Mexican Manicotti

In the tradition of Mexican Wednesdays I have prepared another awesome Mexican meal! (hear the fanfare now)

But seriously, this was really good, and slightly healthified as I like our meals to be as much as possible. I adapted an old recipe I came across in an almost-never-looked-in file in my file cabinet marked Recipes {imagine that} and it was in a collectors addition of some cooking magazine I had long ago torn apart, so I am assuming the magazine was called Quick Cooking, but I can’t be sure. Has anyone ever heard of this?

But I digress….

Mexican Manicotti

1 lb. ground turkey

1 can refried beans*

2  1/2 t. chili powder

1  1/2 t. dried oregano

1 package (8 ounces) manicotti shells**

2  1/2 cups water

1 jar (16 oz.) picante sauce

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheese (any type/blend)

sliced olives and green onions for garnish

In a bowl, combine meat, beans, chili powder and oregano. *Because I don’t use many canned products, I simply took some Trader Joe’s organic pinto beans and mashed them. Perfect!

Spoon into uncooked manicotti shells. **You’d think now that I’m off the island and living somewhere “bigger” there would be more options close by. And there are for the most part, but apparently not manicotti shells when I really, really need them. However, I had something even better 🙂 Harris Teeter has these awesome freezer lasagna noodles. They are like pasta sheets and can easily be cut into 3 squares per sheet, giving me perfect, all natural, manicotti-like “shells”. Just put the meat in the middle, and roll up.

Keep in mind that if you make this dish using pasta sheets, you will not need the 2  1/2 cups of water as noted above. Nor will you need to refrigerate the dish overnight as noted below.

Arrange meat-filled tubes in a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Mix the picante sauce with the water and pour over the shells. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove from refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes. This step is necessary for the manicotti shells to absorb the liquid. See, isn’t my way just better? I didn’t have to wait until the next day to eat this meal, which was a good thing because otherwise I had no idea what we were going to have for dinner!

Side note: It definitely pays to read your recipes ahead of time in case refrigeration time is required. Jusayin’…..

Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350* for 1 hour. Uncover; spoon sour cream over the top; sprinkle the cheese, olives and onions (if desired), and bake an additional 5 – 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This meat mixture is really, really good, and would be excellent in any number of dishes including some hearty nachos.


3 thoughts on “Mexican Manicotti

  1. Why hasn’t anyone commented on this recipe idea?? I am a chef currently working on an Italian/Mexican fusion menu and I am going to try this it sounds amazing!! I will only change the ingredients slightly since I make everything from scratch. Thank you!

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