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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mexican Manicotti

My family loves Manicotti. I used to make it frequently when all of my children lived at home...in fact I had to make 2 large pans and they usually ate it all, without leaving one to spare. I decided to try something a little different out this time (besides NOT making 2 pans because there isn't as many mouths to feed anymore)...I decided to try and make a "mexican version" of our favorite manicotti. It was a hit. Who would have thought?! Serve it with a side salad and a slice of bread and you've got dinner! Enjoy!

Mexican Manicotti
1 lb. ground beef, cooked, drained
1/2 or 1 package taco seasoning (I only used 1/2, I didn't want to have the flavor super strong)
3 c. grated cheese, divided
1 c. cottage cheese
3 oz. cream cheese
1 large can enchilada sauce (I used 1 quart of my homemade sauce...you can use your favorite)
1 small can diced green chili's (optional)
1 box manicotti

sliced olives
green onions
sour cream
avocado, diced

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook manicotti according to package instructions. Drain pasta and cool. Cook ground beef in a large skillet until no longer pink. Drain grease. Combine cheese (1 1/2 c), seasoning, cottage cheese, cream cheese and chili's in a food processor (if you don't have one, just use a hand mixer), add cooked meat and mix. Spoon mixture into cooled pasta tubes. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Arrange filled pasta in a single layer in pan and pour remaining sauce over the top. Cover with the remaining 1 1/2 c. cheese and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Top with "taco" type toppings or eat as is...either way is DELISH!


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