Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spinach and Cheese Manicotti

Ahhh...noodles, cheese, and sauce...the perfect comfort food :)  This is another redo of mine.  It's the same recipe, but new pictures.  The lighting in the new place is about a million times better than it was in the apartment.  And I figured bringing back some of the tried and true recipes doesn't hurt.  ;)

This dish is definitely a favorite.  It's a meal in itself, but you can toss together a side salad or some green beans or fruit to round out the meal.  If you like cheese and noodles I definitely suggest trying this recipe.  It's relatively easy.  The hardest part is stuffing the shells and that's not too difficult.

Spinach and Cheese Manicotti
1 box manicotti noodles

1 - 15oz container of ricotta cheese
4 oz fat free cream cheese
1/2 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
8 oz shredded mozzarella, plus 8 oz for topping
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp parsley
4 cups of spaghetti sauce or 1.5 Jars
10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed with moisture squeezed out

**** Here's a neat tip I just learned the other day to defrost and drain spinach.  Heat it in a microwave safe bowl covered with a paper towel for 2-3 minutes or until there are no more cold spots.  I stirred mine after each minute to check.  Then place in the center of a dish towel (I don't recommend using your favorite one) and squeeze the moisture out.  So much easier than paper towels or using the back of a spoon.  ****
  • In a medium bowl mix together ricotta cheese, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, 8 oz mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley until fully combined
I used a hand mixer to fully combine then a spatula to scrape the sides and mix
  • Put 1.5 cups of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly
  • Place the filling mixture in a piping bag or ziploc bag and pipe into the manicotti shells.  Hold the shell in one hand and squeeze bag from top to fill shells.  Put enough filling to over flow both ends and then place in sauce lined pan.  Repeat for the rest of the shells or until you run out of filling.
A little messy, but that's will still taste good :)
  • Cover the pasta with the remaining sauce, top with cheese, and cover with foil
Ready to go!
  • At this point you can either place it in the fridge until you are ready to bake or bake it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.  Remove Foil and continue to bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.
And there you have it!  Dinner is served!  Now I am off to gobble up all the yummy cheesy goodness :)

Below is the nutritional value per serving.  This recipe yields approximately 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 256 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 109%Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 69%Iron 9%
Nutrition Grade C
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

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