Happy Monday friends!
This is going to be a quick post because I have three sicks kids that need mom! I always think of manicotti as Italian enchiladas! Stuff the pasta with ground beef or pork (or both!! I like mixing both into the recipe), ricotta cheese, and kale. Topped with marinara sauce and more cheese!
Whenever I’m meal planning for the week ahead I always ask my husband, anything in particular you want for dinner this week? every.single.time he says Manicotti! I found myself making him this dish every week, and finally took it out of the rotation because I wanted to try some new stuff. After making it this past week, I now remember why we ate it all the time… its SO good. I’m definitely putting this back into our meal rotation! The awesome thing about the filling is that I usually have enough leftover to freeze for later. My favorite way to use up the filling is to add some breadcrumbs, a little olive oil in the pan, shape them into patties and fry on each side for 2-3 minutes until browned. I meant to take a picture of the patties for y’all, but we ate them up so quick I forgot! I will definitely do a post on those babies soon!
Since the kale it’s mixed in with meat and cheese my kids will even it it which is a win/win for everyone!
As always thanks so much for following along, sorry to cut it short today but we are praying that fevers go down and we get our happy, healthy boys back!
1 box Manicotti Pasta
1 lb ground pork or ground beef
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 bag of Kale
15 oz tub ricotta cheese (whole or low-fat)
2 bags shredded Italian cheese blend
1/3 cup grated parmesan
3 teaspoons olive oil
Favorite jarred marinara sauce
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion, and ground pork. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat and onion mixture to a large bowl. In the same pan add in another teaspoon of olive oil the kale and cook until wilted, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the chopped garlic and stir, cook for two minutes. Remove and place in the large bowl with the meat.
Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to an oiled baking sheet and cool.
In the large bowl with the meat and kale combine the ricotta, 1.5 cups of shredded Italian cheese, and 1/3 c parmesan. Add the garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the remaining teaspoon of oil over a 13x9 baking dish. Spoon 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon marinara sauce over the top.
Sprinkle 1.5 cups of the Italian cheese over the manicotti. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 5 minutes.
Let rest 5 minutes before serving!
If you’re wondering why I have a recipe with the word angry in it, let me explain…
Remember how I have three boys under the age of 2.5? That combination will always yield at least one hospital trip a year (Not a fact BUT..we went twice in the span of 3 weeks). So anyways, Hayes (one of my twins) splits his head open, we rush to the hospital only to find out that the butterfly bandage job I did would have been fine. Since the doctor had to replace the bandages we basically have to sell our littlest guy to pay for rubber and glue! Just kidding. We totally would never sell Gready man, but honestly the hospital is very, very proud of their bandaging ability.
By the time we got home that night I was so upset that 1. Now all three of my boys have a Harry Potter scar (our Pediatrician was actually THRILLED with this fact and now calls them wizards #nerd) 2. I hadn’t prepped anything for dinner because of aformentioned hospital trip and to top it off 3.Hayes slipped, hit his gash on the fridge and it opened right back up. Insert LOTS of wine here (my grace had obviously run out at this point). Once I cleaned him up again, I sternly declared “I’M MAKING US DINNER EVERYONE LEAVE ME ALONE.” A bit dramatic, but since I’m the only girl in the house I think it’s justified? I don’t think i’ve ever chopped with so much aggression as I did that night.
Once we put everyone to bed, and we could finally decompress on the couch we both tasted these enchiladas and declared them the BEST we had ever had. Call it the emotion I put into it when making them, or the fact that we were both so exhausted from the day that at that point anything would have been the BEST THING EVER. But, after making them several times they are just as good as the first (and no, I’m not always angry when I make them!)
The great thing about this recipe is that its totally customizable! If you don’t like jalapeños leave them out, or substitute with roasted poblanos. Don’t feel like roasting a chicken, buy a rotisserie (I won’t tell), or if you hate cilantro and think it tastes like soap–well you’re just plain weird. This is such an easy weeknight meal, and I promise it’ll be one you want to repeat!
If you make this don’t forget to share on Instagram with the hashtag #graceandwineeats ! I would love to see what you create in your kitchen!
2 cups cooked pork/chicken, shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 cups Mexican Cheese
12 corn tortillas or flour tortillas
2 tbsp canola oil
16 oz Herdez Salsa Verde
1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
juice from 1 Lime
handful of cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large pan heat one tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add in your jalapeños and cook until lightly browned, around 5 minutes. Place chopped onion and other tbsp of oil in the pan with jalapeños and cook until the onions are translucent, another 5 minutes.
Add in the meat and stir until warmed. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese, and 1/4 cup of green salsa, cook until cheese melts.
Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. About 2 teaspoons of each.
Add a tablespoon of lime juice and stir the mixture to combine.
In a small pot add the rest of salsa, greek yogurt or sour cream, and whisk to combine. Warm over low heat. Add in a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Once the mixture is warmed place 1/4c of mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
Wrap 4 tortillas at a time in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 25 seconds. Spray each tortilla with cooking spray on both sides. Fill the tortilla with about 1/4 c of the filling. Roll and place seam side down in dish. Continue until all tortillas and mixture have been used. Top enchiladas with the rest of the sauce, and a cup of cheese. More if you like!
Cover enchiladas with foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes take foil off and bake for another 5 minutes.
Top with chopped cilantro before serving.