Easy Baked Manicotti

Easy Baked Manicotti

Easy Baked Manicotti

As you know I make at least one or two meatless recipes a week at my house.  Last week I made Baked Manicotti.   It;s a spinach and cheese filled pasta tube.

 

It’s quite simple to make and can be made in advance.  I made mine in the morning then popped it in the fridge while I ran a few errands then threw in in the oven 20 minutes before dinnertime.

This dish is inexpensive, quick, and really yummy.  I served it with a tossed green salad and a slice of toasted garlic bread.

Ingredients:

1 box Manicotti pasta
1 lb. bag of frozen chopped spinach – thawed
2 tbls. garlic powder
1 can or jar of pasta sauce (24 oz.)
15 oz. Ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1.  Prepare Manicotti tubes as directed.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Squeeze as much water as you can from the thawed spinach and place in a mixing bowl.

3.  Add garlic powder and stir well.

4.  Add ricotta cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.  Stir to evenly distribute.

5.  Add 1/4 of pasta sauce to spinach and cheese mixture.  Stir well.

Easy Baked Manicotti

6.  Divide spinach mixture equally between the pasta tubes and gently stuff each tube with the mixture.
There’s really no neat way to do this.  I tried using a small spoon, but it went too slowly or tore the pasta tube.  So far I’ve found the easiest, but not the neatest way to stuff the tubes is with bare fingers.
A bit messy, but it works!.

7.  Place stuffed pasta into an oven safe baking pan.

8.  Pour remaining pasta sauce over all.

9.  Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over sauce.

10.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.

If you are making it in advance, cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it.  Baking time will be a bit longer, another 10 minutes or so or until the filling is warm and the cheese melted.

Serve with salad and hot garlic bread, Bon Apetito!

Easy Baked Manicotti
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Easy Baked Manicotti
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Prepare Manicotti tubes as directed. Drain and set aside.
  2. Squeeze as much water as you can from the thawed spinach and place in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add garlic powder and stir well.
  4. Add ricotta cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir to evenly distribute.
  5. Add 1/4 of pasta sauce to spinach and cheese mixture. Stir well.
  6. Divide spinach mixture equally between the pasta tubes and gently stuff each tube with the mixture. There's really no neat way to do this. I tried using a small spoon, but it went too slowly or tore the pasta tube. So far I've found the easiest, but not the neatest way to stuff the tubes is with bare fingers. A bit messy, but it works!.
  7. Place stuffed pasta into an oven safe baking pan.
  8. Pour remaining pasta sauce over all.
  9. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over sauce.
  10. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.
  11. If you are making it in advance, cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator until you're ready to bake it. Baking time will be a bit longer, another 10 minutes or so or until the filling is warm and the cheese melted.
  12. Serve with salad and hot garlic bread, Bon Apetito!
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Stromboli – Chicken/Spinach/Broccoli

Stromboli – Chicken/Spinach/Broccoli

I’m always looking for recipes that will entice my 6 year old grandson to eat more veggies, the kid won’t touch anything green!  This Chicken/Spinach/Broccoli Stromboli was a hit.  It’s really easy to prepare, served with marinara sauce for dipping it makes a filling meal.  It’s become a family favorite and I make it quite often.  Left overs can be heated up for a quick snack or lunch the next day.

Stromboli

Ingredients:

1 loaf Bridgeford Frozen White Bread Loaf

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cubed

1/2 cup Italian Dressing

1 9oz. package frozen chopped spinach

1 10oz. package frozen broccoli with cheddar cheese sauce

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Olive Oil

Garlic Powder

Place one loaf of frozen dough on a baking sheet that is lightly oiled with olive oil.  Let thaw and rise, about 5 hours.

Marinate cubed chicken in Italian dressing.  I place it all in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can marinate chicken longer, but not more than overnight.

