Chicken and Smoked Mozzarella Manicotti

Looking for a quick freezer-friendly meal idea that the kids will love? Look no further. If you're the type of person that feeds family members around three or four different schedules you'll love this dinner. Bake manicotti fresh or frozen and choose whether to do it in a large family style baking dish or personal sized containers.
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 60 min

Ingredients

8 oven ready manicotti shells
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup fat free ricotta
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded smoked Mozzarella
10 sundried tomato halves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
cooking spray

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.

Steps

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.

  2. For the filling, melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Stir in flour, ¼ teaspoon (0.25 mL) salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in ricotta and set aside.

  3. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add spinach, chicken, 1 cup (250 mL) mozzarella, and sundried tomatoes. Stir in thickened ricotta cheese sauce.

  4. Using a teaspoon, stuff manicotti with chicken and cheese mixture and arrange in the greased dish. Top manicotti with tomato sauce and extra cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour or until manicotti is tender. Uncover, and divide manicotti between plates. Serve with salad.