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I was craving some easy, tasty Italian dish, liked stuffed shells or manicotti.  I pulled out my Betty Crocker cookbook, and decided to make the Manicotti recipe that was in there.  Lately I have been turning to Pinterest to find new recipes, but that particular day I just decided to pull out my trusty cookbook, and use something that I new would be good.  After getting all the ingredients, I figured this would make for a good Sunday dinner, as I would need a bit more time to prep and cook this dish.  It was easy to make, just took about 30-40 minutes of prep, so next time I think I would double or triple the recipe, and freeze (uncooked) for another night.

NOTE: This is the recipe for how I made it, as I omitted a few ingredients, as well as changed a few things up.

Serves 6-8 for about $1.60/serving


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2 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed – $1.94

2 cups small curd cottage cheese – $1.45

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese – $0.35

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. pepper

14 uncooked manicotti shells – $2.07

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese – $0.15


1 lb. ground beef – $2.89

1 large onion, chopped – $0.33

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes – $1.95

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 tsp. salt


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Make Red Sauce: Cook beef, onion and garlic in large skillet over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned.  Drain if necessary.

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Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

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Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Squeeze spinach to drain.  In a large bowl, mix cottage cheese, spinach, Parmesan, nutmeg and pepper.

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Spread about 1/3 red sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.

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Fill uncooked shells with cottage cheese mixture.  Lay on top of sauce.

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Pour remaining sauce over noodles, and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese.

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Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.