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Easy Meatless Manicotti

Yield 7 servings (serving size: 2 manicotti)
Simple and cheesy—words both parents and kids love—are the best way to describe this Italian dish. Serve with a tossed salad or cut-up fruit.

Ingredients

  • 1 (26-ounce) jar tomato-basil pasta sauce, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1 (8-ounce) package manicotti (14 shells), uncooked

Nutrition Information

  • calories 335
  • caloriesfromfat 0.0 %
  • fat 9.2 g
  • satfat 5 g
  • monofat 3.1 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 23.8 g
  • carbohydrate 39.2 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 26 mg
  • iron 2.6 mg
  • sodium 827 mg
  • calcium 453 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. Combine pasta sauce and 1 cup water. Pour half of pasta sauce mixture into a 13 x 9–inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

  3. Combine 1 1/4 cups mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and next 4 ingredients. Spoon mixture into a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; snip off 1 corner of bag. Squeeze about 3 tablespoons cheese mixture into each uncooked pasta shell. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over sauce mixture; pour remaining sauce mixture over shells. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella. Cover tightly with foil.

  4. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until shells are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

  5.  

  6. Young Chefs can:

  7. Pour pasta sauce into bottom of dish

  8. Measure cheese

  9. Count out shells

  10.  

  11. Older Chefs can:

  12. Help squeeze cheese mixture into shells

  13. Arrange shells in pan

  14. Pour sauce over shells, and sprinkle with cheese