Simple Pasta Casserole - Chicken Manicotti

  • PrepTime: 30 Mins
  • CookTime: 1 Hrs 30 Mins
  • TotalTime: 2 Hrs

Ingredient

  1. 14 manicotti noodles (8 ounce box)
  2. 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  3. 2 cups chopped spinach
  4. 1 small onion, diced
  5. 1 clove garlic
  6. 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  7. 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  8. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  11. 2 cups ricotta cheese
  12. 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
  13. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  14. 1/4 cup flour
  15. 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  16. 4 ounces cream cheese
  17. 1 cup cream
  18. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  19. 1 teaspoon salt
  20. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  21. Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Instruction

  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. Boil the manicotti noodles until al dente, about 6 minutes, depending on the brand. Drain and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. Do not leave in a colander; the noodles will become misshapen and hard to work with.
  3. Add the cooked chicken, spinach, onion, garlic, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings to a food processor. Process until it forms small shreds and is completely combined.
  4. Stir the chicken mixture into the ricotta mixture until completely incorporated. Taste and add salt if needed. It should be highly seasoned since it will be served inside the manicotti noodles.
  5. Add the filling to a large piping bag and cut the end off so it will fit comfortably into the opening of the manicotti noodles. Pipe the filling into each noodle so that it completely fills each noodle. Cover and set aside while you prepare the sauce. 
  6. Gather your ingredients.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 F.Melt the butter in a large pan or pot on medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and garlic until incorporated with the butter. Allow it to cook for another minute to cook off some of the flour taste.
  8. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, cream, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened and the sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper and then taste. Add more if needed.
  9. Put a layer of the sauce into the bottom of your 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add the noodles on top of the sauce.
  10. Cover with the remaining sauce, trying to cover the noodles as much as possible. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese, cover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.
  11. Remove the foil and broil until the top is lightly browned.Allow to cool for a few minutes, garnish with chopped fresh parsley, and serve. This dish goes well with breadsticks and a side salad.

Note

  1. Cook the noodles very al dente so they don't fall apart when stuffing with the filling and when cooking.
  2. You can make the sauce ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
  3. You can freeze this dish in the freezer for up to 3 months. Simply defrost in the refrigerator before you bake.