I saw a picture of an enchilada on-line one day, and to me it looked like it was in a manicotti shell. I was wrong, but that picture (and I don’t know where it is now) inspired this creation. I thought that I would try to fill manicotti with a less traditional filling.
The Recipe: Crock-Pot or Not Mexican Manicotti with Black Beans
The Filling Ingredients for the gallon size freezer bag:
- Approximately 22 oz. black beans (about 1 & 1/2 cans). You can replace some of the beans with shredded chicken, turkey, or the meat of your choice.
- 24 oz. spaghetti sauce, divided
- small can of green chilis, optional
- 1/4 cup spinach, chopped
- a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 T minced garlic
- 1 T chili powder
- 1 t cumin
- dash cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
The Additional Ingredients:
- 8 oz. package of manicotti, uncooked
- enchilada sauce to top generously
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- green onions, chopped to garnish
- Spread enough spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Place all filling ingredients in a gallon size freeze bag.
- Squish and work the bag until thoroughly mixed.
- Cut a small corner of the bag (I cut about 1/3″).
- Pipe the cheese mixture into the uncooked manicotti shells (This was a little messy for me since the hole had to be big enough to let the black beans through, but small enough that lots of the other filling doesn’t come through: I might try to spoon it in next time).
- Place the manicotti into the slow cooker.
- Generously cover the shells with enchilada sauce. If any part of the shells isn’t covered, it may not cook, since the pasta needs the moisture to soften it.
- Continue laying the filled manicotti and pouring sauce until you run out.
- Cook on high for 3 1/2-4 hours, or on low 6 hours.
- Sprinkle cheese, and garnish with green onions.
- Serve with a big ol’ salad.
The Verdict: My whole family loved it, including my 2 1/2 year old son, who quickly gobbled up his portion and wanted more!
Have you tried…?