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What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat

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Taking in a Meal to a neighbor or family

What food to make and tips to make it easier on you and the person you are helping

 Have you been asked, or even offered to take in a meal to someone?

I’ve got you covered here in  What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal that They Will Want To Eat, and I can help you with this situation.

Even though you want to do this act of kindness, does the thought of taking in a meal, send panic running (or galloping) through your body?

Or do you get cold sweats worrying about what to take that they would want to eat?

And how in the world do you approach them in the first place?

Don’t worry, I’ve brought together valuable information just for you!

  • Everything from how to comfortably ask the day and time for bringing in the meal; making it convenient for all involved.
  • What type of food they would actually want to eat while keeping you in control of what the meal is, so you can stay in your budget.
  •  Ideas for you to know how to be approachable when wanting to help, so it’s not awkward for anyone.

 

So, if you’re looking for tips on taking in food when there is a new baby,  someone had surgery, there’s an illness in the family, unfortunately a death – or just because you know it would cheer them up—

I’ve got What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat, along with recipes that are easy and varied for you to choose from.

These handy tips will  make your meal not only one that is enjoyed, but remembered as thoughtful and extremely appreciated.  




What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal they Will want to eat

A meal is always welcome and a VERY thoughtful gesture of friendship and kindness.

However, it can be a scary idea to think about feeding other people,  or their kids; especially if you don’t know them very well.

So, when do you take in a meal? What are the circumstances that says: FEED US PLEASE

Then, what do you say when contacting them about taking in a meal? 

Most importantly, how do you find out what they like, so they will enjoy it, meaning your time and resources are useful and not wasted?

I have it all covered, so you don’t need to worry.  

 

When should you take In A Meal?

There are so many opportunities, but here are the most common:

  • A new baby.
  • Someone is ill or had surgery.
  • There has been a death in the family.
  • A job loss.
  • They are getting ready to move and everything is packed away (*see special moving tips below in this post)
  • Moving in (*see moving tips, again below in this post)
  • You know they are struggling with something personal, a family member’s situation, or outside circumstances that are challenging.  A meal can make the world seem gentler and a more compassionate place to be.
  • A traumatic event of any type. I have a post you might like How Can I Help When Someone Is Sick And Show I Care?
  • Anytime you want to help out, be kind, and especially when you feel impressed to, that is the perfect reason to take in a meal.

 

The Appreciation Comes From The Details

Let’s be real, we all say ‘thank you’ to a meal and that we ‘like it’.

However, if we ask a few questions, we are going to be HERO’s as well as taking in a meal that will be REALLY enjoyed and EATEN.

Details such as:

  • Use disposable pans, bags and dishes to deliver the food in. I like to prepare as many of the items I am taking  in the same type of pan if possible. The reason for this, is that I only have to have one to purchase and store one type; saving money and space.  Something like THIS would be good for everything from salads, to jello, to rolls to a main dish. You could  use two of these pans  for the main dish if you are taking the meal to a large family.

 

       Using something disposable avoids situations such as: whose bowl does this belong to?                Which unmarked pan does the young boy at the door want returned while his mother                  waits outside, not wanting to ‘be a bother’, as you are frantically trying to find the right lid          to ‘her pan’ in the myriad of  dishes stacked on the kitchen counter….which makes you                want to scream/cry/wish you had ordered out pizza that night.  Disposable dishes all the            way baby. They make everyone happy!

       Or there’s the well-meaning neighbor stopping by to collect their dishes – when you’re not           feeling well as you recover, or finally just got the newborn to sleep… gggrrrr….So if that’s             you, neighbor….please do a favor and call ahead:) Actually, please just use disposable.

 

  • Ask if anyone in the family has food allergies, or if there is anything they simply will not eat.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Of course you, kind person, need to stay in your budget and fix a meal that you are comfortable making.  However, if you take in something they cannot, or simply will not eat, it’s a waste for all involved.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For instance:  Some people really cannot force themselves to eat rice – it’s a texture thing. And some cannot tolerate the taste of spaghetti sauce.                                                      Despite your best effort in making a meal, and their gratitude in your gift, it will not be as useful as it could be. (For example, I will not, cannot – not in a boat, not with a goat, not in the rain, not on a train….I will NOT eat eggs as the major ingredient.  So a beautiful quiche would be devoured by my husband and family, while I would have to open a can of something or other.  I would still send a thank you note of course, but if the meal were to help me out—-hhhmmm—–you get the point)

 

  • If you know your neighborhood well, and others are also taking in a meal(s) to the same family, it would be a good idea to ask the family what food(s) they have already had brought in. You don’t want to be the third well intended person in a row to bring in, say…. chili. 

