Spinach Manicotti

I’ve been playing around with trying to master Manicotti for years but I made one the other night with a different twist of flavors blended and even went for a little more healthy flare.  My audience didn’t even know that it was definitely a “better for you” dish and I didn’t give up flavors for sure.  If anything, I experimented with some new flavors.  As with all Italian food, it tastes better the 2nd day when everything has had time to marinate together.



  • 1 pkg. chicken italian sausage
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 pkg. (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained, squeezed dry or you can use fresh spinach
  • Fresh garlic to taste
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Italian seasonings like basil, oregano (optional) to taste
  • Green onion
  • 1 jar (24-26 ounces) marinara sauce or your favorite spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1 pkg. (8 ounces) manicotti shells or large sea shells, cooked, drained
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook manicotti noodles to package direction.  I usually add a teaspoon of  olive oil in the boiling water so the noodles won’t stick.  Boil for about 7 mins.  Drain and lay out on foil so they don’t stick to each other.
Pour half the Marinara sauce in the baking pan you are going to use.  Some store bought sauces could use a pinch of sugar to even out the flavors
Fry up the chicken sausage, onion and garlic and drain if any fat from pan.
Add thawed squeezed dry spinach, ricotta cheese and continue to cook on low heat for a couple of minutes and turn off heat.
Add parmesan cheese to mixed and 1/2 cup of the mozzerella cheese, salt, pepper, green onion, and Italian seasonings.
Add egg and mix thoroughly.
Pre-heat oven to 350-375
You are now ready to stuff the Manicotti shells.  I use a small spoon and stuff as full as I can without breaking the pasta shell.
Place in baking pan with sauce
When you are all done, pour remaining sauce over top of shells and top with the mozzerella cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving
Published in: on May 22, 2011 at 4:47 PM  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I ❤ manicotti….yum!…I am never any good at squeeze drying my spinach…any hints or tips?

    • I just use a kitchen towel. I am not super gentle about squeezing it either. I try and get as much liquid out of the spinach as I can. Then I just toss the kitchen towel in the laundry, and VIOLA! I have not tried GyozaGirl’s manicotti yet, but Italian food is one of my favorites to cook as well as eat! I am looking forward to trying this. I have had the privilege of tasting a lot of her food, and I can personally say its beyond fabulous! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by! It’s always nice to “see” you.


  2. I have always used paper towels and that probably is the problem. I didn’t think to use a kitchen towel just for the simple fact of it sticking and making a mess. Umm, and forgetting that we have this modern invention, the washing machine…LOL…I admit, I can have some blond moments…I love spinach and artichoke dip and it tends to come out watery so now with using the towel it should be great! Do you find you have to use more that one towel or is just the one sufficient?

    • I use just one towel and squeeze really good to get as much water out as I can. I am sure there are other ways of getting the water out, this is just the method I learned. 😉 Let me know how it works for you! 🙂


  3. Very nice looking food! This will be our Friday dinner! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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