Three Cheese Manicotti ~ Meatless Monday
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I’m excited to share another family favorite recipe, Three Cheese Manicotti. Manicotti can be kind of a pain to make, to be quite honest, but this recipe is fairly quick and painless.
I personally think not having meat in the filling makes it easier when filling the shells. It also speeds up the preparation because you have one less item to cook. Don’t worry, meat lovers; you won’t miss the meat with all this yummy cheese in every bite.
But with that said, some of my friends like their manicotti with meat.
To Add Meat To The Filling:
- Brown 1 pound of any ground meat, beef, sausage, turkey, or chicken, and mix it in with the filling.
- Proceed to fill shells and bake normally.
- Another option for meat lovers is to add cooked ground meat to the sauce instead of the filling.
For those interested In weight watcher points plus:
Each manicotti has 8 points. Points can be reduced using light versions of cheese. In fact, when I make this, I use part-skim mozzarella and ricotta cheese, which reduces the points to 7 for each manicotti.
To Make Three-Cheese Manicotti, You Will Need These Ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Canned tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
- Dried oregano
- Dried thyme
- Bay leaf
- Manicotti shells ~ To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten-free shell. Tinkyada has a gluten-free grand shell that would work great.
- Mozzarella cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Parsley (I use a couple of Tbsp. dried)
- Dried oregano, crushed
- Ground Pepper
You might also like Three Cheese Lasagna; it’s a crowd-pleaser every time I serve it.
- 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 16- oz. can tomatoes cut up (I puree them)
- 1 8- oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. dried oregano crushed
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme crushed
- 1 small bay leaf I like to crush my bay leaf and leave it in the sauce
- 8 manicotti shells
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 8oz.
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup snipped parsley I use a couple of Tbsp. dried
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano crushed
- dash of pepper
- For the sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil till tender but not brown.
- Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat.
- Simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf. (since I crush mine, I never have to remember to remove it)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cook manicotti according to package directions; (usually 7 minutes is perfect) drain. Rinse shells in cold water.
- For the filling: In a medium mixing bowl stir together eggs, half of the mozzarella cheese, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley, the 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and a dash of pepper.
- Spoon filling into manicotti, using a spoon that will fit inside each shell without tearing it.
- Pour half of the tomato mixture into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange stuffed manicotti in the baking dish.
- Pour remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
- At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or bake covered for 35-40 minutes. Manicotti should be heated through.
Fantastic Italian dinner recipe. The entire family loved it. I added some fresh chopped basil and the flavors just exploded. Thank you Mary.
You are very welcome. I am glad you and your family enjoyed it. Fresh basil sounds wonderful…great idea! I’ll have to try that next time.