 

  • If you are dropping the meal off early, or a freezer meal, be sure to label the food with what it is, the date to use by, along with any special cooking or reheating instructions.

 

  • Ask if there is a certain night they would like a meal brought in. Or let them pick from two or three nights that are convenient for you. 

 

  • If you have the means, taking in a freezer meal, along with a meal for that night, would be very appreciated.  

 

After delivering 5 cesarean babies,  several knee surgeries,  then total knee replacements on BOTH knees TWICE, adding in several other surgeries myself; not to mention all that has happened with 5 kids and a handsome hubby over upwards of 40 years of marriage; I have been a blessed recipient of numerous meals.  Truly they have been such a gift.

I have also taken in, or delivered more meals in my adult life now than I can begin to count. 

So, from receiving, and giving, so many meals, I’ve learned some tips that I’ll share with you about how to make it a win-win situation for everyone involved, as well as EASY too! 

 

Did you know there’s Etiquette to taking in a meal?

1 Ask what time they would like the meal brought in to avoid any embarrassing complications.

 

2- Should you take in a homemade or pre-made/frozen/purchased meal or dish? That’s up to you.

 

3- Make sure whatever the meal is, that it’s completely ready to serve to make it easy on the person you are helping. Meaning, they do not have to prepare it in any way, shape or form.

 

4- This is not the time to try to impress them with your amazing culinary skills of grandeur – imagined or real, lol.  Good old fashioned – comfort food is a winner every time.

 

5- Let the person know who you are bringing the meal into that you are:

A) just dropping off a meal (hot or one to be warmed up)

 

B) helping the kids have their dinner, cleaning up the dishes, getting the adults their dinner and tidying up afterwards – maybe you could even do a bit extra with the help of the kids:)

Only do what is comfortable for that person you are helping and best for you also.  You don’t want to put yourself in a situation that is awkward, anymore than you do the person you want to help.  It is very important to get the details clear before the meal is brought in.  Either way, let them know you have only the best intentions and can leave it with the kids at the door if that’s best.

 

6- Give a couple of choices that you are able to make or provide for the meal; meaning within your budget and ability.

For example, I have a grand daughter who at the age of four will eat Kim-chi and we are not Korean.  The girl will eat about anything and try everything that doesn’t run faster than her.

I have another grand daughter who likes……fast food pizza….oh and donuts:)

So ask the parents what ALL their kids will enjoy. Because you aren’t doing anyone a favor if they have to pull out the pans and make dinner after you leave to feed the kiddos. 

It’s not being picky in my opinion, it’s just life, and if we are there to support a friend in that situation, let’s be a help and not a hindrance. (Meaning no comments or judgments, that are not charitable in nature or nice in tone at this sensitive time for the family.)

 

7- Let the person know if you are bringing in the entire meal; meaning sides and dessert.  Or if you are just bringing in the main dish so they know what to plan on, and can make arrangements for the rest of the meal if needed.

 

8- Do all you can to NOT to be late or cancel.  Confirm the day or night before so it is clear that you are bringing in what you have discussed, as well verify the time.

If something does come up that is completely unavoidable and prevents you from taking in a meal, make sure to apologize and take in a meal soon as possible, along with one for the freezer due to the inconvenience.

 

9- If taking in meals for a new baby, I have special ideas in my post ALL THINGS BABY

 

10- Sometimes the situation is more complicated and you need to know how to handle the emotions and what is happening with the person or family that you are serving. It can be hard to know what’s appropriate when illness, tragedy, suicide or any other situation of deep mourning occurs.  What do you do? What do you say, or not say, is even more difficult. How can you help that is actually of benefit?  I have some great information at my post: How Can I Help When Someone Is Sick And Show I Care?

ways to help a person or family when tragedy, illness or hardship strikes their home. What to say, not to say, what to do and more

 

TIPS for taking in meals when someone is MOVING in or out

Take everything needed for the meal including:

  • ALL the paper products such as paper plates, cups, utensils, napkins

 

  • Drinks. Ask what they like and allow the kids to have; such as water bottles, type of perferred soda pop and kids punch pouches.

