Easy No-Boil Spinach and Cheese Manicotti
This Easy No-Boil Spinach and Cheese Manicotti is a delicious, cheesy pasta recipe that uses a no-boil hack to lessen prep time. It’s a fantastic recipe to have for any busy weeknight. This manicotti is stuffed with a creamy spinach and cheese filling. They’re smothered in red pasta sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese. It’s an easy way to enjoy delicious spinach and cheese-filled pasta without all the hot noodle prep or mess. Once you try this method, you’ll never want to go back! 😉
My sister was the first person I ever saw make manicotti using uncooked manicotti noodles. It was so much faster and less mess. She made her filling, piped it in, placed it in her pan, and poured her sauce in. In the time it would have taken to cook the manicotti noodles, her manicotti was ready for the oven. WOW! It was like magic!
Using uncooked noodles is seriously the way to go. Working with hard noodles makes stuffing them so much easier. The uncooked noodles are submerged under the sauce during baking which allows them to cook through. They come out soft, stuffed, and delicious by the end of the baking process. Yum!
I’ve tweaked my recipe a few times to make it even more delicious and perfect (at least to me ;)). These are the ingredients I use.
Let’s be honest here. This isn’t the fastest dinner ever but for manicotti, it’s prep time is amazing and easy. It takes me just under an hour, give or take, to go from raw ingredients to dinner-is-served. That’s with 40-50 minutes bake time. That’s my kind of dinner.
I start by mixing the cheeses, eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic in a bowl. Then I add the chopped (frozen) spinach. You’ll definitely want to make sure your spinach has been drained well to avoid your filling from going runny.
In a large bowl or pitcher, I emptied the jar spaghetti pasta sauce and filled it 1 1/2 times with hot water. This makes the sauce for the manicotti and the extra water allows the noodles to cook during the cooking process. The sauce will be very liquidy. Once it was mixed, I poured it right over the stuffed uncooked noodles.
When making this recipe, make sure the noodles are completely submerged. If they aren’t, you may need to add up to 12 additional ounces of water. This is what mine looks like right before I put it in the oven.
Into the oven they go! This spinach and cheese stuffed manicotti take about 40-50 minutes to cook. They are done when most of the sauce has been absorbed by the noodles and the internal tempurature is above 165 degrees.
Once the noodles are done, I sprinkle with extra mozzarella cheese. I put it back into the oven, uncovered, for a couple more minutes only to allow the cheese to get all melty, ooey, gooey. That’s how I like it. 😉 Fresh basil is a great way to lighten the flavor and add a pop of color. I sprinkle a little confettied basil right on top then enjoy.
Fresh basil is a great way to lighten the flavor and add a pop of color. I sprinkle a little confettied basil right on top then enjoy.
What are your dinner or prep time hacks?
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