Super Easy Stuffed Manicotti

I was actually going to call this recipe Snow Day Manicotti because the day that I made it was one of the few super snowy days we’ve had here this winter. However, posting that today would be a little strange given that it was in the 40s and foggy but not a bit snowy today. Anyway, this recipe can be tweaked a million different ways to fit your taste or dietary needs, but here’s how I spin it:

Brown one pound of spicy Italian sausage. I added some salt & pepper, as well as diced onion:

Meanwhile, bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook 12 manicotti tubes. I always cook a few extra since they sometimes fall apart find themselves in my mouth with a bit of extra sauce:

Next, drain the manicotti tubes:

And throw them on a cookie sheet until they’re cool enough to handle:

Add the browned and drained sausage to two jars of spaghetti sauce of your choice. I used one garlic & onion and one mushroom. I also added some chopped portabella mushrooms and a handful of shredded Italian cheese blend:

Here comes the good part! Stuff the manicotti with… STRING CHEESE!! No trying to cram chunky sauce into little tubes here, the cheese slides right in! Place the manicotti in a 13×9 inch glass pan sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, atop a thin layer of the sauce:

Top the manicotti with the remaining sauce:

Then a layer of cheese:

Cover with foil, bake for 30 minutes at 350. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and looks like this:

Now, EAT!!!

Skipping the meat here would make this much quicker as well as vegetarian-friendly. Obviously you could use ground turkey, ground beef, portabella mushrooms or even zucchini or eggplant to make it more to your liking. The star of this show is quite obviously the string cheese. I love that this meal ends up so tasty without much hassle at all.

Do you have any shortcuts to your favorite meals that make them easier than the traditional way of making them?

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