This recipe for Spinach Manicotti was inspired by a collaboration with Newman’s Own Organics. All opinions are my own.
You know those nights that you are just so tired, so pressed for time, and just don’t feel like cooking a big family dinner? Those nights were made for prepare ahead meals. Sure, you have to plan ahead and do the preparation on a different day, but your prep day can be one when you’re not pressed for time.It’s so tempting on those busy weeknights to just head out and pick up something that you’ll regret feeding your family the next day. Instead, make a plan… and in your plan should be this Spinach Manicotti recipe, trust me.
Prepping this manicotti dish ahead of time means you have a healthy dinner ready for your family any time because it can be prepared and frozen for those busy nights. It’s actually one of those prepare ahead meals that does have to be prepped ahead because you’re relying on the sauce to soften the manicotti noodles. I always prepare the night before I plan on serving it, unless I’m planning to freeze.
While I prefer to stuff my manicotti with this mixture of ricotta and spinach, there are so many variations you could do with it. In fact, if you try something different in your noodles, please come back and tell me so I can try it too!
While my girls often turn up their noses at anything green [what happened to their willingness to eat veggies?!] they don’t even notice the spinach in this dish because… pasta, cheese, and bright red marinara sauce!
I love a delicious pasta dish that doesn’t require cooking the noodles and this is one of those kinds of dishes. After you stuff your manicotti noodles, place them in your baking dish covered in Newman’s Own Organics Marinara Sauce [or any flavor you choose] and let the sauce do the softening for you.
I choose to use Newman’s Own Organics Marinara Sauce in this recipe for a few reasons. The first, aside from the fact that it’s organic, is because of the taste. It’s fresh, flavorful, and has no sugar added (just the sugar that is naturally occurring in tomatoes). While I buy organic as often as I can, living in a small town can often make that a hard choice. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about that with our pasta sauce because Newman’s Own Organics products are available at our local grocery store.
I also reach for this brand of pasta sauces and salad dressings because of the company’s mission. A mission that might come as news to you. While most know that the brand was founded by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman, you might not know that since that very first day the company began in 1982 Newman’s Own has always given 100 percent of profits to charity.
Today, the company has given over $485 million to charity!
Giving to social causes is not a marketing gimmick for Newman’s Own – it’s the premise on which the company was founded. When Paul Newman entered the natural and organic food business, it wasn’t a vanity project. The only way he would sell a product with his famous face on it was if 100 percent of profits went to charity. Today, Newman’s Own continues to carry on his philanthropic legacy while also creating some of the cleanest and best-tasting organic foods available.
Best-tasting and fresh is exactly what you find when you open up a jar of Newman’s Own Organics pasta sauce and it’s what makes this Spinach Manicotti recipe one of my favorite prepare ahead meals for my family.
- 15oz Ricotta Cheese
- 10oz pkg Frozen, Chopped Spinach [thawed & squeezed dry]
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese [divided]
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese [divided]
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp minced parsley [+ a bit more for garnish]
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 cup water
- 2 jars Newman's Own organic pasta sauce
- 1 pkg Manicotti Shells
- In a large bowl, combine Ricotta, Spinach, 1 cup Mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan, Egg, Parsley, Onion Powder, Pepper, and Garlic Powder.
- Combine Marinara sauce and water. Spread 1 cup sauce in a 13x9x22 baking dish.
- Stuff uncooked manicotti shells with spinach mixture. Arrange over sauce.
- Pour remaining sauce over manicotti. Sprinkle with remaining Mozzarella & Parmesan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The dish can also be frozen at this step.
- Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until heated through.