Saute chicken in a small amount of olive oil until fully cooked

Add thawed and drained chopped spinach and stir until combined with chicken

Add thawed broccoli and stir until combined

Cook for another 5 minutes stirring constantly so cheese doesn’t burn

Place chicken mixture in large bowl

Add mozzarella cheese – stir well
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface.  Roll into a rectangle shape about 9″x13″ about 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick.

Move rolled dough onto an oiled baking sheet

Arrange chicken mixture down the center of the dough lengthwise

Fold short ends over the chicken mixture

Fold long sides over the short ends and the chicken mixture creating a log shape

Pinch seams together to seal

Spray or brush with olive oil on the top and sides

Sprinkle garlic salt over the top

Bake in 400 degree oven 20-25 minutes or until golden brown

Slice and serve warm with heated marinara sauce for dipping

Stromboli
Print Recipe
An easy version of this Italian favorite, Stromboli. It's really just bread stuffed with meat, veggies, and cheese. Great for meals and snacks.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 Minutes 5 Hours
Servings Prep Time
4 People 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 Minutes 5 Hours
Stromboli
Print Recipe
An easy version of this Italian favorite, Stromboli. It's really just bread stuffed with meat, veggies, and cheese. Great for meals and snacks.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 Minutes 5 Hours
Servings Prep Time
4 People 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 Minutes 5 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Place one loaf of frozen dough on a baking sheet that is lightly oiled with olive oil. Let thaw and rise, about 5 hours.
  2. Marinate cubed chicken in Italian dressing. I place it all in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can marinate chicken longer, but not more than overnight.
  3. Saute chicken in a small amount of olive oil until fully cooked
  4. Add thawed and drained chopped spinach and stir until combined with chicken
  5. Add thawed broccoli and stir until combined
  6. Cook for another 5 minutes stirring constantly so cheese doesn't burn
  7. Place chicken mixture in large bowl
  8. Add mozzarella cheese - stir well, set aside
  9. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle shape about 9"x13" about 1/4" - 1/2" thick.
  10. Move rolled dough onto an oiled baking sheet
  11. Arrange chicken mixture down the center of the dough lengthwise
  12. Fold short ends over the chicken mixture
  13. Fold long sides over the short ends and the chicken mixture creating a log shape
  14. Pinch seams together to seal
  15. Spray or brush with olive oil on the top and sides
  16. Sprinkle garlic salt over the top
  17. Bake in 400 degree oven 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  18. Slice and serve warm with heated marinara sauce for dipping
Recipe Notes

For easier cleaning you can line baking sheet with parchment paper.

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Cheese Filled Puff Pastries

Cheese Filled Puff Pastries

Cheese Filled Puff Pastries

I’ve been making these pastries for my family for years.  It’s actually a Middle Eastern dessert using homemade fresh white cheese.  It requires 2 cups of cheese and I usually don’t have time to make that much cheese so I’ve modified it using ingredients that are available at the supermarket.

I like to serve it warm so the cheese is soft and stringy, but it’s just as delicious cold.  The recipe will make a dozen pastries, but we rarely have leftovers. You can prepare them in advance and pop them in the oven about half an hour before serving.  The syrup which is poured over the cooked pastries should be made in advanced and completely cooled before pouring over the pastries to prevent the flaky pastry from falling apart.

Cheese Filled Puff Pastries

Makes 12

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Ingredients:

1 package frozen puff pastry sheets (package has 2 sheets) – Thawed

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbls. ground cinnamon

1/4 cup butter melted

For syrup:

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1/2 of a lemon

Cheese Filled Puff Pastries

15

1.  Mix shredded cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl.  Mix sell so that sugar and cinnamon are evenly distributed.

2.  Roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry dough.  Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter cut the dough in half lengthwise.  Then cut into thirds across.  You should end up with 6 rectangles.

3.  Spoon half of the cheese mixture on to the pastry dough – evenly distributing it on each of the rectangles to form a line down the middle of the dough.  The cheese should not reach either end of the dough, leave room for crimping.

4.  Fold the long sides of each pastry rectangle over the cheese making sure the cheese stays in the middle.  Pinching the dough together to form a seam.  It will look like a cigar.

