Eons ago, back when my husband I were “courting”, we regularly tried to woo each other with food. I bet you’re shocked by that. As he has written in the past, he’s always loved lasagna. Manicotti was a close second. SMOKED Chicken Manicotti – well, that would win the heart of your loved one forever. The fun thing about this particular recipe is that it’s a two for one deal – you get a recipe for an AMAZING Spinach artichoke dip AND the chicken Manicotti! What’s not to love about that?? And to tell you the truth, and yes, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but both the chicken, and the spinach artichoke dips were leftovers. I saw the two for sitting next to each other in the refrigerator, and they looked like they would get along well, so who am I to stop that? I brought them together. And they of course, lived happily ever after. In everyone’s belly.
This dish is also easily freezable. After stuffing the noodles with the yummy filling, I freeze the stuffed Manicotti separately on a cookie sheet. Once they’re frozen you can put them in one big Ziploc bag and pull out however many you need at a time. If you so choose to make homemade sauce and you are looking for smaller servings, you can freeze that in smaller sandwich bags. I would highly recommend trying the homemade red sauce found in the Jumbo Pasta Shells recipe. It’s our go to red sauce. But you can always just buy a jar of your favorite as well.
This kind of preparation is an easy way to prepare for future random dinner get togethers. I don’t know what your life is like, but mine is CONSTANTLY filled with random get togethers. I need to always be prepared for anywhere between my regular family of 6 to a party of 15 on any given day. So these kind of random things in my fridge make nights like that fun, yummy and totally stress free!
Leftover Smoked Chicken Recipe: Creamy Manicotti with Artichokes
- 1 package of frozen chopped spinach
- 1/3 cup of sauteed chopped onion
- 3 tbn butter
- 1/2 cup of chopped artichokes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 8 oz sour cream
- 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Smoked Chicken Manicotti
- 1 1/2 cups of spinach artichoke dip
- 2 smoked chicken breasts-chopped or about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of smoked leftover chicken
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 tsn garlic salt
- 1/4 tsn pepper
- another 1/4 of cup of parmesan and mozzarella for topping the noodles
- Your favorite jarred red sauce. Newman's Own is pretty awesome.
For Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Saute onions in butter.
- Mix everything else together. Can be served warm or cold.
- Before devouring the dip, put 1 1/2 cups of it on the side for this recipe. Now dig into the dip.
- Are you finished now? Good. I'm glad you're back.
- Add the smoked chicken meat, cheeses and spices. This will look like a gluey paste.
- Cook your manicotti noodles. Drain and run cold water over them. Careful - they break easily!
- Stuff your manicotti noodles with the filling. They should be nice and full, but not breaking apart. After the first time you break a manicotti noodle, you'll know about how much you should use from then on out.
- Spray a 13 x 9 dish. Lay the filled noodles in the dish (or you can freeze them at this point). Pour your favorite spaghetti sauce on top of the noodles, then sprinkle some more cheese on top - both mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.