Easiest Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Updated 1/23/2013 12:10 PM
  • No need to worry with floppy manicotti noodles, this easy recipe has you fill the raw noodles.

    No need to worry with floppy manicotti noodles, this easy recipe has you fill the raw noodles. Alicia Ross/Kitchen Scoop

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1 pound extra-lean ground beef

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided

1 cup shredded parmesan, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 jar (32 ounces) marinara sauce of choice

14 manicotti shells, from an 8-ounce package)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a heavy, medium-size skillet over medium. Add olive oil, onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, cup parmesan and parsley. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste and mix. Stir the cooled meat into the cheese mixture.

Spoon 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of an oblong baking dish. Completely fill the uncooked manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture, using a narrow spoon or your fingers. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.

Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and then the remaining parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Cover tightly with foil and bake the manicotti 45-50 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 more minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and sauce bubbles along the edge. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

Serves seven.

Nutrition values per serving: 456 calories, 22 g fat (10 g saturated), 24 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 37 g protein, 123 mg cholesterol, 986 mg sodium.

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