This is my favorite recipe when company's coming. It's prepared the night before, plus the manicotti is stuffed uncooked, making it even more convenient. —Christy Freeman, Central Point, Oregon
- 1 carton (15 ounces) whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 jars (24 ounces each) spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 package (8 ounces) manicotti shells
- In a large bowl, mix ricotta, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley and seasonings. In a large bowl, mix spaghetti sauce and water; spread 1 cup into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
- Fill uncooked manicotti shells with ricotta mixture; arrange over sauce. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce mixture over top. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake, uncovered, 40-50 minutes or until manicotti is tender.
Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked casserole. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Yield: 7 servings.
Originally published as Make-Ahead Spinach Manicotti in Taste of Home February/March 1999, p31
Medium-Bodied Red Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.
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