Monday, September 24, 2012

Meatless Monday: No Boil Three Cheese Manicotti (Freezer Meal)

I've been loving convenience meals as of late. Some days I just don't feel like spending much time in the kitchen, but I still want to be able to feed my family a delicious and homemade meal. Now, freezer meals are a great solution to this, but this recipe is one of the easiest freezer meals I've made! You don't have to cook anything first, not even the manicotti/pasta. It's even more genius because you don't have to "spoon" the filling into the manicotti shells. Mom on a Mission suggests filling the pasta with a Ziploc bag that has a hole cut into a corner. It couldn't be any easier! I put together two nights of meals in less than ten minutes. Um, hello! That's what I'm talkin about!

The bigger bonus? These are delicious!! If you're leery of the cottage cheese, don't be. I don't like cottage cheese at all, but it melts completely, so you don't notice it's there! And, it's cheaper than ricotta, win-win. My only suggestion for future batches is more marinara sauce! I think you could add another cup (or more) of marinara on top of each dish, and it would benefit greatly. My husband and I really enjoyed these, we served them with a side salad and sauteed green beans. I hope you'll give this recipe a try. It takes minutes to put together, and it tastes like you spent hours working on it! I love these kinds of freezer meals!

No Boil Three Cheese Manicotti from Mom on a Mission
No bowl, spoon or boiling required to make this frugal, freezer-friendly meal for your family.

Filling Ingredients (Place inside a gallon size freezer bag):
2 cups cottage cheese
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese
Add: 1 ½ teaspoons Italian Seasoning
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Remaining Ingredients:
1-8oz. package manicotti
½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Jar or can of favorite marinara sauce
cooking spray

Combine filling ingredients and gently knead until thoroughly mixed.

Clip a small corner, about 1/2", of the bag and proceed to fill manicotti according to desired tray size.

2-8x8 pans: Spread 1/4 cup sauce in each pan. Pipe 1/2 cup of cheese filling into each tray of manicotti. Top with 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/8 Parmesan cheese.

1-9x13 pan: Spread about 1/2 cup sauce in pan. Pipe all cheese into both trays. Pour remaining sauce on top. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.

Cover shells completely with sauce.

Label and spray with foil to prevent cheese from sticking. Cover completely.

Baking Day: Thaw 24 hours. Bake covered at 375 for one hour until shells are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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