- 2 packages (8 ounces each) manicotti shells
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 4 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
- 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 2 jars (24 ounces each) spaghetti sauce
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- Cook manicotti according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Parmesan cheese until melted; set aside. Drain manicotti; set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the chicken, spinach, eggs, mozzarella cheese and 3/4 cup white sauce. Stuff into manicotti shells.
- Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in each of two ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. Top with manicotti. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over the top.
- Reheat the remaining white sauce, stirring constantly. Pour over spaghetti sauce. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the filling reads 160°. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 14-16 servings.
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
Reviews for Meaty Spinach Manicotti
"I only used 1 pkg of spinach, there's no way my family would've eaten it with 2! I also prefer ground turkey or ground beef in it instead of the cubed chicken or turkey. With those adjustments we really enjoyed it. The white sauce on top is really good."
"It was good but it calls for waaaaay too much spinach. Will make it again but with half of the spinach."
"I made this a day ahead as I figured the prep time was way off and it was. I must have filled my shells more than they did because I didn't have enough filling for 2 boxes of shells so next time I will 1/2 the recipe."
"An excellent dish with lots of eye appeal. I agree that the prep time is longer than thirty minutes, more like forty five to fifty minutes because of the number of manicotti shells it fills. The next time I prepare this I will cover the pan loosely with foil to keep the pasta moist."
"Tastes great. Lot's of work. Took me more then 30 minutes to prepare...worth the time tough."
"we tried this recipe when it first came out in Jan. 2001 issue, we love it still and wouldn't change a thing!"
"We really enjoyed this tasty dish! A great way to use up turkey leftovers. I made it quite a bit easier by using cooked Rotini in lieu of Manicotti shells; no stuffing of the shells necessary!! I also used fresh baby spinach, rather than frozen spinach. Turned out great! Definitely a keeper!"
"This is very good but so much work!"
"This recipe is delicious! It does take some time, stuffing manicotti shells is always putzie, but definitely worth it. Great dish for guests, it looks fancy and tastes like it too. Half the recipe for a smaller group or freeze the left-overs. It's also a good do-ahead dish, you can prep it, throw it in the frig and bake it just before ready to serve."