Healthy Zucchini 'n Cheese Manicotti Recipe

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Bite it! Hungry Girl's Cheese-Stuffed No-Noodle Manicotti
HG's Cheese-Stuffed No-Noodle Manicotti

Man' of the Hour

Ready to sink your fork into some cheesy rolled-up Italian goodness? This carb-slashed manicotti swap is out of this world!

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes

Sixteen 1/4-inch-thick zucchini slices, cut lengthwise from 2 - 3 large zucchini (see HG Tips!)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup light/low-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil, or more for topping
2 tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper 
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Optional topping: chopped basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" X 8" baking pan with nonstick spray.

Evenly lay 8 zucchini slices on a large microwave-safe plate. (They can overlap slightly, if needed.) Cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 3 minutes, or until mostly softened. Uncover and let stand for 1 minute. Thoroughly blot dry. Repeat with remaining 8 zucchini slices.

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion until soft and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion to a medium bowl. Add ricotta cheese, basil, Parm-style topping, salt, and pepper. Add 1/4 tsp. each Italian seasoning and garlic powder, and mix until uniform.

Lay 4 zucchini slices vertically on a dry surface, slightly overlapping, to form a rectangle. Spoon 1/4th of the ricotta mixture (about 1/4 cup) onto the bottom of the rectangle. Carefully roll up the rectangle over the filling and continue rolling until you reach the top. (The zucchini doesn't need to look perfectly uniform... It just needs to hold the filling!) Using a wide spatula, transfer to the baking pan, seam side down. Repeat to make 3 more manicotti.

In a medium bowl, mix canned crushed tomatoes with remaining 1/4 tsp. each Italian seasoning and garlic powder. 

Evenly top manicotti with seasoned tomatoes. Bake until hot, about 18 minutes.

Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and bake until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Enjoy!


HG Tips! To prevent the zucchini from rolling around when you slice it, cut off a thin piece from the length of the zucchini, creating a flat surface. Then lay the flat part on the cutting board, and slice vertically. Make sure your slices are no thicker than 1/4 inch each.

Serving Size: 2 stuffed manicotti (1/2 of recipe)
Calories: 288
Fat: 11g
Sat Fat: 6.5g
Sodium: 701mg
Carbs: 29g
Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 17g
Protein: 23g

PointsPlus® value 8*
SmartPoints® value 7*

Fight it! Cheese Manicotti, Average
Cheese Manicotti, Average


Don't get us wrong -- of course we want to eat saucy pasta stuffed and smothered with cheese. EVERYBODY wants to eat saucy pasta stuffed and smothered with cheese. The problems with this are a) the carby calories from the tubes of pasta and b) the fatty calories from all that cheese. An average serving of stuffed manicotti has more than 600 calories and nearly 30g fat -- BOO!! But we're really good at swapping out noodles for veggies, so we've pulled an HG-style switcheroo and used zucchini in place of pasta. We also slimmed down the cheese factor with light ingredients. We even saved sodium by using canned crushed tomatoes rather than standard sauce. Now everybody who wants to eat cheese-infused tasty goodness can do so without the seemingly inevitable diet destruction. Another win for Hungry Girl!

Serving Size: 2 stuffed manicotti
Calories: 610
Fat: 28.5g
Sodium: 1,300mg
Carbs: 51g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 12g
Protein: 30g

PointsPlus® value 15*

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Hooray for National Egg Day, June 3rd, also known as today. Celebrate with this Huevo Ranchero Por Uno recipe. Muy bueno!

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® trademark.

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