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Spinach Chicken Manicotti

Pepper and nutmeg spice up the rich sauce in this hearty pasta dish. I made this for my boyfriend on our first Valentine’s Day. It was a big success—now we're married! —Amy Luce, Dallas, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2-1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 3/4 cup diced fully cooked lean ham
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • 12 uncooked manicotti shells
  • SAUCE:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a small skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. In a large bowl, combine the onion mixture, chicken, spinach, ham, cheese, egg whites, basil, pepper and nutmeg; set aside.
  • Cook manicotti shells according to package directions. Meanwhile, for sauce, combine flour and broth in a large saucepan until smooth; gradually stir in the milk, salt, nutmeg, pepper and cayenne. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Spoon 1 cup into chicken mixture. Add cheese to remaining sauce.
  • Spread 1 cup sauce into a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Drain shells; stuff with chicken mixture. Arrange over sauce. Drizzle with remaining sauce. Cover and bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.
Nutrition Facts
2 each: 372 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 58mg cholesterol, 866mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 35g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

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Average Rating:
  • shawnba
    Feb 2, 2021

    This was really delicious, and pretty easy. Flavors are good, and it actually tastes better the second day! I couldn’t find manicotti pasta, so I made some that were gluten free for my daughter, and used jumbo shells for the rest. Both turned out great. VFE

  • annrms
    Jan 29, 2021

    I took a few shortcuts with this recipe. I used rotisserie chicken, leftover sautéed spinach, and Alfredo sauce to which I added a splash of Marsala wine. I didn't have manicotti, so used 20 jumbo shells. Sprinkled the tops of the shells with paprika for some extra color. Delicious keeper...!

  • Mariann
    Jul 16, 2020

    Great recipe! Long process to make but worth it. Will make again. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Christina
    Mar 28, 2020

    My 14 year old daughter and I made this recipe together, we had a lot of fun. My family ust loved this take on Pasta. I actually ended up rolling the mixture in lasagna, which gave the mixture more pasta to balance out the meat, spinich mixture more. Pine nuts would go nice in the mixture. This is definitely a recipe you can add to, especially in the sauce.

  • Bscotch
    Mar 3, 2020

    I used all fresh ingredients and half and half and still give this a medium review. Lots of work for me for a luke warm reaction from hubby. Won't make it again.

  • Teresa
    Feb 16, 2020

    I added extra garlic, onion powder and some Mrs Dash. I also left out the ham, it was delicious

  • James
    Feb 15, 2020

    Going to sub brown mushrooms for the ham and try the ricotta cheese that April suggested when I make this one. This one looks like it will be more than a one-off dinner around here.

  • April
    Mar 24, 2019

    A few tweaks I made to help this recipe: use heavy cream, half-n-half, or even whole milk for your sauce if you want more richness. Also, if you add a 1/4 cup cottage or ricotta cheese, it makes a world of difference!

  • KCLinda
    Mar 18, 2013

    Very blah. Can't believe the rave reviews on this one.

  • fitol2009
    Feb 9, 2013

    No comment left