 

  • Ask if they will have access to the oven or stove to warm up the food.  If not, it would be considerate to take in (on a smaller scale of course) as I show in my post a COLD PASTA BAR or build-your own sandwiches with the ingredients and condiments in separate containers.  Or simply a variety of Sub Sandwiches for them to choose from. 

 

  • Find out if it would be more convenient to have the food transportable if they are moving from one location to another, and take the food in a disposable foam cooler.  THESE DISPOSABLE BOWLS  would be great to have on hand for this reason.  These recipes would work GREAT for this type of meal:

 

BEST CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

 

Asian Chicken and Orzo Pasta Salad

An oriental style bowl filled with a refreshing salad made with Orzo pasta, rotisserie chicken, fresh vegetables and a light refreshing dressing with a little spice from chili sauce and cool from Ranch dressing

 

The Easy Chicken Pot Pie and the Best Homemade Manicotti can be made and baked the same day or frozen for later use. 

Both come with printable baking instructions to include with the gifted dish

Click HERE for the Easy Chicken Pot Pie

This easy Chicken Pot Pie recipe tastes like homemade but it's with premade pie crusts, frozen vegetables and rotisserie chicken. The homemade savory sauce is gourmet and brings it all together. Freeze one for later

Best Chicken PotPie

 

 

 

 

 

Click HERE for Best Homemade Manicotti

A plate with green beans and manicotti stuffed pasta shells. The shells are filled with ground beef, cheeses and seasonings. They are topped with marinara sauce and more cheese then baked till warmed through

Easy Stuffed Manicotti Pasta

 

 

 

 

 

 

More ideas:

Best Chicken Fajitas

Delicious Chicken and fresh Vegetable Fajitas baked in the oven with green, red, orange and yellow bell peppers and onion. Seasoned with a wonderful homemade fajita seasoning. Serve with your choice of condiments.

 

Best Anytime Chicken Tacos

Two chicken tacos in hard shells with shredded rotisserie chicken. Chopped tomatoes, lettuce are on top of the tacos for a delicious meal that's quick, easy and delicious for a busy weeknight or lazy weekend meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Vegetarian Fajitas also Gluten Free, and these are really

A beautiful plate of sauted peppers in several colors along with other vegetables all combined with the perfect spices to make this vegetarian fajita dish perfect for any meal.

 

Best Homemade Meatballs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Pizza Pasta Bake

A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Easy Hot Cheese & Ham Sliders on Sweet Hawaiian Rolls

A Hawaiian sweet roll with ham and Swiss cheese in the middle along with a complimentary mustard sauce. Topped with the traditional Poppy Seed sauce all warmed up to melt the cheese and heat the ham.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Easy Pizza Pasta Bake

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A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Best Pepperoni Pasta Bake

My family wants this Easy Pizza Pasta Bake in our regular meal rotation and I like to include it because it’s so simple.

The flavors come together in a really complex way to showcase this dish that is not just ‘a casserole’ but a WOW, what’s in that AMAZING pasta!?!

It’s a family friendly meal that’s a perfect choice to take to a friend or neighbor in need.  You can read more about that  in What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat

I hope you make this Easy Pizza Pasta Bake tonight and let us know how you enjoyed it.

Easy Pizza Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

16 oz. Rotini pasta cooked (I really like Barilla pasta)

2 Tbl.  oil of your choice; choose one that has a very mild flavor, or no taste at all

2 – 23.9 oz. jars of your favorite pasta sauce  – I used Prego Italian Sausage & Garlic for this recipe

1/2 cup water – divided between the two bottles to rinse the rest of the sauce out of the bottle

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

3 teaspoons oregano,  leaf (not ground)

6 oz. can whole olives, sliced (hold out 1/8 cup for the top)

3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (divided)

4-6 oz. pepperoni, quartered (except hold out approximately 20 whole pepperoni for the top)

1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Coat your 9″ x 13″ baking dish with spray release.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil; following instruction on the package,A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.Cook the pasta to al dent. Meaning it still has a little ‘bite’ to it, and is not mushy or cooked quite all the way through.

When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain in a colander, rinse and pour the 2 Tablespoons oil of your choice over pasta, gently mix it over all of the pasta with your hand or a spatula to coat it all evenly.  Allow the coated pasta to sit in the colander while you prepare the sauce.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Rinse out the pan and put it back on the stove.

