Four Cheese Manicotti
I am not a really big fan of Spaghetti Warehouse. But, when we decide to dine out there, I always get Manicotti. This is one of the dishes that I’ve never really thought about making at home, but I came across a recipe and thought “why not?”
My son is the picky eater in the house (along with the hubby), but the daughters ate this up. They loved it. We chose to make 2 different pans, using only one box of pasta, but one pan was with our Crock Pot Marinara Sauce and the other was with our Alfredo Sauce. Both turned out so much better than what I get at Spaghetti Warehouse. The only thing missing was their delicious bread.
This is pretty easy to put together, just make sure to read the notes before preparing.
I KNOW THAT THERE IS NOT ONE THING ABOUT THESE DISHES THAT SCREAM “HEALTH FOOD”, MODERATION FOLKS, MODERATION!
The impulse for this recipe came from here.
- 1 box (12 to 14 shells) manicotti noodles
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 shredded Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces of Mozzarella (this will go into your filling)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 to 2 cups of shredded Mozzarella (this is going to top your dish)
- salt and pepper
- 3 to 4 cups of Crock Pot Marinara or jar sauce of your choosing.
- 3 to 4 cups of Alfredo Sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Prepare Manicotti noodles according to package directions. Lay out on sheet pan to allow to drain and cool down.
- Cream Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese (8 ounces)
- Salt and Pepper
- Make sure ingredients are well mixed, then place filling in either a pastry bag or a gallon ziploc bag. You will cut just enough off of the tip to allow the filling to flow well into the manicotti shell (about 3/4 in.).
- In a 9x13 pan, ladle about 1 cup of whatever sauce you are using. Spread around until the bottom is covered.
- Taking your piping bag and a manicotti shell, pipe the filling into one side of your shell until it is 1/2 full, then turn around and fill the other 1/2. Place shell in pan and continue to fill remaining shells.
- Once all shells are placed in pan, cover with the remaining sauce, then top with Mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in 350 degree oven, uncovered for 30 minutes.
- When I prepare this dish, I use half the shells for Marinara Sauce and half for Alfredo Sauce. I'm only using 1 box of pasta. They will each use a 9x13 pan. If you choose to only use one sauce, you will probably still need a second pan.The filling should be enough for (1) box of shells.
- For the sauce amounts, if you are making both types of Manicotti and are going to use a jar sauce, 1 jar of each should be enough (depending on how saucy you like it). I used my recipes for Crock Pot Marinara and Alfredo Sauce for this recipe, so honestly, I just ladled sauce onto the bottom of the pans, and then topped with sauce until I was satisfied.
- When it says to use 2 cups shredded Mozzarella for the toppings, that is 1 cup for each pan. This is your dish, use more, use less, totally up to you. Hell, you don't even have to use Mozzarella if you don't like it, but are there really people who don't like Mozzarella? Hmmm, crazy.
- You don't really have to cook your shells, I do because I prefer it that way. If you choose to not cook your shells before baking, you will need to bake for about 60 minutes.
- I choose to bake my dish uncovered because I only bake mine for 30 minutes. However, if you are going in with uncooked noodles, then you probably should cover your dish(es) with foil for the first 45-50 minutes of baking, then uncover for the remaining 10-15 minutes.
- On a very unhealthy note, make sure you serve with some good, crusty bread to sop up all of your sauce, but throw in a side salad to balance it all out.