Mexican manicotti

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PREP TIME

35 min

Makes

14 filled manicotti

* PLUS Cooking time: 15 minutes, Baking Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 14 manicotti or cannelloni pasta shells , about 1/2 500-g pkg
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 500 g lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 450 mL refried beans
  • 1 large green bell pepper , seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander , or parsley
  • 1 cup hot or medium salsa
  • 196 mL tomato sauce
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack , or cheddar

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions, using minimum amount of cooking time given on package. This is usually from 6 to 8 minutes. When still fairly firm, drain pasta and immediately rinse with cold running water until cool. Drain well. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch (3-L) baking dish or coat dish with non-stick cooking spray. Then, preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan set over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano and salt. Cook, stirring often with a fork to break up meat, until meat loses its pink color and onion has softened, about 15 minutes. If mixture starts to burn, adjust heat to medium or medium-low. Stir in beans, green pepper and coriander until evenly mixed. Remove from heat. In a small mixing bowl, stir salsa with tomato sauce.
  • Fill each shell with meat mixture and place together snugly in a baking dish. Pour salsa mixture overtop. Cover tightly with foil and bake in centre of preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Continue baking, uncovered, until cheese is melted and manicotti are hot, about 20 to 25 more minutes. Manicotti is great served with a green salad and extra salsa.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 252,
  • Protein
  • 14.9 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 23.6 g,
  • Fat
  • 10.9 g,

Baked in the oven with a lively beef filling, this casual “soft taco” dinner is just as comforting as the traditional Italian manicotti, but with a little more flair–and heat. This dish is a great make-ahead for a fiesta party.

Make ahead

Instead of baking, place foil-covered dish in the refrigerator for up to 1 day or tightly wrap and freeze. To bake, defrost casserole. Then, cover and bake for 1-1/4 hours. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until cheese is melted and manicotti is hot.