Into the pan, pour in:

2 jars of pasta sauce

In each bottle of pasta sauce pour 1/4 cup of water and shake well to get all of the pasta sauce rinsed out. Pour this into the pan with the pasta sauce.

Add in the balsamic vinegar, Oregano, sliced olives (reserving about 1/8 cup for the top), fresh Parmesan cheese, TWO cups of the mozzarella cheese, and the quartered pepperoni (holding out approximately 20 whole pepperoni for the top)

Bring to a simmer and cook on low for 2 minutes.

Add in the pasta and stir GENTLY.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Pour this mixture into your prepared baking pan.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Top with the rest of Mozzerella cheese – 1 cup. 

The reserved whole pepperoni and the 1/4 cup sliced olives.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly all through.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Best Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Serve hot.

A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Best Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Carrie Groneman’s recipe

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Blend of traditional and wonderful lasagna ingredients spread onto a cooked lasagna noodle. The filled noodle is rolled beginning at one end, all the way to the other end. Then placed in a pan with marinara sauce. Pesto and Alfredo sauce are spooned on top before baking.

Best Lasagna Roll Up Recipe

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Blend of traditional and wonderful lasagna ingredients spread onto a cooked lasagna noodle. The filled noodle is rolled beginning at one end, all the way to the other end. Then placed in a pan with marinara sauce. Pesto and Alfredo sauce are spooned on top before baking.

BEST Lasagna Roll Ups are individually filled pasta, then rolled for gourmet presentation

urmet Lasagna Rolls.

Best Lasagna Roll Up Recipe

I believe this is The Best Lasagna Roll Up Recipe you’ll find!

See this is not the usual pan of lasagna where everything is layered inside the pan.

These are very special in presentation and taste.

To make these Lasagna Roll Up’s lay out a cooked noodle, then spread on a layer of the fabulous filling ingredients and roll it up.

Once the rolls are filled, they are set on top of a bed of marinara sauce, then adorned with Pesto and Alfredo Sauce for a sophisticated flavor, gourmet look and the taste is spectacular.

One last tip: I like to serve the Best Lasagna Roll Ups with extra sauce on the side for those who  are ‘sauce’ people.  See I like extra sauce on about everything, where my handsome hubby Stan doesn’t.  Are you a ‘sauce’ person, or not?  This way, everyone is happy with your Best Lasagna Roll Up Recipe.  

May I suggest a Strawberry-Mandarin Spinach Salad as a side and for  dessert  My Easy Decadent Chocolate Mousse Cake would really make a smash hit.




 

BEST Lasagna Roll Ups

Ingredients:

16 oz. box lasagna noodles (cook entire pkg. and pick out the best to use, which will be approximately 1/2 – 2/3 of the box), cooked al dente

12-16 oz. bottle Alfredo sauce

14-16 oz. bottle marinara or spaghetti sauce

1 pkg pesto sauce mix (Knorr  brand if possible) mixed according to directions with two exceptions:

Use milk or half and half in place of the water & oil

Use ¾ cup milk or half and halfnot 1 cup of liquid (this will make it thick, which is what we need for thid recipe )  

 

Filling mixture:

15 oz. ricotta

1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage

1 lb. ground hamburger

1 Tbl. garlic, chopped

1 med. onion

8 slices bacon, diced* (see directions below if using precooked bacon)

9 -12 oz. fresh spinach, cooked, and squeeze dry of excess water

16 oz. (4 cups) Italian cheese blend or mozzarella

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (use fresh cheese, not canned for best results)

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg (best if possible), or ground 

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning

2/3 – 1 cup diced sundried tomatoes (drained well if packed in oil)

1/4 cup fresh parsley  


Directions:

Cook lasagna noodles until al dente, stirring often to separate them.   Lasagna Rolls 1

Cook until they are tender, but they should still have a good ‘bite’ to them.Lasagna Rolls 2




Drain well and pour a little vegetable oil over the noodlesLasagna Rolls 3

And gently coat each noodle to prevent them from sticking to each other.Lasagna Rolls 4 


In a fry pan combine the chopped bacon over medium heat.

When cooked through, remove to a bowl.

*If using precooked bacon, skip this step. 

To the empty pan, add ground beef, onion, garlic and sausage.

Cook this mixture completely through, until there is no pink left in the meat.Lasagna Rolls 5

Meanwhile grate the FRESH Parmesan cheese.Lasagna Rolls 6

If using fresh nutmeg, grate on any grater with fine holes. 

