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This recipe won a blue ribbon at the State Fair of Texas a couple of years ago. It is absolutely wonderful and quite easy to prepare and even easier to eat. Chef: Ronda Porter - State Fair of Texas Blue Ribbon Winner
- 1 (8 ounce) packagemanicotti pasta shells
- 4 cups cooked chicken, finely chopped
- 2 (8 ounce) containers chive & onion cream cheese
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
- 1⁄4 cup tastefully simple dried tomato & garlic pesto sauce (I could not find this combo, so I bought Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and added minced garlic to make my o)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, for mixture
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
- 2 (26 ounce) jars pasta sauce (use 1 jar for each dish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Set aside.
- Mix together chicken, cream cheese, spinach, Tastefully Simple Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto and one cup mozzarella cheese.
- Pour 1/3 jar pasta sauce in bottom of baking dish.
- Cut manicotti tubes down one side and spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture into each shell.
- Roll and place into 11 x 7 inch glass baking dish.
- Pour remaining jar of pasta sauce over the top taking care to cover the pasta.
- Sprinkle ½ cup cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes.
- Makes two casseroles. Freezes well.
- Optionally you could replace the chicken with Italian sausage.
- I personally use beer can chicken which has a smokey flavor.