5.  Crimp both ends of the dough by pressing down gently with the fork.  Don’t press too hard that the fork goes thru the dough.

6.  Place pastry seam side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet about 1″ apart.  (You can cover the sheet with parchment paper instead of spraying with oil.)  Crimp both ends again with the fork.

7.  Brush each pastry with melted butter.

8.  Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the pastry turn golden brown.

9.  Remove from oven and pour cooled syrup over each pastry.  Let sit in syrup for 5 minutes before serving.

Syrup:

1.  Put sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves.

2.  Bring to a boil.

3.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until 1/4 or so of the sugar water evaporates.  Liquid will slightly thicker but not syrupy.

4.  Remove from heat squeeze lemon juice into the pan.  Stir completely then set aside to cool.  The syrup will be thinner than pancake syrup so that it pours easily.

It is important that the syrup is cooled before pouring over hot pastry.  The pastry crust will fall apart if the syrup is hot.

Leftover pastries, if you have any, can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in foil or plastic wrap.  It can be re-heated in the microwave but the pastry will be soft and a bit soggy.  For better results place on a baking sheet and re-heat in the oven at 375 degrees.

Cheese Filled Puff Pastries
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Pastries 15 Minutes
Cook Time
25 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Pastries 15 Minutes
Cook Time
25 Minutes
Cheese Filled Puff Pastries
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Pastries 15 Minutes
Cook Time
25 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Pastries 15 Minutes
Cook Time
25 Minutes
Ingredients
Pastry
Syrup
Servings: Pastries
Instructions
Pastry
  1. Mix shredded cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Mix sell so that sugar and cinnamon are evenly distributed.
  2. Roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry dough. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter cut the dough in half lengthwise. Then cut into thirds across. You should end up with 6 rectangles.
  3. Spoon half of the cheese mixture on to the pastry dough - evenly distributing it on each of the rectangles to form a line down the middle of the dough. The cheese should not reach either end of the dough, leave room for crimping.
  4. Fold the long sides of each pastry rectangle over the cheese making sure the cheese stays in the middle. Pinching the dough together to form a seam. It will look like a cigar.
  5. Crimp both ends of the dough by pressing down gently with the fork. Don't press too hard that the fork goes thru the dough.
  6. Place pastry seam side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet about 1" apart. (You can cover the sheet with parchment paper instead of spraying with oil.) Crimp both ends again with the fork.
  7. Brush each pastry with melted butter.
  8. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until the pastry turn golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and pour cooled syrup over each pastry. Let sit in syrup for 5 minutes before serving.
Syrup
  1. Put sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until 1/4 or so of the sugar water evaporates. Liquid will slightly thicker but not syrupy.
  4. Remove from heat squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Stir completely then set aside to cool. The syrup will be thinner than pancake syrup so that it pours easily.
  5. It is important that the syrup is cooled completely before pouring over hot pastry. The pastry crust will fall apart if the syrup is hot.
Recipe Notes

Leftover pastries, if you have any, can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in foil or plastic wrap. It can be re-heated in the microwave but the pastry will be soft and a bit soggy. For better results place on a baking sheet and re-heat in the oven at 375 degrees.

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Beefy Stuffed Pasta Shells

Beefy Stuffed Pasta Shells

Beefy Stuffed Pasta Shells

If you’re looking for something easy to make for dinner this is the dish for you.  It’s yummy, filling, and most importantly so easy to make.  You can prepare it in advance, store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it.  In thirty minutes you’ll have a delicious meal on your table.

I usually serve it with a basket of my fresh hot garlic knots.  The family loves it!

