Monday, February 13, 2012

Sausage Stuffed Manicotti

This is a great 'make ahead' meal (or freezer meal) that comes together quickly.  The best part is you don't have to worry about pre-cooking the shells!
It does have to bake for an hour though, so keep that in mind.
Another great thing is these actually have some sustenance to them, rather than your average 'cheese overloaded' stuffed shell.
Sausage Stuffed Manicotti
1/4 c. onion, diced
1/2 lb. sausage
1 can flavored tomatoes
16oz. cottage cheese
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
1 can green chilies
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. garlic
salt and pepper
8oz. pkg. (14 count) manicotti noodles
1-2 c. spaghetti sauce
1/2 - 1 c. mozzarella cheese

Cook onions and sausage in a skillet until sausage is cooked through and onions are translucent.
Set aside to cool.
Combine cottage cheese, parmesan, green chilies and seasonings in a bowl.
Add sausage and onion mixture and stir to combine.

Pour canned tomatoes into a greased 9x13" pan.
Stuff uncooked shells with cheese and sausage mixture; packing as firmly as possible.
Place stuffed shells on tomatoes.
Spread a large spoonful of spaghetti sauce over each shell.

Cover tightly with foil.
Bake at 375 for 50 minutes.
Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Return and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese has melted and turned golden brown.

**If freezing:
Assemble stuffed shells on top of tomatoes.  Top with spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.  Freeze.  Increase cooking time 10-15 minutes.

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