Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chicken & Sausage Manicotti

I made this last night for the fam and WOW was it good!

Chicken & and Sausage Manicotti - Makes 2 casseroles (7 servings each)

1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
2 med green bell peppers, chopped
2 med onions, chopped
1 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves minced
3 (26 oz each) jars spaghetti sauce
1 1/4 C water
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins (I didn't have tenderloins so I just used chicken breasts)
4 t dried basil
2 t chicken seasoning (I used poultry seasoning)
2 packages (8 oz each) uncooked manicotti shells
1 pound fully cooked andouille or Italian sausage links, halved lengthwise and sliced (I only had ground Italian sausage in my freezer so I used that and it was perfect. I will only make it with the ground sausage but to each his own, right?)
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
2 C shredded cheddar cheese (again, I used what I had. I only had a tiny bit of cheddar cheese left so I sprinkled what I had left and then sprinkled the mozzarella cheese then I topped that off with some shredded parmesean cheese)

In a large pot saute mushrooms, peppers and onions in olive oil until tender, add the garlic, cook 1 minuted longer. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and water.
Cut the chicken in strips. You'll want one strip for every manicotti shell. Sprinkle the chicken strips with the basil and chicken seasoning. Stuff the raw chicken into uncooked manicotti shells (my strips were really thin and didn't "stuff" the shells and it turned out perfect).
Spread 1 C sauce mixture in each of two greased 9x13 pans. Arrange manicotti over sauce, sprinkle with sausage. Pour remaining sauce over top, sprinkle with cheeses.
Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months (make sure to label with the recipe name, the date made and the cooking instructions). Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 375 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until bubbly and pasta is tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

To use the frozen casserole: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 min before baking. Leave cover on and bake at 375 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until done. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

This is seriously SO good! And all 3 of my kids devoured it. In fact my daughter wanted the leftovers for breakfast this morning!


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