How to Make Chicken Manicotti the Easy Way

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I always thought chicken manicotti was a super difficult meal to create & it took hours and hours in the kitchen trying to wrestle slimy chicken into limp noodles.  

Who wants to do that?  I have this love/hate relationship with chicken.  I really enjoy eating chicken.  I really hate preparing it.  It is just so slimy and slippery.  

I can handle preparing it as long as I am not pregnant.  If I am pregnant, we either find someone else to make a chicken dinner or we don’t eat chicken for 9 months.  And seeing how I have been pregnant for over 54 months of my life… well… that’s a long time without a chicken dinner.  

Now, this recipe does not solve my “please get any and all raw chicken out of my sight because I’m pregnant” phase, but it works for all the rest of my life.  🙂

I’ve seen chicken manicotti recipes where the first step is to boil the manicotti noodles then you get to carefully shove (how is it even possible to carefully shove anything?) the chicken into the cold, limp noodle without tearing it.  

Oh yes!  Please sign me up for the raw chicken and limp noodle wrestling match.  Sounds fun! Or not!

Years and years ago in the beginning of my marriage, and when I didn’t really know how to cook all that well, I found this recipe in my favorite cookbook at the time, Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cookbook (which I think is out of print now).  It didn’t look too intimidating and I tackled it one night when we had company over.

I was so proud of myself.  I made chicken manicotti for dinner!  Sounds fancy!  Until we cut into it and the chicken was raw.  Oh… umm… something went wrong.  Dinner fail.

No Dinner Fail for You

I am here to help you so you don’t have a dinner fail.  It’s a very easy solution you see… just cook it for as long as the recipe says to!  You’re welcome.

This is a wonderful recipe to make ahead of time.  It can be made the day before or in the morning of the day you want to eat it.  

Chicken Manicotti

1 jar (30 oz) spaghetti sauce (or make your own)
3-5 chicken breasts (partially thawed if using frozen)
14 (8 oz) uncooked manicotti shells
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
garlic salt
parsley

Pour a little of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking dish (Pyrex are my all time favorite baking dishes!)   

Chicken Manicotti

Cut the chicken breasts into strips more narrow than the opening of the manicotti shell.  

Sprinkle the chicken liberally with garlic salt and parsley on both sides of the chicken.

Chicken Manicotti

Stuff the chicken into those uncooked manicotti shells.  Score for uncooked manicotti shells!  Place the stuffed shells on the spaghetti sauce in the baking dish.

Chicken Manicotti

Pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the shells, covering them completely.  

To cook right now, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place covered chicken manicotti in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours.  Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and allow it to bake for 5-10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.  You can place it until the broiler to slightly brown the cheese if you wish.

Chicken Manicotti

To Store

Refrigerator: Cover unbaked manicotti and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking.

Freezer: Wrap unbaked manicotti and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.

To Cook

From Refrigerator: Place the covered manicotti into a cold oven and turn the oven on to 350 degrees.  Bake for about 1 hour.  (The cooking time goes down from when you cook it right away because the noodles soften in the fridge.) Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and allow it to bake for 5-10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.  You can place it until the broiler to slightly brown the cheese if you wish.

From Freezer: Allow the manicotti to defrost on the counter for 1 hour before placing into a cold oven.  Turn the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 1 1/2 -2 hours or until the chicken is cook through (cut a noodle open to make sure the chicken is cooked.).  You can also allow the manicotti to thaw in the refrigerator the day before serving.  If choosing that method, then follow the cooking instructions for taking it from the refrigerator.

To find more recipes that help you avoid stuffing slimy chicken into soggy noodles, sign up below the printable recipe.

Chicken Manicotti

I thought chicken manicotti was a super difficult meal to create & it took hours in the kitchen trying to wrestle chicken into limp noodles. Not this recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 jar (30 oz) spaghetti sauce (or make your own)
  • 3-5 chicken breasts (partially thawed if using frozen)
  • 14 (8 oz) uncooked manicotti shells
  • 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • garlic salt
  • parsley

Instructions

  1. Pour a little of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9?x13? baking dish (Pyrex are my all time favorite baking dishes!)
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into strips more narrow than the opening of the manicotti shell.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with garlic salt and parsley on both sides of the chicken.
  4. Stuff the chicken into those uncooked manicotti shells. Place the stuffed shells on the spaghetti sauce in the baking dish.
  5. Pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the shells, covering them completely.
  6. To cook right now, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place covered chicken manicotti in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and sprinkle with mozarella cheese and allow it to bake for 5-10 mintues longer or until the cheese is melted. You can place it until the broiler to slightly brown the cheese if you wish.

Notes

To Store:

Refrigerator: Cover unbaked manicotti and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking.

Freezer: Wrap unbaked manicotti and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.

To Cook:

From Refrigerator: Place the covered manicotti into a cold oven and turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Bake for about 1 hour. Uncover and sprinkle with mozarella cheese and allow it to bake for 5-10 mintues longer or until the cheese is melted. You can place it until the broiler to slightly brown the cheese if you wish.

From Freezer: Allow the manicott to defrost on the counter for 1 hour before placing into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 1 1/2 -2 hours or until the chicken is cook through (cut a noodle open to make sure the chicken is cooked.). You can also allow the manicotti to thaw in the refrigerator the day before serving. If choosing that method, then follow the cooking instructions for taking it from the refrigerator.

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