Gluten-free manicotti recipes typically combine a special kind of pasta plus the normal ingredients that you'd use to make this Italian dish. However, I've tried some of the gluten-free pastas on the market, and my tummy just doesn't like them very much. Fortunately, I found an easy baked manicotti recipe with spinach and cheese that uses eggplant in lieu of the pasta.
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About the Gluten-Free Manicotti With Spinach and Cheese
This is one of the best manicotti recipes I've tried, (and that's saying something since I used to work at the Boise Olive Garden as a server and trainer). The gluten-free manicotti in this recipe combines spinach, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan and fresh basil to make an excellent easy vegetarian eggplant recipe.
- 1 lb eggplant
- 1½ c. ricotta cheese
- ½ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
- ¼ c. fresh basil leaves, shredded
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ c. fresh chopped spinach
- 2 c. tomato sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch slices. Do this lengthwise so that the eggplant can be rolled around the cheeses to form the manicotti tube. See photo if you're not sure.
- Treat the eggplant slices with salt. To do this, put into a strainer/ colander for 30 minutes after you've salted them.
- Combine the cheeses plus the chopped basil and spinach and olive oil in a medium-size bowl.
- Using a paper towel, pat the eggplant slices dry and then put them on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. This will make the eggplant soft enough to roll. Allow them slices to cool for several minutes.
- Add a large teaspoon of the cheese mixture to the middle of the eggplant. Do this lengthwise. Leave a border on the wide end (about 1-inch).
- Starting from the narrow end of the eggplant, roll the eggplant like you were rolling up a jelly or an egg roll.
- Put some tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, arranging the gluten-free manicotti rolls so that they lay in the pan seam-side down. Make only one layer; don't stack them.
- Pour some more sauce over the top of the vegetarian manicottis and bake them for up to 30 minutes until they're heated all the way through.
- Use a spatula or pancake turner to put the manicottis on the plates and sprinkle basil and more mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top.
Tips for the Gluten-Free Manicotti With Spinach and Cheese:
Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Makes 4 to 5 manicottis.