This manicotti is amazing because you can make it the night before.  It’s nice if you’re having company too, so you don’t have to spend the entire day in the kitchen preparing.  It doesn’t have a strong spinach flavor, so don’t let that deter you if you don’t like spinach.  It does however, add great color to the dish, so don’t skip it!

Make-Ahead Spinach Manicotti

Ingredients:

-1 carton ricotta cheese (15 oz.)

-1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (10 oz.)

-1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

-3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided

-1 egg

-2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

-1/2 teaspoon onion powder

-1/2 teaspoon pepper

-1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

-2 jars (28 oz. each) spaghetti sauce

1 1/2 cups water

1 package manicotti shells (8 oz.)

Be sure to squeeze the spinach as best as possible!

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, egg, parsley, onion powder, pepper, and garlic powder.

Mix well.

Combine spaghetti sauce and water in another large bowl.  Spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture in an ungreased 13 x 9 in. baking dish.  Stuff uncooked manicotti with spinach mixture, arrange over sauce.

Pour remaining sauce over manicotti.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking.  Bake uncovered at 350F for 45-50 minutes or until heated through and cheese is bubbly.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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