 

 

 

 

Beefy Stuffed Pasta Shells

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef

1 can Rotel – hot or mild

1 jar Ragu – any flavor

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1 tbls. minced garlic

1 tbls. olive oil

1 cup ricotta cheese

16 large pasta shells

Directions:

1.  Prepare pasta shells according to directions

2.  Heat olive oil in a pan.

3.  Saute garlic in pan.

4.  Add ground beef.  Cook until done, meat should be crumbly.

5.  Add Rotel.  Mix well.

6.  Remove from heat and stir in ricotta cheese.

7.  Divide meat mixture evenly between the cooked pasta shells.  Stuff them into the shells gently with a spoon.

8.  Place stuffed shells onto a 9×12 baking pan or casserole.

9.  Pour Ragu sauce over all the shells.

10.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce.

Beefy Stuffed Pasta Shells

11.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and starts to brown.

Beefy Stuffed Pasta Shells
If making this dish in advance put everything except the mozzarella cheese into the casserole, cover and store in the fridge.  Sprinkle the cheese just before you bake it.  Refrigerated shells will take about 10-15 minutes longer to bake.
Store leftover shells in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.  Reheat in the microwave.
Bon Apetito!

 

Beefy Stuffed Pasta Shells
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Beefy Stuffed Pasta Shells
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta shells according to directions
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan.
  3. Saute garlic in pan.
  4. Add ground beef. Cook until done, meat should be crumbly.
  5. Add Rotel. Mix well.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in ricotta cheese.
  7. Divide meat mixture evenly between the cooked pasta shells. Stuff them into the shells gently with a spoon.
  8. Place stuffed shells onto a 9x12 baking pan or casserole.
  9. Pour Ragu sauce over all the shells.
  10. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce.
  11. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and starts to brown.
  12. If making this dish in advance put everything except the mozzarella cheese into the casserole, cover and store in the fridge. Sprinkle the cheese just before you bake it. Refrigerated shells will take about 10-15 minutes longer to bake.
  13. Store leftover shells in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave.
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Sundried Tomato Puff Pastry Pies

Sundried Tomato Puff Pastry Pies

Sundried Tomato Puff Pastry Pies

Here’s an easy recipe for an appetizer or a light lunch or dinner.

These puff pastry pies are so simple to make and taste great.  I make it as an appetizer for our Sunday night barbecues, my family loves them!

Ingredients:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (I use the Pepperidge Farms brand, it comes 2 sheets per package, keep the extra sheet frozen for later use or double the recipe to make 18 pies)

1 cup diced sundried tomatoes (I used dried tomatoes I bring home form Italy, I have to soak them in water overnight before using them.  You can use sundried tomatoes from a jar just drain out the oil it’s packed in)

2 Eggs

1/2 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. salt

1 tbls. minced garlic

Sundried Tomato Puff Pastry Pies

Directions:

1.  Mix sundried tomatoes, cheeses, salt, garlic, and 1 egg in a bowl.

2.  Roll out dough 1/2″ thick on floured surface.  Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut 2 time lengthwise and 2 times across.  You should end up with 9 squares.

3.  Divide the tomato mixture on the squares.

4.  Fold alternate corners to the middle.  Pinch together.

5.  Fold last 2 corners to the middle.  Pinch together.

6.  Place pies on parchment covered baking sheet.

7.  Beat remaining egg and brush on to each pie.  Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown about 15 minutes.

Serve hot or cold, they’re yummy!

Sundried Tomato Puff Pastry Pies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
18 Pies 30 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 Pies 30 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Sundried Tomato Puff Pastry Pies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
18 Pies 30 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 Pies 30 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Pies
Instructions
  1. Mix sundried tomatoes, cheeses, salt, garlic, and 1 egg in a bowl.
  2. Roll out dough 1/2" thick on floured surface. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut 2 time lengthwise and 2 times across. You should end up with 9 squares.
  3. Divide the tomato mixture on the squares.
  4. Fold alternate corners to the middle. Pinch together.
  5. Fold last 2 corners to the middle. Pinch together.
  6. Place pies on parchment covered baking sheet.
  7. Beat remaining egg and brush on to each pie. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown about 15 minutes.
  8. Serve hot or cold, they're yummy!
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