Amazing dinner idea that will leave everyone at the table speechless! This Manicotti dinner is made with a perfect combination of crispy bacon, caramelized onions and garlic.
To my horror, I realized last week that I haven’t made Manicotti in about three years….THREE years!!
How could I have let this happen?
Well, I’ve been trying to make something different almost every day, mostly to satisfy all my wonderful readers but also because I don’t like eating the same thing over and over. I still make my favorites and classics but trying new things is where it gets really fun!
So I got it in my head that I needed to make Manicotti as soon as possible but I wanted to play around with the stuffing a bit. Classic Ricotta and cheese is great, spinach is great too but I wanted to give them a different flavor pallet. Bacon seemed like a great addition, you can never go wrong with bacon! A little extra came from caramelized onions. This is pretty much the only way I can eat an onion. You know that I always cook with onions because I like the addition of that flavor but I absolutely hate actually eating an onion. I always pick them out and don’t even put a raw onion on my plate. Caramelized onions are a whole new ball game though. They are tasty!
So bacon, caramelized onions and garlic…mmm, mmm, yea!
I remember my first time making Manicotti, years and years ago. They were such a pain in a butt to stuff! I think I even ended up cooking more shells because of how many I ripped trying to stuff them. I tried using a spoon, a fork and even tried stuffing them with my hands, little by little. But no matter how much of a pain it was, I love Manicotti and did it anyway. Then, I had a “duh moment” when I saw Lori’s post on how to make Manicotti. How did I not think of that??? USE A PIPING BAG (or a large zip-lock bag)! This, and so many more other reasons, is why I love her!
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Bacon & Caramelized Onion Manicotti
- 8 oz 12 count of dry Manicotti shells
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 14-16 oz of bacon cooked crispy
- 1 yellow onion
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- fresh ground pepper
- About 2 cups of Marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
Depending on the type of manicotti shells you get, you may or may not need to cook it first. So double check with the package and boil manicotti first, if needed.
While bacon is cooking in the oven, prepare caramelized onions.
Slice onion thin and add it to the pan with vegetable oil, some salt and sugar. Cook over medium- to medium low heat until nicely golden. Remember to stir every few minutes. This could take about 20 minutes.
Once bacon is done, lay it out on a paper towel to drain excess grease and then crumble it up into a bowl.
In a mixing bowl, combine bacon, caramelized onions, grated garlic, 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, salt and some fresh ground pepper. Mix well until all incorporated.
Easiest way to stuff manicotti is to add the mixture to a piping bag and cut of the tip, leaving opening that is little less than an inch.
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease 9x13 baking dish.
Spread a cup of Marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.
Stuff manicotti shells with bacon/ricotta mixture and lay them nicely on the bottom of the pan, side by side.
Spread remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
If you precooked pasta shells, bake for 15-18 minutes. If the shells are oven-ready, bake for 20-25 minutes but make sure to check before pulling it out of the oven.
Recipe from Lyuba at willcookforsmiles.com. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to share this recipe, please simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
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