Craving something comforting and delicious? Look no further than this classic chicken spinach manicotti! Our recipe combines tender chicken, spinach, and cheese-stuffed manicotti noodles all topped with tomato sauce for a meal that is sure to satisfy everyone. With its creamy texture and hearty flavors, it's the perfect dish for a cozy weeknight dinner or special family gathering. So, turn on the oven and get ready to enjoy this delicious Italian classic - your taste buds won't regret it!
As a mom of three, having casseroles that I can make ahead and pop in the oven at dinnertime is a lifesaver.
From Crockpot lasagna and vegetarian cabbage rolls to cheesy chicken and rice and meatball casserole, I love easy recipes that can provide a complete meal. This chicken and spinach manicotti recipe is one of my favorite go-to dinners!
Follow along, and I'll teach you how to make this delicious dish.
- Manicotti: Use dried manicotti for this recipe.
- Ricotta: Full-fat ricotta will add the most flavor.
- Chicken: Use leftover shredded chicken, or pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.
- Spinach: Frozen chopped spinach is easiest to use, but you can also use fresh if desired. If you use fresh spinach, saute it until tender. Then chop and drain the excess liquid.
- Mozzarella & Parmesan Cheese: Buy pre-shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese for convenience, or grate your own for optimal flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: Use sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.
- Marinara Sauce: A store-bought marinara is fine, but if you have time, homemade will take this chicken and spinach stuffed manicotti to the next level. Use my crockpot marinara for a bright, punchy flavor.
Step by Step
For the full recipe for this chicken manicotti recipe with ricotta cheese, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Boil the manicotti in salted water according to package directions, making sure not to stir so that the pasta stays whole. Drain and set aside.
Combine the ricotta, chicken, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella, parmesan, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Make sure you cook the noodles al dente. If you overcook them, they will get mushy as the casserole bakes.
- To ensure that your manicotti is not soggy, make sure to drain the noodles well after cooking. You can also pat them dry with a paper towel before stuffing them.
- If you’re short on time, feel free to substitute store-bought marinara sauce instead of making your own.
- If you like, add a beaten egg to the ricotta filling for more moisture or Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes to enhance the flavors.
- You can add a tablespoon of olive oil to the
For the perfect accompaniment to your scrumptious chicken spinach manicotti, consider adding a combination of both traditional and contemporary sides.
Start with a classic crisp green salad tossed with balsamic vinaigrette for a contrast in flavor and texture.
Finally, top off the meal with some fresh seasonal fruit or bright green vegetables like garlic butter asparagus to balance out the richness of the dish while still providing vibrant color and flavor that will make the plate look as wonderful as it tastes!
Do you cover manicotti when baking?
No, you do not need to cover the manicotti with foil when baking. The cheese will melt and create a delicious golden brown crust as it bakes uncovered.
Should manicotti be cooked before stuffing?
Yes, it is important to cook the manicotti before stuffing and baking. Otherwise, the pasta will not be cooked through when you serve it.
Can I substitute shells for manicotti?
Yes, you can substitute large shells for manicotti pasta in this recipe. Just make sure to cook them al dente so that they don’t become too mushy when baking.
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- 13 x 9 baking dish
- Large Pot
- Large Mixing Bowl
More Casseroles You Will Love
- Give this chicken bacon ranch casserole a try, and your family will beg you to make it again and again.
- Cheesy corn casserole is a decadent side dish that works well throughout the year.
- Hash brown casserole works just as well as a hearty dinner side as it does for breakfast.
- Veggie Lasagna is perfect for meatless Monday and so good that your family won't miss the meat.
Chicken Spinach Manicotti
- 1-8 oz package dried manicotti
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 ½ cups cooked diced chicken
- 8 ounces frozen spinach thawed and drained well
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella divided
- 4 ounces shredded parmesan
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups marinara divided- like crockpot marinara
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 9 x 13 -inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Cook manicotti in salted water according to package directions. Avoid stirring to make sure that the pasta stays whole. Drain.
- While the pasta cooks, combine the ricotta, chicken, spinach, 1 cup of mozzarella, parmesan, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Spread ½ cup of the sauce on the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
- Fill each manicotti with the ricotta mixture and arrange in the dish in a single layer.
- Top with the remaining 1 ½ cups marinara and remaining mozzarella.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until melted and bubbly.
- Let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh herbs to garnish, and serve warm.