Here's That Viral Stuffed Pasta Casserole Recipe Everyone Went Crazy Over (No Boiling Required) by Donna John
Inserting a stick of string cheese inside an uncooked manicotti shell? Who wouldn't be intrigued by a baked pasta recipe like that? This stuffed manicotti casserole recipe went viral, so plenty of others were also intrigued. After trying this popular dinner recipe, I'm a fan!
This Italian manicotti casserole recipe has simple, basic ingredients: ground beef or ground Italian sausage, manicotti shells, mozzarella string cheese, spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and dried Italian seasoning. The string cheese is inserted into the uncooked shells, then layered with the cooked meat, spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, cheeses and Italian seasoning. Cover with foil and bake until the pasta is cooked through.
The chicken broth is what helps the pasta noodles become tender and cooked. Genius, right? Serve this hearty pasta casserole with a fresh garden salad and garlic bread for a dinner the whole family will dig into.
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Cuisine: Italian / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 pound ground beef or 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, or a combination (I used 1/2 pound of each)
- 12 manicotti shells (uncooked)
- 1 package mozzarella string cheese (12 count)
- 1 jar (24 ounces) spaghetti sauce
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- shredded Parmesan cheese, to taste
- dried Tuscan seasoning or Italian seasoning
- You can use a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage for this recipe. Use mild, sweet or hot Italian sausage based on your family's preference.
- Use whatever casserole dish you have that will allow the manicotti noodles to fit on the bottom. I used a 13x9-inch dish, but an 11x7-inch casserole dish would also work. You could even use two smaller baking dishes so you can share one with friends or family.
- The most tedious part of this pasta recipe was unwrapping the string cheese. This is a perfect time to grab the kids, wash their hands and let them unwrap the cheese for you. (Make sure they don't eat it, or plan ahead buy an extra package!)
Here's how to make it:
- Brown the ground beef or Italian sausage in a skillet until cooked through.
- Stuff each uncooked manicotti shell with one string cheese and lay on the bottom of an oiled casserole dish.
- Top with the ground beef.
- Spread the jar of spaghetti sauce over the meat.
- Pour the chicken broth over the spaghetti sauce.
- Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
- Top with the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese (to taste) and more dried Italian seasoning.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more.
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