Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Easy Weeknight String Cheese-Stuffed Manicotti

This is the quickest, easiest baked pasta dish that you'll probably ever make. {And, it only uses five ingredients.} With only about ten minutes of hands-on prep time {no need to even pre-boil the pasta}, you can toss this in the oven while you whip up a quick side salad and maybe get some garlic bread made up. It's perfect for busy weeknights and is an extremely kid-friendly dinner option.

This no-frills and no-fuss baked manicotti recipe really couldn't be easier. After a quick soak in hot water, the pasta shells get stuffed with string cheese before being baked off in a sea of good-quality, store-bought marinara sauce. A sprinkling of shredded mozzarella atop it all ensures an end result of bubbly, gooey, cheesy goodness amidst all that sauce - everything that a good pasta bake should be.

NOTE: Preparation of the pasta following my recipe directions yields al dente manicotti {still slightly firm}. If your family prefers very soft, almost mushy pasta, you may desire to boil noodles according to manicotti package instructions - ending the cooking a couple of minutes shy of the recommended time on package - prior to assembly of the dish.

Yields 4 - 5 servings.


1 package manicotti (ten manicotti tubes are needed}
Non-stick spray
1 jar {20 - 22 ounces} good-quality marinara sauce
10 sticks mozzarella string cheese, unwrapped
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a 9 x 13" cake pan {or similar style pan} with very hot tap water about halfway.

Lay manicotti in water. Soak five minutes. Turn pasta over. Soak additional five minutes. {See NOTE above.}

Meanwhile, coat a 9 x 13" or similar baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread half of the sauce into the bottom of pan.

Stuff one string cheese into each manicotti. Arrange in a single layer in baking dish.

Top manicotti with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is thoroughly melted. Remove from oven, top with chopped basil and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. So excited to try this I just know my kids will love it and it looks so easy.