*This recipe makes TWO casseroles.

1 1/2 pounds – Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (or strips)
1 pound – Sausage (your choice of kind)
Approximately 16 – Uncooked Manicotti Shells
2 jars – Spaghetti Sauce
1 tablespoon – Garlic Powder
4 cups – Mozzarella Cheese *SHREDDED*
1/2 pound – Fresh Sliced Mushroom (OPTIONAL!)
2/3 cup – Water

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Step One ~
Rub garlic powder over chicken, cut into 1-inch strips. Stuff UNCOOKED chicken into manicottii shells.

Step Two ~
Spread 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of TWO greased 9X13 baking dishes. Place half of the stuffed manicotti shells in each dish. Sprinkle sausage and mushrooms (if using) on top of the manicotti shells. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle with cheese.

Step Three ~
Drizzle water around the edge of each dish. (important!) Cover and bake one casserole at 375 degrees for 65 minutes. Cover and freeze remaining casserole.

To Thaw ~
Thaw in fridge. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake as directed.

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PERSONAL NOTES/MODIFICATIONS:

~ The recipe calls for TWO 9X13 baking dishes. I have used two 8X8 dishes and they worked just fine. The only real difference is that you won’t have as much space and the manicotti will be packed in pretty tightly. We arranged them in two rows of four with the few left overs in the middle.

~ We also used more than 16 shells, 17 or 18 are fine as well if you have extra.

~ I used chicken strips instead of cutting chicken breasts. It works just as well and you don’t have to slice them.

~ You don’t necessarily need a full 4 cups of the cheese, just sprinkle until covered.

~ This recipe is intended to have one dish to eat fresh and one to freeze. I have not tried baking both at once (yet).

~ For larger families, however, both dishes will be needed. One dish per meal was just enough with a serving or so left over for my husband and me.

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