Get ready to impress your family and friends with a showstopping recipe that combines the goodness of broccoli, the comfort of pasta, and the fiery kick of jalapenos. Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce is a dish that showcases your culinary prowess while delivering unforgettable flavors.
Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
- 1 13 x 9 inch baking dish
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1 small bowl
- 1 medium bowl
- 8 large manicotti shells (preferably whole wheat, if you can find them)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño peppers
- 1¾ cups skim milk, divided
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¾ cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and well drained
- 1 carton low-fat ricotta cheese, drained
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the manicotti shells according to the package directions; drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Set noodles aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 13 X 9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Spray a medium saucepan with cooking spray, and add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño peppers; cook (stirring frequently) over medium heat for about 3 minutes (or until vegetables are just tender).
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the skim milk and bring the saucepan to a boil over high heat. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth, then stir this mixture into the milk mixture in the saucepan.
- Cook (stirring constantly) over medium heat while the mixture boils and thickens. Once the mixture is fairly thick, add the Monterey Jack cheese and stir until the cheese fully melts.
- Press out any excess liquid from the broccoli and combine it with the ricotta cheese, egg whites, ground red pepper and black pepper in a medium bowl.
- Spoon a scant 1/3 cup of the broccoli mixture into each manicotti shell and place them seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over the filled shells, cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.
Alternative Method: Instant Pot
If you’re looking for a faster and more convenient way to prepare this delectable dish, utilizing an Instant Pot can be a game-changer. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce using this versatile kitchen appliance:
- 12 manicotti shells
- 2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 jar (16 ounces) marinara sauce
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- In a mixing bowl, combine the blanched broccoli, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, minced garlic, dried Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
- Fill the manicotti shells with the broccoli and cheese mixture, gently pressing it in. Set aside.
- Pour half of the marinara sauce into the Instant Pot, followed by the minced jalapeno peppers. Place the stuffed manicotti shells on top, arranging them in a single layer.
- Pour the chicken broth over the stuffed manicotti, ensuring they are well-covered. Close the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
- Select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” function and set the cooking time to 8 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take some time to come to pressure before the cooking time begins.
- Once the cooking time is complete, perform a quick pressure release by carefully turning the valve to the venting position. Wait for the steam to fully release before opening the lid.
- Remove the manicotti from the Instant Pot using a slotted spoon and transfer them to a serving dish. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the top and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley for garnish.
- Serve the Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce hot and enjoy the flavorful combination of tender pasta, cheesy filling, and spicy sauce.
By using the Instant Pot, you can significantly reduce the cooking time while still achieving delicious and satisfying results. Remember to adjust the cooking time based on the instructions provided with your specific Instant Pot model.
Mastering the art of cooking Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce is all about attention to detail and a few insider tricks. To ensure the best results and avoid common pitfalls, here are some valuable cooking tips to guide you along the way.
- Perfectly Cooked Manicotti: To achieve perfectly cooked manicotti shells, make sure to undercook them slightly during the boiling process. This will prevent them from becoming mushy when baked later. Follow the package instructions for boiling time, but shave off a minute or two to keep them al dente.
- Preparing the Broccoli: When blanching the broccoli, it’s important to cook it just until it turns vibrant green and becomes slightly tender. Overcooking can lead to a loss of texture and flavor. Plunge the blanched broccoli into ice water immediately to halt the cooking process and preserve its vibrant color.
- Proper Cheese Mixture: To create a creamy and flavorful filling, ensure that the ricotta cheese is well-drained to avoid excess moisture. Squeeze out any excess liquid using cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer. Additionally, season the cheese mixture generously with salt, pepper, and your preferred herbs to enhance the overall taste.
Serving Your Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
Now that you’ve mastered the art of cooking Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce, it’s time to explore the wonderful world of serving options. Here are some delectable suggestions to elevate your dining experience and complement the flavors of this dish.
- Complementary Sides and Garnishes: Serve your Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce alongside a refreshing green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette to balance the richness of the dish. Additionally, a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top adds an extra layer of flavor and a hint of saltiness.
- Creative Presentation: For an elegant touch, drizzle the plated manicotti with a swirl of balsamic glaze or extra Jalapeno Cheese Sauce. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or chopped parsley to add a pop of color and freshness. The visual appeal will make your dish even more enticing.
- Pairing Beverages: The bold and spicy flavors of the Jalapeno Cheese Sauce pair exceptionally well with a crisp and chilled white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied beer with citrus undertones. Those who prefer non-alcoholic options can opt for a sparkling water infused with lime or a tangy lemonade.
As you embark on your culinary adventure with Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce, you might have some questions along the way. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions to help you navigate the cooking process and make the most of this delightful dish.
Can I make Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can assemble the Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours. Just remember to adjust the baking time slightly, typically by adding an extra 10-15 minutes to ensure the dish is heated through.
How do I store any leftovers of Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce?
If you have any leftovers of Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.
Can I freeze Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti?
Yes, you can! Simply wrap the uncooked stuffed manicotti tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before baking as instructed.
Can I substitute the broccoli with another vegetable?
Certainly! While broccoli adds a delightful flavor and texture to the dish, you can experiment with other vegetables such as spinach, roasted peppers, or sautéed mushrooms. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure they are properly cooked.
Can I make a milder version of the Jalapeno Cheese Sauce?
Absolutely! If you prefer a milder heat, you can reduce the amount of jalapeno peppers or remove the seeds and membranes before blending. This will provide a milder jalapeno flavor while still maintaining the essence of the sauce.
Dive into a flavorful adventure as we unveil the secrets behind Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce. From pro tips to avoid common mistakes to serving suggestions that will tantalize your taste buds, this blog post has it all. Don’t miss out on the chance to share the recipe and stay connected by subscribing to our blog for more delicious inspirations!