Monday, March 22, 2010

Chicken, Spinach, and Mushroom Manicotti (as inspired by Maggiano’s)

The manicotti can be prepared until baking point, wrapped in aluminum foil, and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. (If frozen, thaw the manicotti in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.) Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 1-1/4 hours.

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound spinach, stemmed, washed, blanched and roughly chopped
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (poached and shredded by hand or with forks)
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Italian blend)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles (Barilla preferred)
1 recipe, garlic Parmesan-Asiago sauce (see below)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often until the mushrooms are browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook until all liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add poached chicken, spices, and mix well. Combine ricotta, Parmesan, 1½ cups mozzarella, and eggs in medium bowl. Fold into mushroom, chicken, and spinach mixture, adjusting seasonings to taste. Prepare noodles by pouring 1 inch boiling water into baking dish or deep cookie sheet; add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry. Spread dish evenly with enough sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. Using a measuring cup, spread a generous 1/4 cup of the filling evenly onto the bottom three-quarters of each noodle (with short side facing you), leaving top quarter of noodle exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. (Add more filling to the ends, if necessary.) Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta edges are completely covered. Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Remove baking dish, adjust oven rack to uppermost position (about 6 inches from heating element), and heat broiler. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining ½ cup mozzarella. Broil until cheese is spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve.

Garlic Parmesan-Asiago Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups ½ and ½
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (optional)
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan (I used ½ cup Parmesan and ½ cup Sorrento “Italian cheese blend”)

Heat the butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant but not brown. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the cream and ½ and ½ and whisk until mixture begins to thicken and bubble. (It may separate, but keep stirring to combine.) Remove from heat and add the chives, cayenne, and cheese, whisking to melt/combine. Use as indicated with manicotti.

Recipe submitted by Jill


  1. Came across your blog looking for this exact recipe. Cool blog you ladies have. How did this come out? Would you make it again? I love maggianos! Thanks

  2. Hi, Jamie! We're so glad to know someone besides the six of us reads our blog! As for this recipe, I have to say that it's probably one of my favorite things I've made for our group. There are a lot of calories in that rich sauce, but for a splurge, I think it's worth it! The Cooks Illustrated method of using lasagna noodles soaked in hot water worked really well (it's similar to Maggiano's "crepes"), and I liked the balance of chicken/spinach (not too much of either). It's not as loose or "soupy" as the Maggiano's variety, but the taste was very similar. Good luck - and let us know if you try it!

  3. This recipe is amazing. The garlic parmesan-asiago sauce is what makes this dish. It is incredible!!!!! After a trip to maggiano's I was dying to find a similar recipe. It isn't just like maggiano's but it's a very close second. Maggiano's noodles are similar to a crepe and spice isn't quite right but I blame that on myself. I made this to the measurements given and it was just a tad bland for my own taste. Don't get me wrong, I almost made myself sick eating so much. I will definitely use the cream sauce for other recipes too. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  4. Can't wait to make this! How many people does this recipe serve? I'm crossing my fingers for 10+ :) Thanks, ladies!

  5. This looks quite brilliant! Thank you for the recipe. By the way, I searched Google for the Maggiano's recipe, and your page came up right near the top. Expect some more visitors. You have some great stuff here!