Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Manicotti Recipe

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In the past 6 months my husband and I have bought a new house, moved to a new town and learned we were having a new baby, which means life has been fairly chaotic! As a result we’ve had dinner out much more frequently then we normally would and I’ve since learned one very important lesson, “don’t order pasta”. I love pasta, but have come to the conclusion that ordering pasta in a restaurant is a waste of money. It never tastes as great as you hope it will and is hugely overpriced. I was craving manicotti and was nervous about making it for the first time EVER, but it turned out incredibly delicious and was much simpler to make then I expected. If all my attempts at re-creating my favorite pasta dishes turn out this well I may never order pasta at a restaurant again!

Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Manicotti Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 14 manicotti shells
  • 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu Sundried Tomato & Basil)
  • 12 oz part skim or low fat Ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 10 oz fresh mushrooms
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • 4 tbsp water, divided (2-1-1)
  • 1 ½ tsp minced garlic (or 1 garlic clove, sliced)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper (to season)
  • Dried oregano & dried basil (to season)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a 4 quart pot, boil and cook pasta for 6-7 minutes, stir occasionally and very gently so shells don’t break open.
  3. Once cooked drain, separate and cool on a sheet pan or platter. Set aside.
  4. While pasta cooks, place spinach and 2 tbsp of water in a microwave safe dish with lid and steam for 3-4 minutes. Cool and then remove excess water with a paper towel, chop well and set aside.
  5. Next, in a sauté pan over medium-high heat add minced garlic, olive oil and mushrooms. Season with oregano, basil, salt and pepper and brown.
  6. Once your pasta is cooled and spinach and mushrooms are prepared you are ready to create your filling.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan cheese, mushrooms &chopped spinach. Season with additional oregano, basil, salt and pepper and mix well.
  8. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and pour half the contents of the spaghetti jar on the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of water (for additional moisture).
  9. Now that the casserole dish is prepared, use a small spoon to stuff each individual manicotti shell with filling and place in the casserole dish. (I angled them in two rows in order to fit all 14 shells in the dish)
  10. Pour remaining sauce down each row of stuffed shells, sprinkle with tbsp of water (for additional moisture) and top with mozzarella cheese.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown on top.
  12. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
* Serve alongside garlic bread or a salad to complete the meal. * Substitute ½ cup parmesan in filling for crumbled feta cheese (a friend and I have found that feta cheese in pasta dishes tastes great!) * Experiment with additional filling options---different cheeses, vegetables, sausage or beef to name a few!

Make sure you check out my other easy recipes!

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Ashley is a happily married stay at home mom to a beautiful little girl and a little boy. Ashley and her husband come from a small town and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like GREAT FOOD. They love to try out new recipes and experiment in the kitchen together, but also enjoy reading, painting and photography.

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