♥ Million Dollar Manicotti
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1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into small pieces
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated zucchini
3 tbsp minced, fresh basil, or 1-1/2 tsp dried
1 tbsp minced, fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 oz light cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 manicotti shells, uncooked
3 cups of favorite tomato-based pasta sauce
1/2 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese
Chopped, fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Spray a large, non-stick skillet and add garlic and onions. Cook and stir over medium heat. Do not burn them. Add chicken (increase heat), and cook until no longer pink. Add carrots, zucchini, basil, oregano, and pepper. Cook for 3 more minutes. Add cream cheese and stir until it is melted. Remove from heat and stir in ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. Put filling into a large bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
While filling is chilling, cook manicotti according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and drain well to stop the cooking process and to keep them from sticking together.
Using a teaspoon, stuff shells equally with filling. Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce over bottom of 2 baking dishes. Arrange stuffed manicotti in each dish. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti and sprinkle with mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 40 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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