This is a fun way to feel like you’re going out to a fancy Italian restaurant, but actually staying healthy at home. Pair it with a green salad and a thin slice of a whole-wheat baguette to get the full “restaurant” experience. Dim the lights and light a few candles for that authentic romantic glow and you'll be good to go! If the kids are at Grandma's for the night, who knows where this skinny meal will take you?
Pro tip: If a manicotti noodle breaks while you’re filling it, don’t worry! You can still use it; just fill the center with the cheese mixture and roll the noodle around it. Place it seam-side down in the dish — no harm, no foul.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 2 manicotti
- 1½ cups light pasta sauce
- 12 manicotti noodles, dry
- 1¾ cup fat-free ricotta cheese
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour ½ cup of the sauce on the bottom of the dish and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the manicotti according to package directions to al dente.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, spinach, Parmesan cheese, egg white, garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano.
- Scoop the cheese mixture into a gallon-sized resealable bag and cut the tip off the corner to easily fill the manicotti noodles.
- Gently fill each manicotti noodle evenly with the cheese mixture. This is easily done by filling one end of each manicotti halfway, then filling the other end. Line them in the prepared baking dish.
- Cover the filled manicotti with the remaining 1 cup of pasta sauce. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and top with the mozzarella cheese, then bake until the cheese is melted, an additional 5 minutes.
The nutrition content of recipes on Popculture.com has been calculated by Registered Dietitian, Jessica Penner, of Smart Nutrition.