Butternut Squash and Spinach Manicotti
My family loved this Butternut Squash and Spinach Manicotti! Classic baked manicotti filled with healthy roasted butternut squash and spinach. A great fall inspired pasta dish.
Patience. Something I’ve been majorly lacking in lately and I’m not proud of it. I’m not sure being patient has ever been a strong characteristic of mine but the older I get, the busier I get, the more unorganized I feel, the less patient I’ve become. It’s one of those things that I know I have to work on…but how does one actively work on patience? Can someone chime in here with any advice? Experienced moms, women, people…talk to me about this please. This is something I’m truly trying to change.
If I was a more patient person, I would probably cook with my kids more. Just sayin’. Here’s the thing, it’s not that I don’t enjoy my kids cooking with me, I actually love when they take interest in what I’m making or ask to help. I just think that most of the time when I’m cooking – I’m cooking fast. And fast cooking and kids usually don’t go together. Fast and baking don’t work well together either so maybe that explains my lack of enthusiasm for baking too. 😉
A couple of Sundays ago I decided my daughter and I were going to cook together. My son had a couple of basketball games (my husband coaches) and I knew that our littlest one would most likely not be able to hang out at the games all day. So it was a good day to spend some time at home, make a nice meal, and include my daughter in the process. It was such a nice feeling to know there was no rush to be anywhere for the day, that the boys were coming home later in the afternoon and that we would be able to all have dinner together. Dinner that my girl and I cooked up together. We even made some extra to share with my husband’s parents.
Looking at pictures of my sweet girl cooking this Butternut Squash and Spinach Manicotti makes me want to do this more. She is a mini me…LOVES to cook! It makes my heart smile. Taking time on this Sunday to do nothing but cook with my girl was the best. She learned what butternut squash tastes like (she forgets she’s had it before 😉 ), she learned how to fill manicotti and she told me she wants her own blog. I’ve recently come across several old photos and blog posts that have pictures of my kids when they were itty bitty…helping me in the kitchen. Makes me realize I can’t keep them from growing up but I sure can keep them helping me in the kitchen. And in all honestly…it’s a good lesson in building patience for me too.
So you know the old saying, stop and smell the roses? Well, I guess I stopped and smelled the manicotti. Aaaand I can’t believe I just said that. Out loud.
Corniness aside…I am sure you’ll love this Butternut Squash and Spinach Manicotti. My entire family gobbled it up. Manicotti definitely takes a little extra time (patience), but is so worth it. I roasted the butternut squash up earlier in the day so it was ready when I was ready to fill the shells. I had a lot of squash leftover (it was a big squash!) and my little guy ate it on it’s own for days. Ricotta, nutmeg, butternut squash and spinach go so well together, made the perfect filling for this baked pasta dish.
Butternut Squash and Spinach Manicotti
- 1 package manicotti shells
- 1 cup cooked butternut squash
- 10 oz package chopped spinach, defrosted
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 1 large container whole milk ricotta cheese
- about 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- To Cook Butternut Squash: Peel and dice squash. Dice into 1" pieces. Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and place on cookie sheet. Cook in 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.
- To Cook Manicotti: Cook manicotti pasta shells according to directions. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl prepare filling by combining ricotta with eggs, nutmeg, parmesan, chopped spinach and butternut squash. Spoon ricotta mixture into a large ziplock bag. Cut 1/2" off one of the bottom tips of the bag. (Use the bag for piping in the ricotta mixture into the cooked pasta shells, or spoon into shells instead - I find piping easier)
- Pour 1/4 cup of marinara sauce in the bottom of a glass baking dish. Pipe or spoon ricotta mixture into each cooked pasta shell and carefully place into baking dish, lining up manicotti until all are filled. Pour remaining sauce evenly over pasta and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
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Here are a few ideas for leftover butternut squash:
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