Fresh nutmeg is found in the spice isle.

It lasts for years in the bottle it comes packaged in and has a wonderfully distinct flavor not found in the pre-ground nutmeg.Lasagna Rolls 7




Place cooked meat mixture in a large bowl along with remaining filling ingredients, including the cooked bacon OR precooked bacon directly from the package, diced small.Lasagna Rolls 8

Pour the marinara and approximately 1/3 of the bottle of Alfredo sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 cake pan.

Mix together with a spatula or spoon.Lasagna Roll up 8




To make a Lasagna Roll Up, lay a lasagna noodle out on a cutting board, and spoon about 2/3 – 3/4 cup of the filling onto the noodle. 

Spread out evenly.Lasagna Roll up 9

Begin at one end and roll the lasagna noodle up.Lasagna Roll Up 10




Place the noodle in the pan with the seam side against the pan or another noodle.

This will keep it from coming unwound.Best Lasagna Roll Up Recipe

Continue with the remaining noodles.  (This is more than one batch of lasagna rolls. The recipe listed will not make this many. This was for 2nd Sunday)Best Lasagna Roll Up Recipe

 

Pour remaining alfredo over the noodles, spooning a bit on top of each; distributing evenly.Best Lasagna Roll Up Recipe

Prepare the basil pesto sauce according to above directions

Use milk or half and half in place of the water & oil

 Use ¾ cup milk or half and halfnot 1 cup of liquid

Spoon the the pesto sauce over the alfredo sauce. Best Lasagna Roll Up Recipe

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until the lasagna rolls are heated through.

Blend of traditional and wonderful lasagna ingredients spread onto a cooked lasagna noodle. The filled noodle is rolled beginning at one end, all the way to the other end. Then placed in a pan with marinara sauce. Pesto and Alfredo sauce are spooned on top before baking.

BEST Lasagna Roll Ups are individually filled pasta, then rolled for gourmet presentation

Serve

Blend of traditional and wonderful lasagna ingredients spread onto a cooked lasagna noodle. The filled noodle is rolled beginning at one end, all the way to the other end. Then placed in a pan with marinara sauce. Pesto and Alfredo sauce are spooned on top before baking.

BEST Lasagna Roll Ups are individually filled pasta, then rolled for gourmet presentation




             

 

Carrie Groneman’s recipe, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow,  2014, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

 


pasta, spinach, fast dinner, hurry up meal, spaghetti sauce, penne,

One Pan Penne Pasta

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One Pan Penne Pasta

One Pan Penne Pasta

Here’s a dish that easy, fast, economical and healthy. If you’re in a rush for dinner, this is a perfect solution.

Serve with some bread and fruit on the side, and your family is fed in a hurry – satisfied and full.




One Pan Penne Pasta

Ingredients:

14 oz. uncooked penne pasta, choose one that is high in fiber and protein 1 med. onion, chopped

1 Tbl. garlic, minced

1/2 – 1 lb. lean hamburger

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, optional

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

14-18 oz. marinara sauce

8 oz. can tomato sauce

14 oz. diced tomatoes, roasted if available

9-12 oz. fresh spinach, optional

1- 1/2 cup cheese, shredded, cheddar, mozzarella or mixed



Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions, but al dente; add in spinach last 1 minute of cooking if using.One Pan Penne Pasta 1Cook for 2-3 minutes until spinach begins to wilt. 

Scoop out approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Drain the spinach into a colander.One Pan Penne Pasta 2In same pan that you had just cooked the spinach in, over medium heat, add the hamburger and onion; sauté until done, then add in garlic.

Drain off any fat. To the hamburger mixture,  add the Italian seasoning, basil, Montreal Steak seasoning, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, marinara sauce, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. 

Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the pasta water into the empty marinara sauce bottle.One Pan Penne Pasta 3


Shake the bottle with the pasta water to rinse out the excess of the marinara sauce 

One Pan Penne Pasta 4

And pour into the pan with the hamburger and marinara mixture.  One Pan Penne Pasta 5Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes to allow seasonings to hydrate and sauce to marry flavors.

Then, gently stir in the penne pasta and cheese and heat through.  Serve hot.One Pan Penne Pasta 6

Carrie Groneman’s recipe

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Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Here’s a GREAT comfort meal that you’ve just got to try!

