Great Holiday Make-Ahead Dish

Now that we’re moving into the Christmas season, here’s another recipe to consider adding to your holiday table. This is one of those tried and true recipes that you can count on when you want something special. It’s slightly different from stuffed shells. A little prettier.

Chicken_Cheese_n_Spinach_Manicotti

INGREDIENTS:
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped
spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup minced onion
1 egg
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese,
divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti shells

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, onion and egg. Season with parsley, pepper and garlic powder. Mix in 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan. In a separate bowl, stir together spaghetti sauce and water.
3. Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Stuff uncooked manicotti shells with ricotta mixture, and arrange in a single layer in the dish. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until noodles are soft.

This will taste even better the second day since by then the flavors will have melded.  Also, this can be easily frozen and then popped in the oven.  No need to thaw first.

Happy eating.  I’ll check back in tomorrow.

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