Sunday, January 17, 2016

Skinny Beef Manicotti

My boys absolutely love any kind of pasta.  They would eat pasta every single day if they were allowed. Well, pasta and chicken nuggets.  They are carbaholics like their mother and, like many of us know, there is nothing like some good ole Italian food to satisfy that carb craving.  

This recipe does a wonderful job of cutting back on what can be a very calorie laden and rich dish.  It uses cream cheese and Greek yogurt to cut down on the fat that normally accompanies a traditional b├ęchamel sauce.  It still has all of those same old-world flavors but with less than half the calories.

This is a wonderful Sunday night or weekend dish.  It's also perfect to take over to a potluck.  Serve this dish with a large side salad for a complete low calorie meal.  I sometimes give garlic bread to the boys but I stay clear of it; has anyone else noticed how much garlic bread has gone up in points?!

Skinny Beef Manicotti
Servings: 6 ★ Size: 2 manicotti  ★ 
Smart Points 11 ★ Points Plus 13 ★ Calories: 516 ★ Total Fat: 13 g ★ Saturated Fat: 5 g ★ Protein: 38 g ★ Carbohydrates: 62 g ★ 
Fiber: 5 g ★ Sugars: 10 g ★ Sodium: 650 mg ★ Cholesterol:  57 mg


· 12 manicotti pasta shells, precooked or no-cook
· 1 lb ground beef, 90% lean
· 1 large onion, diced

· 1 tablespoon garlic
· 1 tablespoon Italian herbs
· 1 teaspoon oregano
· 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
· 2 1/2 cups homemade or low-calorie pasta sauce
· 6 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese
· 6 ounces Greek yogurt
· 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
· 1 teaspoon garlic
· 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
· 2 tablespoons milk
· 1 cup 2% milk, part-skim mozzarella


1.  Cook the ground beef over a medium-high heat until brown, drain.  Turn the heat to medium and add the diced onion and garlic. Cook for two minutes.  You should see the onions begin to soften.  Add the Italian herbs, oregano, and stock. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2.  In a small mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, parmesan, garlic, Italian herbs, and milk. Stir until it is nearly smooth.

3.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9" by 13" pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spread one cup of sauce across the bottom of the pan. Stuff the manicotti with the beef and onion mixture.  Arrange all 12 manicotti in the dish and cover with the remaining tomato sauce.  On top of the sauce add the cream cheese and parmesan mixture. Sprinkle with the mozzarella.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  The top should be browned and sauce bubbling.  

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