and form two rows in the baking dish.
Pour remaining sauce over the manicotti, followed by the cooked ground beef and remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm!
WHAT CHEESES ARE GOOD FOR PREPARING EXCELLENT MANICOTTI?
A mixture of cheeses blended together make for great pasta. I recommend a blend of mozzarella, ricotta, cottage cheese or Parmesan for your meal. You will also see cheddar cheese or cream cheese occasionally.
WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS CAN I ADD TO MY MANICOTTI?
The tube is ready to be filled with any of your favorite ingredients!
You have a variety of meats from ground sausage or turkey to shredded chicken.
tomato sauce or a white sauce like my easy to make homemade alfredo sauce
*Feel free to prepare with or without meat.
HOW TO SAVE LEFTOVERS OR MAKE A FREEZER MEAL
This is a perfect recipe to make ahead of time, and then cover with saran wrap or foil and place in the freezer. It'll stay good and ready to reheat for 2-3 months. When you're ready to eat it, take it out of the freezer, let it thaw 15 minutes and then reheat it at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Vice versa, if you have leftovers, this recipe can be saved in the refrigerator if it's covered for 3-5 days and reheated when you're ready to enjoy another bite!
As 2015 comes to a close, I find myself being extra grateful for SO many things including this blog and every single one of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here!