This was SO good! I used olive and garlic tomato sauce instead of the diced tomatoes. My husband said he preferred this over any restaurant he's had. Will definitely make again!
Ground Beef and Tomato Manicotti
- 1 (8-ounce) package uncooked manicotti noodles
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles with garlic, oregano, and basil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse with cold water. Drain.
- Process tomato sauce and diced tomatoes in a blender 20 seconds or until smooth. Set aside.
- Cook ground beef in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in dried Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, fennel seed, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Spoon into manicotti shells; arrange stuffed shells in lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
- Pour tomato mixture over shells; sprinkle with remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let casserole stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle top with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
- Note: Casserole may be assembled and frozen up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight; bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. If you prefer a smaller casserole, use 2 (11- x 7-inch) baking dishes. Proceed as directed.
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