Old Fashioned Moist Meatloaf – click HERE

hamburger, meatloaf, main dish, old fashioned meal

Old Fashioned Meatloaf


A plate with green beans and manicotti stuffed pasta shells. The shells are filled with ground beef, cheeses and seasonings. They are topped with marinara sauce and more cheese then baked till warmed through

Best Homemade Manicotti

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A plate with green beans and manicotti stuffed pasta shells. The shells are filled with ground beef, cheeses and seasonings. They are topped with marinara sauce and more cheese then baked till warmed through

Easy Stuffed Manicotti Pasta

This Best Homemade Manicotti is one of those dishes that you think of when you go to a your favorite restaurant.  But guess what?  You can make it at home!  

The homemade Manicotti is absolutely delicious with tender stuffed pasta shells, creating a comfort food that is satisfying even to the most discriminating palate. 

Serve this  confidentially to guests or anytime you want an great home cooked meal.

The Best Homemade Manicotti  is an ideal choice for:  What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat.

It freezes beautifully too.  I have a printable for you at the end of the post.

This is my own version of a classic dish and I think you’ll really like it. 

Serve with my Fruited Spinach Salad , the easiest Gourmet Flat Bread you will ever find and end with most popular and favorite Chocolate Mousse Cake  for a memorable meal! 

 




Best Homemade Manicotti

Ingredients:

1-2 packages manicotti pasta noodles (they can break while cooking, so plan for extra)

 2     22-24 oz. bottles of marinara sauce (or about the equivalent) 

 1 lb. ground hamburger

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tbl. chopped or minced garlic

1 Tbl. dried parsley

2 cups (plus 1 additional cup = 3 cups total) grated mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. beef bouillon

1/2 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning

1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese (fresh makes ALL the difference)

2 eggs

1/4 – 1/3 cup milk

 





Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on the package. You really will want to cook more than 1 box though this recipe is for 14 stuffed shells, because the pasta breaks easily during the cooking process.

While the pasta is cooking, line a cookie sheet with sides with foil and coat with spray release.

When pasta is done to al dente, drain, rinse and place on sprayed parchment paper or tin foil. 

This will keep them from sticking to them self and to each other until you are ready to use them.

Manicotti

Manicotti

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan or pot, cook hamburger and onion together, chopping meat into small pieces as it cooks. 

When the hamburger is no longer pink and the onions are translucent; add in the garlic and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes.

Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees IF cooking after preparation.

 

Options: 1 – 9×13” pan OR  2 – 8×8” or 9×9” pans

In a pan spread about ½ cup to 1 cup of the marinara sauce, depending on which size pan you are using.

In a large bowl combine the completely cooled meat mixture with the parsley, mozzarella cheese, bouillon, Montreal steak seasoning and fresh Parmesan cheese.

Mix well.

Add in milk a little at a time, just until the meat mixture is a bit moist, but not so much that it’s soggy or excess liquid pooling in the bottom of the bowl.

Take a noodle, and gently spoon in some of the meat mixture into the noodle.

It’s easiest to do this if you’ll hold the bottom closed with your pinkie/baby finger to prevent the meat mixture from going through, and out the other end of the noodle.Easy Homemade Manicotti

Amazing Stuffed Manicotti

Lay the filled pasta into the pan that you have poured a little bit of the sauce into the bottom.

Continue to fill noodles until the meat mixture is gone and yields approximately 12-14 noodles.

When all the noodles are filled, cover them completely with the sauce.

Glass pan-

Manicotti

Manicotti

Sprinkle with the reserved mozzarella cheese.Manicotti

Manicotti

Disposable pan-

Easy Homemade Manicotti

Amazing Stuffed Manicotti

If baking now, cover the pan with foil, then place on a foil lined cookie sheet with sides; a jelly roll pan (to catch any over-flow) and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.


This is would be a popular dish for: What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat

 

Manicotti

Manicotti

When cooked and serving from first preparing, or from the frozen state; remove the foil and bake as instructed, or until until hot and bubbly.Easy Homemade Manicotti

Amazing Stuffed Manicotti

To freeze for later use:

Do NOT bake at this point.

Cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap; then foil.

Attach the instructions you can download HERE in a heart or solid line border, by first covering the pan with foil.  

Then place the instructions on top and mark with date to use by, which should be within 2 months.

Cover with saran wrap to hold it in place. Slide into a freezer bag if desired.

 Place in freezer for later use.Easy Homemade Manicotti

Amazing Stuffed Manicotti

Carrie Groneman’s recipe

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018

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