Quick and easy delicious dinner! Stuffing the manicotti will be the most time-consuming while making the recipe. However, if you place all your filling in a plastic bag and then cut a hole in it, you'll be able to stuff the manicotti shells much faster. Also, this is one of those recipes that you can make ahead and then bake when ready. You can also freeze it for up to 1 month.
For the Sauce:
37 oz Spaghetti sauce (bought 45 oz jar but didn't use it all, you easily can)
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
salt to taste (for meat)
For the Filling:
5 oz Fresh spinach
2 c Ricotta cheese
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 pkg uncooked manicotti shells
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (to sprinkle on top when ready to bake)
Start by making your meaty sauce (you can easily skip the meat if you want). In a pan, cook the meat, add salt. When the meat is halfway done, add the minced garlic and chopped onions. Mix well and continue cooking until meat is ready. When the meat is ready, add the spaghetti sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes, set aside.
Steam the spinach, then squeeze to drain (you could also use frozen spinach). Mix spinach, ricotta and Parmesan cheese, nutmeg and pepper.
Add about a third of your sauce to a ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Fill the uncooked manicotti shells and place shells in sauce in dish. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over shells, covering them completely. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 and 1/2 hours or until shells are tender.
Note: If making ahead, cover and refrigerate manicotti for up to 24 hours. You can also wrap airtight, and freeze for up to 1 month (when doing this,add 10 more minutes to the baking time). When ready to use, unwrap frozen manicotti, cover and bake for 2 hours. Enjoy!