Make It Snappy: Sausage and Spinach Manicotti

The Red Tea Detox

A lazy Sunday is considered one of my favourite indulgences. A sluggish morning with a scorching cup of espresso and an extended afternoon within the kitchen making ready a meal from scratch. But let’s be sincere, how usually does that basically occur? Even although I’m often brief on time, I nonetheless wish to serve my household meals that style like I’ve spent all day working and creating within the kitchen only for them.

I’ve a complete part on my meals weblog known as “Make the Most of It” designed that can assist you discover methods to make use of up the entire left over odds and ends in your fridge and pantry. It’s stuffed with versatile recipes that will let you make use of what you’ve obtained readily available. Nothing represents the Make the Most of It spirit fairly like quaint Sunday Sauce. I like to slowly simmer a big Dutch oven stuffed with made-from-scratch marinara sauce as a result of it will possibly really maintain absolutely anything I wish to toss in it. It’s an opportunity to make use of up any meats, veggies, herbs or cheeses I’ve lingering within the fridge that will quickly should be thrown out.

Though you might be brief on time and busy making vacation magic this time of 12 months, you’ll be able to nonetheless put together a phenomenal and hearty meal that tastes such as you spent hours within the kitchen. Just take some assist from the grocery retailer! There is a motive there’s a complete aisle devoted to jarred pasta sauces: corporations are actually good at making them. Many of the purple sauces are comprised of glorious components and have very well-balanced flavors. Go with it! Use a jarred sauce as your base and you’ll be able to nonetheless make use of what you’ve readily available. If you’ve veggies on their final legs, be happy to tough chop and toss them in to sauté with the sausage. This weekend, I had leftover contemporary herbs from Thanksgiving, and in they went!

This recipe options one other of my favourite kitchen hacks – introducing greens to my youngsters in a approach that doesn’t scare them. I practically all the time attempt to incorporate spinach or one other nutrient-packed veggie into my recipes, to not cover them, however to get my youngsters accustomed to the flavors. If I can layer veggies into what they’re already consuming, hopefully these flavors will turn out to be regular to their palates. If they know they eat (and take pleasure in) veggies regularly, then hopefully they may all the time be a traditional a part of their diets.

Pro tip: Try this hack on your self! There won’t ever be one other time if you take pleasure in consuming spinach this a lot.




By: Christy Bray Graves



  • 12 Large dried manicotti shells
  • 1 lb. floor Italian Sausage* (Hot or Mild, no matter you favor)
  • 1 – 5 oz. bag contemporary child spinach*, chopped
  • four cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese**
  • 1 cup cottage cheese**
  • 6 TBSP contemporary basil, chopped (or 2 tbsp dried basil)
  • 1 – 26 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or line with foil (uninteresting facet up).

Cook the manicotti shells in accordance with the package deal instructions. Drain and rinse with cool water. Set the shells apart to dry on paper towels.

As the shells cook dinner, brown the sausage in a pan, including any additional veggies you might be including.*** Once the sausage is sort of utterly browned, wilt within the chopped spinach and take away from warmth.

To make the filling, mix sausage combination, three cups mozzarella, ricotta, cottage cheese, and basil in a big mixing bowl.

Spoon the filling into a big zip prime bag and snip off a nook. The bag opening must be a bit smaller than the opening of the pasta shell. Carefully pipe the filling into the pasta shells till simply stuffed.

Spoon 2 cups of the jarred spaghetti sauce into the ready baking dish. Nestle the stuffed pasta shells into the sauce and pour the remaining sauce excessive.

Sprinkle the shells with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella. Bake Manicotti for 15 minutes and serve heat.


*Substitute the sausage for floor beef, hen, or pork as an alternative!

**If you’re a fan of ricotta, be happy to skip the cottage cheese and use 2 cups of ricotta as an alternative. Or vice versa! Just you should definitely have 2 cups of cheese whole.

***Stir in any tough chopped veggies or herbs you’ve readily available. We like onions, carrots for sweetness, bell peppers, celery, sage, thyme and even rosemary. Be positive so as to add these as you brown the sausage in order that they’ve an opportunity to melt within the rendered fats.


As a spouse and mother of three younger boys, I usually contemplate myself a grasp “chaos coordinator.” Between working our household enterprise, Chapel Hill Toffee, managing our family and balancing busy schedules, I like to create fast and easy recipes that I do know my household will take pleasure in – and my youngsters will truly eat!

My recipes are extra of a information than an ideal plan. I’ll all the time encourage you to make use of what you’ve readily available and make substitutions to fit your tastes. I invite you to share your individual concepts, questions and remaining merchandise with us on Facebook  and on Instagram by tagging @christybgraves and @wchlchapelboro. doesn’t cost subscription charges. You can help native journalism and our mission to serve the neighborhood. Contribute right now – each single greenback issues.

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